Captain Lars Stindl has helped power Hannover to just their third away win of the season. Early goals against an off-color Frankfurt, coupled with a gung-ho gameplan going forward, turned the tide for the guests.
The Bundesliga got off to an early start on Thursday evening, owing to Easter weekend pushing the Friday game forward. Hannover got the rescheduling memo, Eintracht Frankfurt's back four appeared not to.
Within 90 seconds, the guests took the lead - capitalizing on some diabolical defending. Sebastian Jung in particular failed to deal with a low cross from the right, allowing Hannover to set up for another attack from the opposite side. Left-back Christian Pander floated in a great delivery and Leon Andreasen - who had charged forward to get in on the action - headed past Kevin Trapp.
Hannover's woes on the road in recent seasons means that any away lead is as much a cause for concern as it is jubilation - and Tayfun Korkut's side shipped an equalizer from Frankfurt's first solid chance.
Tranquilo Barnetta delivered an inswinging free-kick from the left flank, which Martin Lanig poked home at the back post on 13 minutes.
Stindl, Andreasen, Pander power Hannover
Frankfurt's equalizer had a more positive impact on Hannover, who returned the favor with a set-piece routine of their own.
Christian Pander floated in the delivery from deep and Lars Stindl lost his marker Lanig to score a third header of the night - 20 minutes into the match.
Emboldened by a renewed lead, Hannover began to seize the momentum. Ten minutes later, the game now more or less a one-way street, Hannover finally scored a goal involving feet.
Lars Stindl picked out Leon Andreasen just inside the area, the Dane showed remarkable composure to check his marker and then stab a chipped pass through the gap to Didier Ya Konan. The Ivorian provided the finishing touch to make it 3-1.
Coach Armin Veh in the Frankfurt dugout was as displeased as one might expect - subbing off captain Pirim Schwegler for the more offensive-minded Alex Meier well before half time. The alteration provided little immediate attacking impact, but Frankfurt at least made it to half time without conceding a fourth.
Post, crossbar, off the line - then a goal at other end
Even defending a rare away lead, Hannover continued to steam forward in the second half. The tone was set moments after the restart, when Frankfurt's midfield invited Andreasen to advance unopposed. The Dane accepted his gift and used the space to shoot from distance, rattling Kevin Trapp's post.
Four minutes later, Trapp was a spectator again - this time as Stindl combined with Szabolcs Huszti down the left. The Hungarian rifled his shot against Trapp's crossbar instead.
The next close-range shot to beat Trapp - who was receiving precious little help from his back four - went through the keeper's legs. However, Manuel Schmiedebach's header was cleared off the line by Madlung. Replays suggested that, in hindsight, the defender might have arrived too late - but no goal was given.
Against the run of play, Frankfurt pulled a goal back. Alex Meier scored the fourth header of the night - in a game to forget for all fans of man marking -on 68 minutes to create a nervy closing period for Hannover.
The guests held on to win 3-2, however, meaning both Frankfurt and Hannover now have 35 points this season. Both teams were likely eying stronger showings, but do at least appear safe from relegation in 11th and 12th places.