Makoto Hasebe counted out loud to five. Looking to the future, the Eintracht professional said: "I hope we still have five games this season." Three in the core business of the Bundesliga, and two in the Europa League – that is the desired program of the Japanese in the final lap. To actually achieve the maximum goal of full employment in two competitions and to move into the final of the Europa League on 29 May in Baku, the Frankfurt will have to decide next Thursday at Stamford Bridge in London the second leg for themselves. They will not miss the 1-1 draw against Chelsea in the first semi-final match of the Europa League.
"We have to score almost two goals to win the game," said Eintracht head coach Adi Hütter late Thursday even. A 1-0 would indeed be enough for the Hesse in fourth-placed Premier League. But that the English top club, who defeated Slavia Prague 4: 3 in the home game in the round before, can always be trusted, Hütter also knows after the strong performance of the English in Frankfurt. "Chelsea remains the big favorite," he emphasized.
The Austrians do not want to be misunderstood when assessing their own chances of success, he wants to once again achieve great things with his team against a footballing giant. "Even after our 0-0 home win against Inter Milan, no one believed that we could win there. We have to go to London with confidence and courage. For the second leg we have kept all options open "- this message, which was a challenge to the opponent, Hütter addressed to his players and valued the hard-fought draw as an" absolute respect victory against a top team ".
And Maurizio Sarri, the Italian head coach of Chelsea, expects in the second showdown with a very convinced opponent, who will fight hard, so that the dream of the final will come true for him. He also has "great respect" for the away performances of Eintracht in the competition, Sarri said. "We have earned this respect," said his colleague Hütter. "Maurizio Sarri, as an Italian, has seen us play in Milan." At Stamford Bridge, Ante Rebic, suspended for the first semi-final match, will be back in the game. And even with the injured striker Sebastien Haller Hütter hopes for his return to the team.
Yesterday Benfica Lisbon and Milan, today Chelsea. In many ways a special opponent in the twelfth international game of concord. For this festive occasion, the Frankfurt CEOs wore extraordinary black shoes. On the left one white "12" was to be seen, on the right stood: "Adlerträger".
During the walk through the stadium, which was filled to capacity with 48,000 spectators, those responsible provided an eye-catcher. Show-off pro Makoto Hasebe was able to see how hard the team had been on the pitch after the 95-minute stint. The former captain of the Japanese national team was marked by the show of strength. The Frankfurt had played 46 competitive games so far this season, he said. "I have not experienced that either. And I'm already 35 years old. "
Up to their performance limit, the Frankfurt had to go in this semi-final match. "Everyone gave everything," Gelson Fernandes put it in midfield. And yet, the Frankfurters also needed a large portion of luck in order to get a decent starting position for the return leg. Chelsea proved to be a quick and playful team with great individual class and ball skill. The combination game of the English was characterized by great flow and good understanding.
Especially after the equalizer by Pedro Rodriguez in the 45th minute, the "Blues", who played all in yellow, demonstrated their skills in the second half. Chelsea urged the Hessians in their half, who often only knew how to help by hitting the balls out of their own half. Whether calling Loftus-Cheek, Willian or David Luiz, the Englishmen had plenty of opportunities to take the lead 2-1. "That was the strongest opponent in our stadium so far this season," said Fernandes. "Chelsea has quality."
Sports Director Bruno Hübner spoke with the utmost appreciation of a "different house number". The European heavyweight met the Frankfurt, driven by their again acoustically impressive audience, with passion and tireless commitment, the mentality shown was exemplary again. And in Kevin Trapp, the Eintracht also had a strong goalkeeper who kept them in parlous situations with parries in the game. And when the Frankfurt Chelsea seemed tired playing, they got in the final phase but still the second air. The biggest chance for the winner was awarded to captain David Abraham, whose header passed the Chelsea goal. "We had to suffer a lot and run behind, but in the back we showed passion," said Hütter about the gameplay.
"We got a goal, that's a bit bitter," Hasebe said. "Okay, it's a tough job in London, but we can do it." The Japanese said on Thursday evening several times – as if he wanted to persuade himself. Hasebe encourages not only the upswing but also the decent first half. Although the Eintracht needed some time to get used to it, Luka Jovic's 1-0 lead after 23 minutes helped them in their willingness to give Chelsea an unconditional fight. "We can be proud of ourselves, Fernandes said. "I do not know how many goals we scored against such an opponent a few years ago."
(tagToTranslate) Adi Hütter (t) Makoto Hasebe (t) Maurizio Sarri (t) Gelson Fernandes (t) UEFA Europa League (t) Eintracht Frankfurt (t) Chelsea