Amin Younes’ world-class strike earned Eintracht Frankfurt a famous victory on Saturday as they beat Bayern Munich 2-1 at the Deutsche Bank Park.
Robert Lewandowski’s finish soon after the break failed to spur his side to a result as first-half goals from Daichi Kamada and Amin Younes proved to be enough for Frankfurt to add a fifth consecutive victory to their unbeaten start to 2021.
Frankfurt solidified their place in the Champions League spots as they pulled six points clear of Bayer Leverkusen, who have a game in hand. Bayern remain well clear at the summit.
There were three changes to Frankfurt’s ranks, the most notable of which saw Luka Jovic take the place of free-scoring striker Andre Silva. Behind the Real Madrid loanee, Almamy Toure and Sebastian Rode slotted into the midfield as Erik Durm and Djibril Sow were deemed unfit to be named amongst the squad.
Hansi Flick also made three changes to the Bayern side that slumped to a 3-3 draw against Arminia Bielefeld last week. Marc Roca and Joshua Kimmich lined up alongside each other in the midfield, with Frenchmen Corentin Tolisso and Lucas Hernandez missing out. Jerome Boateng replaced Bouna Sarr in defence.
Story of the match
Die Adler started very brightly and within minutes of kick-off were finding acres of space around the visiting backline. Sharp, one-touch football forced the Munich men into retreat, but they were fortunate to have the pressure alleviated as linesman Mike Pickel pulled up injured after just four minutes.
Bayern looked all at sea when the hosts took the lead eight minutes later. Working the ball down the left flank, sprightly winger Filip Kostic went unchallenged as he approached the penalty area and fizzed the ball across towards an awaiting trio of his colleagues. Unmarked and only 10 yards out from goal, Kamada latched onto the pass and diverted the ball into the bottom-right corner. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer could only watch as the midfielder peeled away in celebration of his third goal of the season.
Spurred on by their thrilling opening 10 minutes, Frankfurt came agonisingly close to doubling their advantage at the quarter-hour mark when loanee Younes spotted Neuer straying a long way from his goal. Trying his luck from inside his own half, the German got everything bar the width spot-on, leaving a scrambling Neuer relieved as the ball drifted wide of the right post.
Younes found the net just beyond the half-hour stage with an incredible strike from the edge of the box. Breathless work to keep the ball in play by Kamada presented the 24-year-old with an opportunity to set up the German international, who took one look up before leathering a shot towards goal. He hit it perfectly as the ball swerved away from the goalkeeper before nestling into the top corner at the far post.
The deficit appeared to shake Bayern into life as they dug in to enjoy their first attacking spell with 10 minutes left of the half. Kevin Trapp was called into action between the sticks as the champions drove forward. The 30-year-old reacted brilliantly to a deflected shot from Kingsley Coman as he tipped it beyond the post.
Five minutes later, Trapp was required again as he displayed cat-like agility to make a double save to deny Kimmich and Coman’s close-range efforts.
The half closed with one last chance for Eintracht. The ever-present Younes danced through his fragile counterparts, but he had his shot blocked. Toure followed up with an attempt of his own, but Neuer managed to get across well to make the save at his near post.
Just as they did when faced with a 2-0 deficit at halftime against Bielefeld, Flick’s side began the second half remarkably better than they had performed before the break. Revitalized after a tough first period, Die Roten were well on top as they wove the pace of wing-back Alphonso Davies into their advances.
Bayern halved the deficit nearly 10 minutes into the second period. A delightful switch was brought under control neatly by Leroy Sane wide on the right flank, and the winger utilised his tricky feet to send two defenders sprawling as he entered the box. Now with enough time for a measured delivery, Sane fired a teasing pass across the face of goal for Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski to easily turn in, which was his 31st goal of the term.
Suddenly, Frankfurt were on the back foot, and they started to pack every man behind the ball in order to keep the league leaders at bay. Substitute Leon Goretzka headed wide shortly after his introduction in what was a golden opportunity for the visitors to draw level.
The hosts had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down by referee Sascha Stegemann with 10 minutes left on the clock. Kostic timed his run to perfection as a counter attack blossomed, and he found himself in behind the defence with substitute Ragnar Ache chasing through the middle. The 22-year-old broke free of Davies but was brought to ground by the Canadian as the cross came in. With time to deliberate while Ache received medical attention, the referee allowed play to carry on.
Takeaway from the match
Arguably still hungover from their ventures in the Club World Cup, Bayern looked rather complacent in the first half as they allowed a depleted Frankfurt front line to easily close in on Neuer’s goal. As a result, they were met by a well-drilled side which punished Flick’s men for affording them such space.
Man of the Match
Kevin Trapp – Eintracht Frankfurt
With what seemed to be a brittle defence in front of him, German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp put in a tremendous performance that ultimately secured three important points for his team. His reactionary saves late in the first half kept out a potent strike force and helped Frankfurt continue their winning run.