Dhe best comes last. After the bumpy German start to this European Cup week with the draw of Bayern against Amsterdam and the late defeat Hoffenheim against Manchester City on Tuesday in the Champions League Dortmund made it against Monaco and Schalke in Moscow in the premier class a day later with their victories better. The good record of the Bundesliga clubs rounded off the three starters in the Europa League on Thursday evening with three times three points. After the victories of Leverkusen over Larnaka and Leipzig in Trondheim Eintracht Frankfurt ended with a remarkable exclamation point.

Tobias Raven

Responsible editor for Sport Online.

It was loud in the sold out with 47,000 spectators Arena before the match against the Italian top team of Lazio Rome. After the 4: 1 win, the Frankfurt fans sang as fervently as if they had won the DFB Cup again, as in May in Berlin against Bayern. The unexpected triumph at the time only granted entry to the European Cup after four and a half years break. And it seems like Eintracht wanted to make participation a long-term project. After the victory in Marseille in the first game, the Hessians lead the table of their group and have good chances to reach the knockout round.

Danny da Costa (4th minute) brought Frankfurt early after a corner in the lead. Marco Parolo (23rd) made up for Lazio. But Filip Kostic promptly countered with the 2: 1 (28). Dusan Basta saw a yellow card shortly before half-time (45. + 3) and Joaquin Correa (58.) even sent a blistering red card. Luka Jovic had previously made it 3-1 for the Eintracht, again because Costa put in stoppage time the crowning finale (90. + 4).

Anyone looking around in Frankfurt on Thursday could hardly believe that German football should be in crisis during international competition. In the past season, Hertha BSC, Hoffenheim and Cologne had been embarrassed with an off after the group stage. The Europa League seemed like a chore. The coaches spare some players who occasionally did not show the greatest motivation. And that even before half-empty ranks. Frankfurt now showed that it is also very different. For coach Adi Hütter it was even "a night that I will not forget".

After the "ghost play" of Marseille without spectators due to a penalty for the French, the Eintracht fans could hardly wait for the return to the international stage. The fans had prepared a large-scale choreography that was reminiscent of the 1980 European Cup triumph. The early lead still fueled the excitement. "It was sensational," said goalkeeper Kevin Trapp. Marco Russ was also enthusiastic: "It was a spectacle for our fans," said the captain. "For such evenings you play football." Mijat Gacinovic called the support "madness! That's not normal. "Just the pyrotechnics at the beginning of the second half should have saved some supporters.

Referee Gözübüyük sent two Romans from the square. Immobile (l) and Parolo were allowed to continue playing


Not only atmospheric, but also sporty Frankfurt had a lot to offer. The Eintracht Lazio dominated, except for one stage after the lead, last season's fifth Serie A and quarter-finals Europa League. "I had an eerie goose bump," said coach Hütter. His colleague Simone Inzaghi, meanwhile, struggled with the red card for Correa. "The referee decided the game in the end," said the Lazio coach. "I looked at the pictures again. Yellow for Correa would have been enough. "At nine, nothing was possible against this concord and the audience. "The fans were just terrific."

The success of Eintracht was based on several pillars. Goalkeeper Trapp radiated an enormous peace. The central defensive man Makoto Hasebe made no mistake at all. Fullback da Costa not only impressed as a doubles scorer. Striking were also the robust as well as strong center forward Sébastien Haller and the flanking offensive forces Kostic and Jovic, who sank a Lupfer in the goal, which also a Lionel Messi could not have done better with his foot.

A very special performance, however, showed the central midfielder Lucas Torró. On the night of matchday, the Spaniard's brother had died unexpectedly, as Hütter announced after the match. The players did not suspect in what emotional state the 24-year-old was. The coaching team was privy and left Torró, who shed tears after the game, deciding whether he wanted to play. He wanted. "This is a sad news that has clouded our celebration after the game," said Hütter. Now the mourning Torró travels to his homeland. At the Bundesliga Cup with Hoffenheim on Sunday he will be missing for sure.

For the Frankfurters it is important to regenerate after this sporting holiday. Hoffenheim is followed by a break due to the Nations League matches. Then it is tightly packed in the game plan continues, even in the Europa League. Judging from the impressions on Thursday, the fans can look forward to special evenings again. "Frankfurt 1980" was to read in the choreography of the fans before the match against Lazio. "Here we got the trophy – Let's go, you black and white, get him again." 38 years ago Eintracht won the Uefa Cup in their own stadium. But to fulfill the wish of the fans, it is still a long way to go. A hopeful beginning is made. Not only for Frankfurt, but also for German football in this European Cup campaign.



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