Unbeaten Hoffenheim held by Hamburg, debutant Barkok seals Frankfurt win | Bundesliga | DW | 20.11.2016
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Bundesliga

Unbeaten Hoffenheim held by Hamburg, debutant Barkok seals Frankfurt win

Julian Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim remain unbeaten, but couldn't finish off struggling Hamburg. Debutant Aymane Barkok scored a last-minute winner as Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to beat Bremen.

Hoffenheim 2 –2 Hamburg

(Wagner 45+1, Zuber 49 – Kostic 28', Müller 61')

The hosts came from a goal down to lead early in the second half, but a Nicolai Müller strike just after the hour mark rescued a point for winless Hamburg.

The visitors started in the chaotic fashion that has characterized their season. They should have fallen behind twice in the opening ten minutes as their shaky defence threatened to undermine them once again.

First Nadiem Amiri's low 3rd minute cross found Andrej Kramaric in a yard of space eight yards out, but the striker scuffed his shot wide. The Croatian found even more acreage in the Hamburg box seven minutes later as Hamburg's backline switched off again. This time he hit the target but it was a simple save for Christian Mathenia, deputizing for the injured Rene Adler.

Gradually HSV grew in confidence and started to gain a degree of control, creating a series of half chances before taking the lead through Filip Kostic's 28th minute strike. The former Stuttgart winger flew down the left flank, cut inside to beat his man and then struck low through Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann's legs. It was the first time Hamburg had taken the lead in a game since September 10.

Back then they were ahead for 20 minutes before losing 3-1 to Leverkusen. On Sunday they couldn't even hold on that long. Kerem Demirbay lifted in a corner on the stroke of half time, the delivery eluded Hamburg's defenders at the front post before dropping at Sandro Wagner's feet five yards out. Wagner did the rest.

1899 Hoffenheim - Hamburger SV

Hamburg came from behind to rescue a point

Hamburg's fragile confidence was rocked and things quickly got worse four minutes after the re-start. Hoffenheim broke up an HSV attack and moved forward purposefully - Sebastian Rudy sent Pavel Kaderabek free and Steven Zuber arrived to fire home his cross at the back post.

But Hamburg soon proved they could counter attack too. Niklas Süle gave away possession cheaply on the halfway line allowing Kostic to break down the left. He drove the ball low across the box to Lewis Holtby. The former Schalke and Spurs man couldn't convert, but his touch took the ball in to the path of Nicolai Müller who slammed home from close range.

Kramaric competed his hat-trick of missed chances in the 71st minute when he dragged a left-footed shot wide and Holtby went close with a left-footed effort of his own but it was Wagner who missed the best chance of a winner, firing a shot wide after bringing the ball down in the box in injury time. There was still time for Eduardo Vargas to test Mathenia with a free kick but Hamburg clung on.

The result moves Hoffenheim up to fifth but Hamburg remain rooted to the bottom.

 

Werder Bremen 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt 

(Grillitsch 38' - Meier 52', Barkok 90')

Aymane Barkok scored a last-minute winner on his Eintracht Frankfurt debut as the Eagles came from behind to take all three points against Werder Bremen.

Manager Nico Kovac's second half substitutions paid dividends in the Weserstadion, first as Alex Meier drew the visitors level five minutes after the restart, and then as Barkok curled an unstoppable strike into the top corner.

Fußball Bundesliga Werder Bremen gegen Eintracht Frankfurt

Jubilant Frankfurt players celebrate Aymane Barkok's late winner

Werder fans were excited at the return of long-term absentees Claudio Pizarro and Max Kruse to a starting eleven which, with Serge Gnabry also involved, suddenly boasted significant potency in the final third. As for the visitors, Kovac made only one change from the 1-0 victory over Cologne, Branimir Hrgota starting ahead of Meier.

As the first half progressed, it was the Bremen youngster Serge Gnabry, who scored a hat-trick on his debut for Germany against San Marino last week, who posed the hosts' greatest threat.

In the 21st minute, he left Frankfurt defender Jesús Vallejo behind before before firing a dangerous cross-cum-shot across the face of goal - any touch would have taken it over the line. Thirteen minutes later, the 21-year-old fired a half-volley over the bar following a lovely control and turn.  

But what Gnabry can do, Florian Grillitsch can do better, bringing down Moisander's long ball expertly just inside the box and firing an unstoppable half-volley into the top corner. A fantastic strike to give Werder a deserved half-time lead.

Half-time: enter Kovac. Or more precisely, enter Meier. Kovac's substitution paid dividends in the 52nd minute as a fortunate bounce saw the ball land at Meier's feet, and Frankfurt's football god made no mistake, steering a low shot past Wiedwald.

Meier, with a goal and a further two chances within 15 minutes of coming on, had changed the game, but Frankfurt soon threatened to undo all their good work when Hradecky played the ball straight to Philipp Bargfrede. Kruse dummied the German's pass which then found Pizarro in yards of space, but Hradecky redeemed himself by tipping the Peruvian's shot over the bar.

Time for Kovac's second super-sub, as Barkok replaced Gaćinović. When Bremen failed to clear their lines, the ball fell to the former Frankfurt under-19 player who cut onto his left foot and curled a beautiful strike into the top corner to send the travelling Frankfurt fans wild with ecstasy and Eintracht Frankfurt to joint third in the Bundesliga.

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