Europe: Champions League
0 - 3
(0 - 0)
Sporting CP
M. Edwards (65), F. Trincão (67), N. Santos (82)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Frankfurt left reeling after Sporting's second-half smash and grab

Die Adler left to rue multiple goal scoring opportunities going astray, as Sporting Lisbon's Marcus Edwards second half display undid Glasner's team 0-3.
Last season’s Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt welcomed Sporting Lisbon to the Deutsche-Bank Park this afternoon as they commenced their maiden UEFA Champions League campaign. Of course, Die Adler famously reached the European Cup final in 1959/60 well before it was known as the Champions League, but Oliver Glasner’s troops failed to use that inspiration toward their opening matchday motivation as the full-time score read 0-3 to the Lisbon based club.

With atmosphere brimming prior to kick-off Frankfurt fans unfurled a banner reading “Without much chatter..Frankfurt makes Trouble”, and coincidentally it was trouble they almost caused in the opening exchanges as Kolo Muani narrowly missed a guilt edged one-on-one chance. Credit should go to Sporting goalkeeper Adan who made great use of his left leg to divert the ball wide. There was a brief 10th-minute scare for the hosts when Christopher Lenz appeared to catch Edwards’ trailing foot inside the box. Luckily any fears of a penalty were extinguished after a quick VAR consultation.

Die Adler held the bulk of possession and chances up until the half hour mark. Lindstrom and Kamada combined nicely on the right flank only the Japanese international found Adan’s feet before the lurking Kolo Muani. Sporting’s best chance fell to them in the 36th minute. A neatly worked one-two afforded Edwards space in the box who fired off a strike through Djibril Sow’s legs. The unsighted Kevin Trapp did brilliantly to match the shot which was destined for the bottom left corner.

After a scoreless first 45 minutes Lenz was replaced by Frankfurt’s Juventus loanee Luca Pellegrini. The club from the Portuguese capital were soon forced into a swift change of their own – former Mainz man Jeremiah St.Juste, who had a track record of injuries in the Bundesliga, made way for Neto. A great chance fell to Kamada after an aggressive press from Götze, but the shot took too long to be released while Neto kept the sides deadlocked with a fine recovery block.

Frankfurt was causing Sporing plenty of trouble on the break as the game progressed and fragmented. Götze fed Kolo Muani on the hour mark who drew another fine save from Adan, while Sporting blazed a free kick over the bar down the other end. Just as Frankfurt appeared to be turning the screw Lisbon made it 0-1 on 65 minutes. Marcus Edwards, their standout player on the night, capitalised on Morita’s cross to guide the ball beyond Trapp. Sporting’s one goal lead quickly became 0-2 advantage minutes later – a lightning-fast break allowed Edwards enough room to tee up Trincao who duly guided home.

Glasner relied on substitute Alario to pull something back, but it wasn’t to be when Sporting made it 0-3 with nine minutes left to play. Nuno Santos brilliantly controlled Pedro Porro’s cross from the right wing before dispatching another left-footed strike beyond the hapless Trapp. Frankfurt, somewhat unlucky on the night, will now undoubtedly look to rectify the result when they host Wolfsburg on Saturday before a Tuesday night meeting with Marseille.

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