Thursday, March 4, 2021

Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Bayern Munich: Younes the inspiration as champions´ grip on top spot is loos

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Feb 2021

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Bayern Munich’s stranglehold on top spot in the Bundesliga has been loosened after they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Amin Younes-inspired Eintracht Frankfurt, who were without top-scorer Andre Silva.

It was Bayern’s first visit to Frankfurt since the 5-1 defeat in November 2019 that cost Niko Kovac his job, and while this defeat is unlikely to have similar ramifications for Hansi Flick, it was a similarly frustrating day for the champions.

Bayern came into the game having picked up a league-high 19 points from losing positions this term and they were once again forced into such a position after Kamada’s well-worked opener and Younes’ gorgeous second left them 2-0 down at the interval.

Flick’s men dominated the second half after Robert Lewandowski pulled one back in the 53rd minute but they failed to add to that, meaning RB Leipzig can close to within two points of the leaders with a win at Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

An early strain suffered by one of the officials and a subsequent lengthy delay did little to upset Eintracht’s flow and they deservedly went ahead in the 12th minute, Filip Kostic latching on to Younes’ clever reverse ball in behind Leroy Sane and teeing up Kamada for an easy finish.

Younes then shot agonisingly wide from inside his own half with Manuel Neuer stranded soon after, though Bayern had no such fortune just past the half-hour mark, the Napoli-owned midfielder cutting in off the left and arrowing a sensational strike into the top-far corner.

Bayern finished the half better but a goal still eluded them, with Kevin Trapp making necessary saves to deny Kingsley Coman and Lewandowski, before Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting’s late flick just missed the post.

The visitors looked sharper at the start of the second half and soon got themselves a lifeline, Lewandowski turning in from close range after Sane left the Eintracht defence in knots.

That pattern of Bayern dominance continued for much of the second half, with Leon Goretzka heading just off target, Coman forcing Trapp into action with a looping volley and the Frenchman also somehow missing the target a few yards out.

Eintracht might have got a third on the break were it not for Neuer saving brilliantly from Kostic, though it mattered not for the hosts, who held on to the win that keeps them level with third-placed Wolfsburg.

What does it mean? – Encouragement for Leipzig

It is by no means a given that Leipzig will come away from Hertha with a win, but given Pal Dardai’s men are struggling just outside the bottom three, there is a good chance.

That would bring the gap down to just two points at the summit, a significant turnaround given Bayern were 10 points clear earlier this month.

Younes shows his class

He may have faded – just like Eintracht in general – after half-time, but Younes was a standout regardless. He played the clever reverse pass that released Kostic before the opening goal, before then getting a spectacular second – he also played a couple of key passes. His general comfort in possession routinely instilled some calm to Eintracht’s play, with his first-half influence setting the tone for a massive win.

Roca hauled off

With Bayern 2-0 down at the break and Marc Roca having had minimal impact from the base of the midfield, the Spaniard was taken off for Goretzka. Given a chance with others rested ahead of the return of the Champions League, the former Espanyol midfielder did little to truly grasp the opportunity.

What’s next?

Bayern now turn attentions back to their European title defence as they go to Lazio for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, before hosting Cologne in the Bundesliga four days later. Eintracht have six days to prepare for their trip to Werder Bremen.

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