Before the game:
After a two week break, it was time for FCB´s next serious job -even if this meant that they needed to play in an empty stadium due to the coronavirus. Marcel Koller made four changes compared to the last competitive game against APOEL FC: Omar Alderete was back after being suspended and Silvan Widmer was back after being ill, replacing Emil Bergström and Elis Isufi. In goal Jonas Omlin was back as usual, replacing Djordje Nikolic who did a great job in Omlin´s absence. Arthur Cabral replaced Kemal Ademi from the get go as Ademi was suffering from an injury.
FCB´s record against German teams in the knockout stage of the European Cup hasn’t been great until now. Red-blue has never been able to prevail in four previous attempts.
The first half:
FCB needed a little time to get back into rhythm. As the fixture kicked off, Frankfurt dominated with attacking football. Defensively, red-blue was solid right from the start, only permitting Sebastian Rode´s long distance attempt on target. After about twenty minutes of play the fixture became much more balanced and FCB started to attack.
it was a special game without the supporters in the stands but we remained concentrated throughout the fixture.
After half an hour it was Samuele Campo´s time to shine. Basel´s number 10 placed a wonderfully struck free kick, around/over the wall, into the back of the net, from a distance of around 25 meters. Just before half time FCB could have easily scored another goal; Silvan Widmer´s header just missed the target.
The second half:
FC Basel 1893 started the 2nd half with the same energy they presented within the first 45 minutes, creating several opportunities to score. Fabian Frei had the best chance, but failed to score as his contact with the ball wasn’t on par, failing to hit the target. The hosts were able to react and subsequently had their best phase of the game creating several chances.
Our counter attacks were dangerous and our defense was solid.
Frankfurt put on the pressure during the final minutes of the fixture, but this only opened up more room for FCB to counter attack. The visitors scored another two goals resulting in a solid victory for FCB. Substitute Kevin Bua played a major role: he scored the 2-0 after Samuele Campo helped to create the scoring opportunity. 3-0; Kevin Bua played a one-two pass with Fabian Frei on the centre line, ran into the penalty area, then found Fabian Frei again who scored the 3-0. Boom!
After the game:
Even the greatest Basel optimists would not have expected a 3-0 victory in Frankfurt. FCB surprised with yet another magical Europa League night and therefore created an excellent starting position before the second leg fixture. Even if such a clear and evident victory was not expected against Frankfurt, this result underlines FCB´s tremendous Europa League campaign. FCB won their fourth consecutive Europa League fixture without conceding a goal. With a total of seven wins, Rotblau is the most successful team in this competition at the moment.
WE were able to PREPARE extensively ahead of this fixture, BUT WE DIDN'T expect A 3-0 VICTORY.
Even if the second leg fixture is scheduled to be played in Frankfurt, Rotblau will be considered favourites on the night, especially after this strong performance and deserved victory.
Eintracht Frankfurt – FC Basel 1893 0:3 (0:1)
Frankfurt Stadion. – No supporters in stadium. – Referee Andreas Ekberg (Sweden).
Goals: 27. Campo 0:1. 73. Bua 0:2 (Campo). 85. Frei 0:3 (Bua).
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp; Hinteregger, Hasebe (74. Illsanker), Abraham; N’Dicka, Rode, Sow (46. Paciência), Touré; Kamada (78. Gacinovic); Kostic, Silva.
FCB: Omlin; Widmer, Cömert, Alderete, Riveros; Xhaka, Frei; Stocker (92. Zhegrova), Campo (78. van der Werff), Petretta (68. Bua); Cabral.
Notes: Eintracht Frankfurt without Fernandes, Russ and Stendera (all injured). FCB without Kuzmanovic, van Wolfswinkel, Zuffi (all injured), Ademi und Ramires (both injured). Substitutes FCB: Bergström, Bua, Bunjaku, Nikolic, Pululu, van der Werff and Zhegrova. – Yellow Cards: 11. Campo. 23. Sow (suspended for 2nd leg fixture). 53. Cömert 75. Alderete. – 65. Hit the crossbar Touré. – European debut for Jasper van der Werff. – No supporters allowed in stadium due to Coronavirus.