Inter Milan 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt: Match Report

By Louis Ostrowski

Bundesliga high-flyers Eintracht Frankfurt fought hard for a narrow 1-0 win over Italian giants Inter that puts them in the hat for the Europa League quarter finals.

The Eagles fly the flag for Germany as the Bundesliga’s only remaining team in Europe, thanks to Luka Jovic bagging a terrific goal that will be remembered in Frankfurt for years to come.

It was a surprise, given their goal scoring record, that only one goal was scored over the 180 minutes, and indeed Frankfurt could well have had more than one at San Siro.

The only goal came just five minutes in as top-scorer Jovic pounced on a Stefan de Vrij error and delightfully lobbed over Samir Handanovic. The visitors played with pace and energy from the get-go, with Sebastian Haller already hitting the crossbar inside two minutes.

Inter, clearly aware that another Frankfurt goal could kill the tie, played with visible nervousness. The Italians knew they needed two goals to progress but didn’t show any serious attacking intent until the second half.

Although Matteo Politano, Matias Vecino and Antonio Candreva all tested Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp from range, Inter still didn’t produce any clear chances.

The confident Eagles should have been out of sight by then and would have been had Handanovic not made numerous strong saves from Filip Kostic and Mijat Gacinovic.

The usually reliable Jovic failed to make use of further opportunities, the best chance of the bunch coming in injury time when the Serb headed straight at Handanovic with the whole goal to aim at.

With chance after chance going begging, Inter began to gain a foothold in the increasingly open game. Although they were without captain David Abraham and coach Adi Hütter, Frankfurt’s defence remained solid, with 19-year-old Evan N’Dicka playing excellently.

Inter boss Luciano Spalletti will have every reason to complain about his side’s lacklustre showings, Croatian Ivan Perisic and makeshift forward Keita Balde standing out with particularly poor performances.

Frankfurt’s 15,000 away fans won’t care about that though – by beating Inter at San Siro they achieved something that neither Barcelona nor Tottenham Hotspur could.

The Eagles fully deserved the win; and on their way back to Germany, they may even be dreaming of a trip to Baku for the final in May.

Edited by Harry Trend

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