In showing greatness in defeat. This is exactly what Oliver Glasner did. After the 2-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund, he could have blamed the referees, who made the wrong decision in a possibly game-winning scene after the clear foul on Jesper Lindström (42nd minute). This is exactly what Glasner did not do. Despite all the trouble and a short professional excitement, he limited himself to reprimanding his players for negligently exploiting chances.
“I’m proud of the excellent performance, which makes me happy, and I’m disappointed with the result,” said the Frankfurt soccer coach. “What we did in the second half and how we almost pushed BVB in was unbelievable. But we have to take it upon ourselves that we didn’t score any goals from these chances.” Glasner is convinced: “Some days the efficiency isn’t there.”
Three weeks ago, deep in the west, Eintracht suffered their last defeat in the Bundesliga. But there is a huge difference between the 0:3 at VfL Bochum and the 1:2 now against Borussia Dortmund. In the Ruhr Stadium, Glasner’s team was beside themselves and did not achieve anything substantial. In the Frankfurt arena, however, the team for which Daichi Kamada scored again showed a thrilling game with many facets – just not with enough goals to get the deserved return.
Many of the 50,000 visitors in the sold-out stadium saw it that way – and above all one who is particularly attentive because of his job: Sport Director Markus Krösche. For the Frankfurt manager there was no question that “we played an outstanding game and lost undeservedly. We had Dortmund totally under control, but unfortunately didn’t reward ourselves.”
Big hit against Sporting
Opportunities galore. Randal Kolo Muani, like Jesper Lindström and Mario Götze, made several dangerous appearances in the Dortmund penalty area. But either the ball bounced off the post back into the field, or Gregor Kobel, who played brilliantly, almost drove the Eintracht attackers to despair with his saves. And when Kobel wasn’t able to intervene either, it was defender Nico Schlotterbeck who stood on the goal line and blocked Götze’s shot with his thigh. Victory in Mönchengladbach, victory against Marseille, defeat against Dortmund. And in Lisbon?
Around the 1: 2 against BVB, there was already a lot of talk in the catacombs of the arena about the upcoming cracker against Sporting. The sixth and final group game in the Champions League will provide information about where Eintracht is headed – or whether the trip to the Portuguese capital means the end of all European dreams. There are no two opinions for Glasner and Krösche. “We’re going there to win.”
According to Glasner’s wishes, the luggage of the Frankfurt delegation, which is on its way to Lisbon this Monday after the final training session at noon, should also have “a lot of strength and self-confidence”. “I have no concerns that we’ll throw everything back in on Tuesday.” Actually, it’s unusual that Eintracht “only” scored one goal against Dortmund.
In addition to Bayern, who have started to roll again, Glasner’s team still has the second-best offensive in the league. It speaks for the diversity and unpredictability of Eintracht that there is not one outstanding shooter. Kamada leads the team rankings with seven goals, followed by Lindstrom (five) and Kolo Muani (three). Together, this trio scored almost two-thirds of all Frankfurt goals (25).
Seeing the positive in defeat: Not only coach Glasner has decided to do so. Captain Sebastian Rode was also able to see a lot of good things in the 2-1 draw against Dortmund. “Today you saw how many chances we can create against Champions League clubs. That gives us self-confidence.” Self-confidence and confidence, “after the tough game on Wednesday against Olympique Marseille we put in a good performance again,” said Mario Götze.
In the duel against the old Dortmund comrades, the Frankfurt game strategist knew what was the issue this time. “It was a sensational performance by Gregor Kobel.” On Tuesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on DAZN) Antonio Adán, a 35-year-old Spaniard in the Portuguese team from Sporting, is in goal. It is important to beat him decisively.