Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to eight points, albeit temporarily, after a narrow 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Commerzbank Arena on Saturday.
The Bavarians headed into the game with a six point lead over their nearest challengers RB Leipzig at the top of the Bundesliga, and were coming off the back of an impressive 3-1 win over PSG in the Champions League. As for the hosts, they sat in ninth place, but were just four points behind second placed Leipzig, and were looking to close the gap on their European challengers.
Frankfurt made two changes from their last Bundesliga outing, with Aymen Barkok and Gelson Fernandes coming in for Mijat Gacinovic and Makoto Hasebe. As for the visitors, Bayern made six changes from the side that beat PSG in the Champions League midweek. Out went Sven Ulreich, David Alaba, Mats Hummels, Corentin Tolisso, Sebastian Rudy and Robert Lewandowski, all making way for Tom Starke, Jerome Boateng, Rafinha, Javi Martinez, Arturo Vidal and Thomas Muller.
Eintracht began the brighter of the two sides, with Jetro Willems posing an early threat down the left hand side, however it was the visitors that took the lead. Joshua Kimmich’s corner was headed back out to the youngster, who then put an inviting ball in towards back post which an unmarked Vidal was able to head beyond Lukas Hradecky to give Bayern the lead.
Despite going 1-0 down, Frankfurt responded well. Both sides were enjoying spells of possession but were also creating chances. Barkok was able to find Marius Wolf in the box, however the midfielder was unable to direct his header on target.
Shortly afterwards, the home side went close again with a freekick designed on the training ground. The set piece was taken short to Willems who’s powerful shot was saved by Starke – who was having a very busy afternoon.
Vidal then went close again on the stroke of half time, when a corner was headed out as far as the Chilean international, who chested the ball and struck a looping shot on the volley, however the keeper was able to see the ball over the bar.
Frankfurt began the second half the better of the two teams, enjoying the majority of the possession, however neither side were creating any clear cut chances. The game became a feisty affair, with a number of bookings being shown to both sides, before a moment of controversy came on the 70th minute mark.
Wolf lunged in on James Rodriguez and looked to have caught the Colombian late. The referee showed no hesitation in showing the Frankfurt player a straight red card, much to the frustration of the home side. The referee then referred to the video review, and upon review retracted the red card and awarded just a yellow, allowing Wolf to continue.
The incident seemed to spark the second half into life, with Frankfurt threatening the Bayern goal before a scramble in the penalty area resulted in the Bayern defence clearing the danger. Just minutes later, a ball across the face of Starke’s goal had Haller waiting to poke the ball home, however Niklas Sule was able to get in front of his man and turn the ball behind for a corner.
Despite a spirited performance from the home side, Bayern were able to see the game out and round off a very successful week with a hard fought win.