Berlin (AFP) – Ante Rebic scored for the third Bundesliga game in a row but was also sent off as Eintracht Frankfurt capped a successful week with a 2-1 win at Hoffenheim.
The visitors were made to work for their victory at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena after being reduced to 10 men in the 62nd minute when Croatia forward Rebic received his second yellow card of the game.
Paris Saint-Germain loanee Kevin Trapp preserved Frankfurt’s victory in the 93rd minute with a stunning one-handed reflex save, denying Hoffenheim after Ishak Belfodil’s last-gasp header looked set to snatch them a point.
Hoffenheim dominated an exhausted Frankfurt in the dying stages, with on-loan Arsenal teenager Reiss Nelson scoring his second goal in three appearances to trim the deficit in the 82nd minute.
Frankfurt’s opening goal came against the run of play in a first half dominated by the home side. Hoffenheim had several clear-cut chances but could only hit the woodwork.
From a wayward throw in, Luka Jovic’s long pass up the left hand side drew Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann out of his box. Rebic noticed Baumann advancing and chipped it over the retreating keeper.
Eintracht doubled their lead just 30 seconds after half-time, with Jovic taking advantage after Baumann failed to handle a low cross from Filip Kostic to hammer it home.
In Sunday’s opening game, Freiburg drew 0-0 at home to Bayer Leverkusen.
Both teams came into the match sitting just above the relegation places and had plenty to play for, but were let down by a lack of energy and focus.
Freiburg pinned their hopes on absorbing pressure and counter-attacking, but were let down by the lack of a recognised centre forward to put away any of the half chances they managed to create on the counter.
The home side’s best chance of the game came in the 90th minute through Luca Waldschmidt who found himself with time and space well inside the box, but his shot ricocheted off the post.
Despite boasting some of the Bundesliga’s best young attacking talents in Julian Brandt, Leon Bailey and Kai Havertz, Leverkusen looked blunt and lethargic in attack.
On their rare trips to the final third, Bayer’s efforts were scuppered by misplaced passes and poor communication.
The Leverkusen side which roared out of the blocks last week to take a 2-0 lead over Borussia Dortmund was nowhere to be seen, with Heiko Herrlich’s men feeling the effects of a midweek 4-2 Europa League win over AEK Larnaca.
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