Eintracht Frankfurt has been disenchanted on its phenomenal trip to Europe and is about to end in the round of 16 of the Champions League. The Europa League winner lost the first leg 0: 2 (0: 1) against the big Serie A leaders SSC Napoli and needs a gala appearance in the second leg on March 15th to make it through. The only second home defeat under coach Oliver Glasner on the European stage caused great disillusionment among the Hessians.
The star striker Victor Osimhen (40th) and Giovanni di Lorenzo (65th), who once failed in Wolfsburg, shot out the well-deserved victory for the Neapolitans. National goalkeeper Kevin Trapp prevented an even greater defeat with a saved penalty against Chwitscha Kwarazchelia (36th) and many saves. To make matters worse, World Cup star Randal Kolo Muani also saw the red card for a rude boarding (58th).
Goosebumps prevailed in the atmospheric Frankfurt Arena against the “big number” from Italy (Oliver Glasner). And with the power of their own audience, Eintracht also tackled the task against the sovereign leaders in Serie A - 15 points ahead of Inter Milan. Daichi Kamada with a blocked shot and Kolo Muani from the inside right (5th each) caused the noise level to skyrocket.
The former club of Diego Maradona was only impressed by the crowd for a good quarter of an hour, then Napoli took command and showed why they are the strongest attacking team in the premier class and Serie A. Led by the fine technician Kwarazchelia and the massive striker Osimhen, the southern Italians, who had already dismantled the top clubs Liverpool FC (4-1), Ajax Amsterdam (6-1) and Juventus Turin (5-1) this season, provided one dominant appearance for mighty vortices.
After a sharp corner by Piotr Zielinski, Trapp had to intervene for the first time (18'), shortly afterwards the busy national goalkeeper was tested by Kwarazchelia (19'). The pressure increased by the minute, it couldn't go well. After a good half hour, Eintracht wobbled alarmingly. Hirving Lozano put the ball on the post (34'), Osimhen was faster on the rebound and was fouled by Aurelio Buta on the edge of the penalty area. But Trapp, the hero of Seville, showed his qualities again when he saved Kwarazchelia's penalty (36'). It was the sixth penalty that Trapp parried on the international stage.
But the joy was short-lived. After a bad pass from Mario Götze it happened. The fast Lozano served Osimhen, who shot in to take the lead. And if the Nigerian hadn't been caught offside two minutes later, Eintracht would have been well behind. It's hard to believe that Osimhen flopped at VfL Wolfsburg between 2017 and 2018 and didn't score a goal back then. In the meantime, its market value has skyrocketed into the three-digit million range.
In any case, the Frankfurt defense, which was directed by Kristijan Jakic as defense chief, had a lot to do. For captain Sebastian Rode it was not enough for the starting eleven after a flu.
In the second half, Luciano Spalletti's team pushed Eintracht back into their own half, but Trapp did what he could. First against Lozano (54th), then great against the free-standing Kwarazchelia (56th). And things got even harder when Kolo Muani was sent off. The Frenchman was a step too late, hitting open-soled Zambo Anguissa in the ankle. So the second goal was almost inevitable. Kwarazchelia served his captain di Lorenzo with a hoe, who shot in unstoppably for Trapp.