In an intense, yet ultimately beautiful game of football, Köln and Frankfurt couldn't be separated at the Deutsche Bank park on Saturday afternoon.
The 1-1 draw proved the only tie in a wild set of 15:30 kickoffs, all of which had consequences for a tightening Bundesliga table.
Oliver Glasner and the SGE are still seeking their first win of the season as a determined physical effort against Köln couldn't see die Adler capture all three points. Eintracht Frankfurt have now drawn six matches on the bounce. Factoring in the Europa League debut, they've also finished five consecutive fixtures with a 1-1 scoreline.
Facing some issues at the left-back position, Oliver Glasner opted to give Timothy Chandler his first start of the season on the left. Erik Durm moved over to right back position and Norwegian Jens Petter Hauge was preferred to Daichi Kamada. The two changes saw Frankfurt line up in a 4-4-2 with Hauge and Filip Kostic working behind Sam Lammers and Rafael Santos Borre.
For Stefffen Baumgart, Mark Uth and Jan Thielmann took a seat in favor of Florian Kainz and Sebastian Andersson. The result was another 4-4-2, though this one resembled a fully-stretched Rhombus. Kainz, Ondrej Duda, Ellyes Skhiri, and Dejan Ljubicic worked the midfield diamond behind Andersson and Anthony Modeste.
The two proud squads immediately found themselves mired in an intense street fight defined by rushes for free balls and seemingly endless aerial duels. Both sides lost a player to head-bangs in the first half. Erik Durm found himself unable to continue for the SGE after colliding with Kainz early. Luca Kilian also had to check out after being forced into a collision with his own after just after the half hour mark.
Incredibly, there were even two players from each side that were able to soldier on despite severe injuries. Modeste needed to stop up both bleeding nostrils after crashing into Martin Hinteregger. On the very same sequence Timothy Chandler needed extensive treatment following a mash up with Benno Schmitz. The American international was bleeding profusely after the blow, yet somehow played the rest of the match with a turban wrap.
Amid all of the injury insanity, there was actually a football match going on at the Deutsche Bank Park. Skhiri scored the opening goal in the 14th after captain Jonas Hector deftly tapped back a Schmitz long ball. Köln generated significantly more chances than their hosts in the opening 45, but it was the Hesseners who were able to equalize courtesy of eight long minutes of injury time.
Colombian striker Borré opened his Bundesliga account at 45+6. Jens Petter Hauge, who really sparkled with some magnificent solos on the afternoon, managed to unleash Filip Kostic, who then cut back for the totally unmarked new acquisition. Neither side had much of a chance to catch their breath during a halftime break that barely exceeded ten minutes.
Baumgart put two pairs of fresh legs on at the break with a double substitution. Jan Thielmann and Kingsley Ehizibue came on to speed up the right flank. Despite this, the SGE seemed the better side in the second half. Köln did score against the run-of-play in the 54th, but their go-ahead goal was disallowed by the narrowest of margins.
Modeste fought incredibly hard to pick up a Kevin Trapp spill that Kainz finished off. Unfortunately, the replays revealed that Frenchman's shoulder was millimeters offside when Duda took the initial shot. Eintracht substitutes Daichi Kamada and Jesper Lindstrøm got off the best chances thereafter. Neither side really relented right up until the final whistle. At the end of the day, however, the winning goal simply didn't come.
There was not another draw elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs. Kevin Behrens made sure that Union topped Bielefeld 1-0 with an 88th minute strike. Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg were deadlocked at 1-1 for a while, but die Kraichgauer clicked late to hand Mark van Bommel his first Bundesliga defeat. The hosting Sinsheimers took the match 3-1 behind two goals in the final 15 minutes.
Florian Wirtz scored yet again in Leverkusen's 1-0 win over Mainz. The young phenom is now officially the youngest player ever to bag ten Bundesliga goals. It proved an embarrassing day to forget for Pal Dardai's Hertha. Jesse Marsch's RB Leipzig rendered unto their critics a huge statement with a 6-0 rout of "die alte Dame". Christopher Nkunku scored twice and also provided two assists in the romp.
|37||Erik Durm ↩11|
|13||Martin Hinteregger (C)|
|8||Djibril Sow ↩85|
|23||Jens Hauge ↩62|
|19||Rafael Borré ⚽|
|9||Sam Lammers ↩61|
|24||Danny da Costa ↪11|
|3||Stefan Ilsanker ↪85|
|15||Daichi Kamada ↪61|
|29||Jesper Lindstrøm ↪62|
|2||Benno Schmitz ↩46|
|15||Luca Kilian ↩35|
|14||Jonas Hector (C)|
|7||Dejan Ljubicic ↩46|
|28||Ellyes Skhiri ⚽|
|11||Florian Kainz ↩72|
|18||Ondrej Duda ↩85|
|13||Mark Uth ↪85|
|19||Kingsley Ehizibue ↪46|
|22||Jorge Meré ↪35|
|21||Louis Schaub ↪72|
|29||Jan Thielmann ↪46|