Only 0-0 against Fürth: Eintracht Frankfurt hardly convinced before the “game of the century” against Barcelona.
First there were restrained whistles, then the so painfully missed Eintracht fans got their team in the mood for the cracker against FC Barcelona: After the zero number against bottom SpVgg Greuther Fürth, the mood in Frankfurt fluctuated between disappointment and anticipation. “We weren’t good enough today. But still: Now we’re looking forward to Barcelona,” said sports director Markus Krösche on Sky.
However, the dress rehearsal rarely made you want to play the top game, the team of head coach Oliver Glasner lacked penetrating power against the passionately defending relegation candidates in front of 50,500 spectators. “We didn’t have enough playful solutions, too little change of pace,” said Krösche.
After all: With 39 points, Frankfurt remains in ninth place. Before the long-awaited first leg against Barcelona on Thursday (9 p.m.), the Hessians can hope for another year in international competition. “We also want to play in Europe next year. And against Barcelona we want to reach the semi-finals,” said Krösche.
At Fürth, “hope is getting smaller from matchday to matchday”
The guests from Franconia, on the other hand, face direct relegation despite winning the point. After only three wins from 28 games and only the second point in foreign stadiums, the cloverleaf is far behind in last place in the table.
“The hope is getting smaller every matchday but we just keep going and enjoying it,” said midfielder Jamie Leweling. With 16 points, the gap to the relegation place is already ten points.
Immediately after the kick-off, the Frankfurt Ultras ignited, dense clouds of smoke moved from the bulging home block under the stadium roof. But there were no fireworks on the lawn. Eintracht took control of the game and created first half chances. Fürth was waiting for a counterattack.
Before the game, Glasner had described the end of the season as “the best time of the year”, and the Austrian coach now wants to “reap what we have sown.” The feared power football of his team germinated until the break, however, only in places. Under-21 national player Ansgar Knauff tested guest keeper Andreas Linde from a distance, then Jesper Lindström failed twice at the Swede.
After the change of sides, the game flattened out. Eintracht kept struggling near the penalty area, but there were no compelling ideas. Driver Filip Kostic also remained inconspicuous on his left side.
The loud support from the ranks drove Frankfurt forward in the final phase. But even if the pressure on the Fürth five-man chain increased noticeably, the decisive breakthrough did not succeed. Shortly before the end there were concerns about Fürth’s Marco Meyerhöfer, who was injured and carried off the field by paramedics.
Eintracht Frankfurt – SpVgg Greuther Fürth: The voices of the game
Oliver Glasner (Eintracht Frankfurt coach): “There was a big question mark as to whether the players were still focused or already thinking about the game on Thursday. They have impressively demonstrated that they accepted this game. It’s not a big finding , that we find it difficult against opponents like that. We have to accept that it’s 0-0. But that doesn’t throw us completely off course.”
Stefan Leitl (SpVgg Greuther Fürth trainer): “We tried to be uncomfortable. We managed to do that for a long time. We’re happy, even if it’s a dearly bought point for us.”