09/19/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/19/2019 14:14
Eintracht Frankfurt were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal in their opening UEFA Europa League group match.
In an open and end-to-end contest, Eintracht were unable to make the most of their chances and were eventually punished by Arsenal - who themselves created plenty of opportunities - when late strikes from Bukayo Saka (85') and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (88') added to Joe Willock's first-half goal.
Personnel: Kostic returns, new strike partnership
Head coach Adi Hütter made three changes to his line-up after the 2-1 defeat at Augsburg on Saturday. Filip Kostic returned on the left flank after recovering from illness, while Dominik Kohr replaced the injured Sebastian Rode in midfield. Up front, Bas Dost started ahead of Goncalo Paciencia alongside fellow new signing Andre Silva.
First half: Lots of chances but only one goal
Against a cacophony of noise inside the Commerzbank-Arena, the match got off to a suitably fast-paced start. The first big chance fell to Arsenal in just the fifth minute, when a cross found Lucas Torreira unmarked just a few yards out, but he missed the target. After that let-off, Eintracht got going and created their first clear opportunity on 18 minutes, when Kostic burst into the penalty area and hit the side-netting from a tight angle. Just minutes later, Hütter's side had another good chance when Kostic's ball rolled through to Dost, but he couldn't quite wrap his foot around it.
The Eagles looked threatening whenever they came forward, particularly down the left, and Kostic forced a smart save from Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez from a similar situation. The end-to-end action continued with Willock and Emile Smith Rowe both missing good opportunities on the counter. A goal seemed only a matter of time, and unfortunately it went the Gunners' way when Willock's deflected shot went in via the underside of the bar. The Eagles almost equalised on the stroke of half-time but Silva was denied by another good stop from Martínez.
Second half: Eagles punished late on
There was no let-up in the tempo after the interval, with Dost and Silva both missing good early opportunities. Silva had another glorious chance in the 59th minute after some nice play involving Kohr and Kostic, but he couldn't hit the target. If Kostic wasn't creating chances, he was on the end of them and the Serbian had the next effort on 68 minutes but dragged his shot wide.
The Eagles' task was then made more difficult when they were reduced to 10 men for the final 10 minutes, Kohr receiving his second booking for a foul on Saka. And the English side took full advantage: first Saka curled the ball past Trapp to make it 2-0, before a mistake in the Eintracht defence handed Aubameyang an easy opportunity to add a third.
Summary: Harsh lesson
Eintracht will be wondering how they did not score, but were ultimately punished for some wayward finishing. The 3-0 scoreline was nevertheless harsh on the Eagles, whose unbeaten record at home in the Europa League has finally come to an end.
Trapp - Abraham, Hinteregger, Hasebe - Da Costa (Chandler 74'), Kohr, Sow, Kostic - Kamada - Silva, Dost (Paciencia 66')
0-1 Willock (38')
0-2 Saka (85')
0-3 Aubameyang (88')