Slowly but surely Eintracht Frankfurt's Cinderella season seems to be drawing to a close. Coach Armin Veh's side has simply forgotten how to score. On Sunday, that meant a goalless draw against Hanover.
Frankfurt rolled into Hanover looking to reclaim fourth place, which had been usurped by Schalke on Saturday. Frankfurt hadn't scored since early February, while Hanover's inconsistency had left them in no man's land in the table and needing a win to keep in the running for Europe next season.
Hanover's pitch is never the best, even in good weather, but snowy conditions in Germany rendered it especially soft. Frankfurt were the more attacking and fluid side in the first half, but aside from a goal that was disallowed for offside, there were no clear scoring chances.
After the break, the hosts were much more aggressive. Didier Ya Konan thought he had scored in minute 49, but Pirmin Schwegler cleared on the line. The replay was inconclusive as to whether the goal should have been given.
Hanover pressed, but that was to be their best chance of the second half. Frankfurt created a series of corners in the waning minutes, but the game ended 0-0.
“Something’s missing in the final twenty meters,” Schwegler said after the match. “We’re good at the back but something is just missing up front.”
Coach Veh chose to blame the officials for the early offside call.
"Actually we did break our scoring drought since there was nothing wrong with Alex Meier's goal," Veh complained after the match. "Unfortunately it wasn't allowed to stand so we only got a single point."
For the history books, though, Frankfurt have now failed to score in more than eight hours. They've won only two of their last eight matches and drop to fifth in the table behind Schalke. Hanover tread water in tenth.
Hamburg handle Stuttgart
In Sunday’s late match, Stuttgart were seeking to recover from their listless midweek Europa League loss to Lazio at home against Hamburg. The visitors were bucking for a spot in the top six.
But although the weather was much better down south, the first half of the match was a near carbon copy of the one in Hanover. Stuttgart’s Raphael Holzhauser briefly created danger in minute 16 with a free kick that Hamburg keeper René Adler had to divert on to the crossbar. Otherwise the game was a snooze.
That changed five minutes after the restart when Artjoms Rudnevs took a Dennis Diekmeier cross volley and thumped it into the net. Hamburg were in the lead.
Stuttgart almost levelled things in minute 69. Vedad Ibisevic drew a fine save from Adler with a close-range header. But otherwise the hosts looked just as toothless as they had against Lazio. The match ended 1-0.
The result takes Hamburg up to sixth in the table – not bad for a team with a -3 goal difference. Stuttgart are at -17 and all the way down in fourteenth in the standings. Their only realistic chance of playing internationally next season is the German Cup.