The last match of the Bundesliga weekend saw the return of the Hesse Derby between Eintracht Frankfurt and Darmstadt. Sunday’s match was the first time these two sides have clashed in a derby for thirty-three years.
Both Die Adler and Die Lilien were in despite need of a victory after they failed to pick up a victory in the whole of November. With just one point separating the pair and both being in the bottom half, the pressure on this game was increased. Although neither side could make a leap up the table, a win would close the gap on the teams above, Ingolstadt and Köln were five points clear of Darmstadt and six points clear of Frankfurt before the game.
The game was always going to be high on passion and it didn’t take too long for the teams to clash, the first saw Aytac Sulu and Haris Seferović come head-to-head with each other after a challenge. Soon after the first chance of the game saw David Abraham head over from a corner.
The next clash between players was between Luca Caldirola and Marc Stendera, the former wasn’t happy with a challenge after the two battled for possession in the corner.
Frankfurt struggled to create some clear cut chances in the first half and one of those came from the right, Makoto Hasebe crossed to pick out Stefan Aigner at the far post and unfortunately for the home side he could only put his header onto the roof of the net.
On the half hour mark the deadlock was broken, after Darmstadt started to look more threatening they were the ones who managed to get that important first goal. Tobias Kempe whipped in a great freekick and a unmarked Sulu leapt well to head past Lukas Hradecky.
The pair linked up again a few minutes later, this time the freekick was further out and on the other side, however Sulu still managed to get to the cross first and the Darmstadt captain came close as his header struck the top of the crossbar.
Darmstadt finished the stronger of the two teams in the first half and deservedly lead at the break, the last chance of the game fell to Marcel Heller. A high ball over the top saw Heller break free, the ball wouldn’t sit down for the winger and rather than shooting he played the ball across goal and Frankfurt managed to clear.
Darmstadt started the second half brightly and they quickly earned themselves a corner, Kempe delivered the corner and Caldirola had the chance to put a header on target, however it was a wasted chance as he headed the ball across the box.
Frankfurt settled and looked better going forward and they had a dangerous freekick after Fabian Holland pulled down Aigner, Bastian Oczipka stepped up but wasted the position as he fired straight into the wall.
Moments later Frankfurt could’ve been level, the ball was played through and Aigner was free to burst through, fortunately for the Darmstadt defence Christian Mathenia was very quick in coming off his line and denying the Frankfurt forward.
The hosts continued to push for a leveller and they thought they had an equaliser as the game approached the hour mark. Stendera fired an effort from range and Marco Russ produced a lovely flick, however Mathenia made an outstanding save to flick the ball away from goal and just behind an incoming attacking.
Frankfurt were applying plenty of pressure and started to create good chances, unfortunately for them Mathenia was in goal. The inspired keeper denied the hosts time and time again, Aigner was through on goal once more and the keeper once again flew off his line to save, despite the save Aigner was called offside, even though he looked level.
In the last ten minutes Darmstadt came very close to sealing the victory, great work down the left saw Heller pick the ball up and with his pace he broke free, he cutback to leave a defender on the floor and from a couple of yards out his effort was brilliantly saved by Hradecky who reacted well.
The last chance of the game for Frankfurt saw a long ball forward poorly dealt with by Junior Diaz, the ball fell to Russ on the edge of the area and his effort was straight at Mathenia.
That was the end of the action and Darmstadt put in a great team performance to earn their first win in six matches, they stay were they are in the table but they are now only two points away from Ingolstadt who are above them. Frankfurt are left still looking over their shoulders as it’s getting tight down near the bottom.
Frankfurt will be looking to end their miserable form next time out, unfortunatley for them their next match sees them travel to face red hot Borussia Dortmund. Darmstadt are at home next and they’ll be hosting a Hertha Berlin side who find themselves in the top four.