Victory in Frankfurt: Stuttgart run continues thanks to Undav
VfB Stuttgart provides further proof of its strength in Frankfurt. Referee Brych experiences a painful evening in his record game.
Wrapped in a thick jacket, match winner Deniz Undav marched with his colleagues to the Stuttgart fan block and celebrated VfB’s next coup in the Bundesliga.
“We have to keep going. It wasn’t our best game, but we showed mentality and fought hard,” said Undav on the TV station Sky after the Stuttgart team stopped Eintracht Frankfurt’s winning streak and established themselves in the top group of the Bundesliga.
Thanks to a brace from Undav (1st/45th + 1 minute), the Swabians won 2-1 (2-1) on Saturday evening and maintained third place in the table with 27 points after twelve match days behind Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich.
For referee Felix Brych, his Bundesliga record game ended prematurely at half-time after an injury. The referee suspects a torn cruciate ligament. “I lay on the ground twice and thought: This can’t be true. I collapsed. I already noticed that my knee wasn’t doing well,” explained Brych.
VfB even scores three times
In front of 58,000 spectators in the sold-out Frankfurt Arena, Stuttgart’s Waldemar Anton (26th) scored an own goal to equalize for the Hessians, who had not lost eight competitive games in a row. With 18 points, Eintracht remains in seventh place.
When Brych kicked off, equaling Wolfgang Stark’s record with his 344th Bundesliga appearance, hundreds of Ultras were missing from the Frankfurt fan block. With the action they protested against what they considered to be a disproportionate police operation outside the stadium before the game. According to their own statements, the police also used irritants during the violent clashes.
As soon as the game started, the guests cheered. Undav scored his sixth goal of the season after less than 60 seconds to give VfB the lead, with top scorer Serhou Guirassy sitting on the bench for almost an hour.
“That’s the safety option. He traveled home for 24 hours, last time he came from the national team and was injured,” said Stuttgart coach Sebastian Hoeneß, explaining his decision.
Eintracht appeared unimpressed by the early shock and ran tirelessly towards the opponent’s goal. First Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe failed with a shot past VfB keeper Alexander Nübel, then Ansgar Knauff narrowly missed the target.
Midway through the first half, Frankfurt were rewarded for their efforts. Stuttgart defender Anton deflected a cross from Philipp Max with his head so badly that the ball arced over Nübel into the far corner.
Brych has to go out in a record game
After 34 minutes, Brych had to be treated on the Eintracht bench after he collapsed. The 48-year-old was initially able to continue in charge of the game, but after the change Brych was unable to continue due to a knee injury. Fourth official Patrick Schwengers took over for him.
At this point, Stuttgart were ahead again thanks to Undav’s second goal. The 27-year-old striker scored with his head shortly before half-time. The goal was initially disallowed because the shooter was supposedly offside. The video evidence then provided clarity and cheers among the guests.
When the game restarted, the Swabians earned their lead again, as they were now the more active team. Eintracht lacked the creativity and penetration to be able to put the ball-savvy Swabians in danger.
In fact, Guirassy could have increased the result for the guests in the final phase, but the striker, who was courted by several clubs, missed his 16th goal of the season by a few centimeters with a shot.