Europa is moving more and more into the field of vision of Frankfurter Eintracht, which this Saturday made it from eighth to sixth in the Europa League with a 5-1 win against Bundesliga returnees Arminia Bielefeld. The Hessians, whose attacking greats André Silva and Filip Kostic were too quick to act and too good for fifteenth in the table, rewarded themselves lavishly for their enthusiasm. Silva (25th / 33rd minute), Kostic (27th), Nilsson with an own goal (51st) and Jovic (75th) were successful for the superior winner; Córdova scored for Bielefeld (36th).
The successful streak of Eintracht now extends over seven unbeaten games, including five wins. If this continues, the dream of the Champions League doesn’t have to be presumptuous. “We were dominant throughout the game and let the ball run really well,” said Frankfurt defense chief Martin Hinteregger, appropriately assessing the big difference this Saturday. The evergreen Japanese oldie Makoto Hasebe plaited wreaths for the impressive Eintracht attackers: “Up front we have an incredible quality.”
“We’re in a flow,” Hütter said before the trip to Bielefeld and added confidently: “We definitely want to win at the Alm.” Since Luka Jovic returned to his favorite German club on loan after a frustrating season and a half, he has become more confident get another boost in the ranks of Eintracht – especially given the recent weakness of established Champions League candidates such as Borussia Dortmund and Bayer 04 Leverkusen. On the other hand, the respect for the recently strong climber was great enough not to take the task in Bielefeld lightly.
Those who had hoped that Jovic would be one of the first eleven chosen from the outset were quietly disappointed. The Serbian star striker initially stayed on the bench as in his first two appearances for Eintracht. Coach Adi Hütter changed his last successful formation with one striker and two “tens” only insofar as the Japanese Daichi Kamada was in the starting eleven behind André Silva next to the trickster Amin Younes – also because the similarly aggressive Aymen Barkok with five yellow cards had to suspend. The more offensive Durm also got his chance on the right side instead of the more defensive Touré in case of doubt.
The unity – at first leisurely, then increasingly quickly – determined the one-sided events on the Bielefelder Alm from the start. When both sides seemed to have adjusted to the initially less threatening conditions, the Frankfurters struck for the first time. André Silva, Eintracht’s Portuguese goalscorer, benefited from a Bielefeld lapse when Nilsson shot his central defender colleague Pieper, the ball jumped from there to Silva, who thanked him with a powerful shot on goal for the gift from East Westphalia.
It was the prelude to eleven minutes of scoring between the 25th and 36th minute, after which the Hessians led 3-1. Kostic took advantage of Bielefeld’s confusion after the 0-1 deficit a little later with a remarkable long-range shot to make it 2-0 – his first goal of the season this Bundesliga season. And since all good things come in threes, Silva was there again – after a deflected Durm flank and a final pass from Kostic. With fourteen goals this season, he has already scored two goals more than in the previous league season. So that Eintracht did not become too cocky, the Venezuelan Córdova reminded with his first goal for the fifteenth place with his header that the Bielefeld were still there. The two-goal lead for Frankfurt at the break reflected the balance of power adequately.
Because a lot had gone wrong with the Armines by then, the Bielefeld black series continued without any problems. Kostic’s sharp cross for Silva, who was already in shooting position, steered Nilsson into his own net. A classic own goal after the “half” own goal that Nilsson and Pieper had made before the 0-1. On this cold Saturday, Kostic and Silva were the best two out of an overall strong Frankfurt team. Jovic, who had been substituted for Younes in the 66th minute, couldn’t shake that either. After all: The Serb made a quick decision to score his third goal for Eintracht after his Frankfurt comeback and thus set the last exclamation mark behind an impressive Frankfurt appearance.