Champions League group stage recap: Frankfurt make the step up
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
UEFA Europa League winners last season, Eintracht Frankfurt have not looked out of place on their UEFA Champions League debut.
Article top media content
Beaten 3-0 at home by Sporting CP on Matchday 1 in their first ever UEFA Champions League group stage game, Oliver Glasner's Eintracht Frankfurt rallied to finish second in their section with a 2-1 win in Lisbon in their final match in the section.
UEFA Europa League winners last season, Frankfurt fans have been making their signature chant "Europas beste Mannschaft SGE" ("Europe's best team SGE") heard at the very highest level.
Campaign so far
Group D runners-up: W3 D1 L2 F7 A8
Top scorer: Daichi Kamada (3)
07/09: Frankfurt 0-3 Sporting CP (Edwards 65, Francisco Trincão 67, Nuno Santos 82)
13/09: Marseille 0-1 Frankfurt (Lindstrøm 43)
04/10: Frankfurt 0-0 Tottenham
12/10: Tottenham 3-2 Frankfurt (Son 20 36, Kane 28pen; Kamada 14, Alidou 87)
26/10: Frankfurt 2-1 Marseille (Kamada 3, Kolo Muani 27; Guendouzi 22)
01/11: Sporting CP 1-2 Frankfurt (Arthur Gomes 39; Kamada 62pen, Kolo Muani 72)
Campaign in ten words: Frankfurt mature as a team as the fairy tale continues.
UEFA.com Frankfurt reporter
"We are a comeback side" and "We are enjoying these knockout-style matches" are oft-repeated phrases among the Eintracht players – the Matchday 6 triumph over adversity away at Sporting CP only reinforces that viewpoint for a side whose ability to feed off their fans is the envy of many. It has been an incredible 18 months for this club, who lifted the UEFA Europa League and have transferred that spirit into the elite club competition. Write them off at your peril.
How do Frankfurt play?
Eintracht play a 3-4-2-1 for the majority of the time, and experiments with a back four did not bring much success. Largely a counterattacking side when they won the Europa League last term, they have made giant strides branching out into a more possession-based game. Creative midfielders Mario Götze, Jesper Lindstrøm and Daichi Kamada all help in this endeavour, though there is room for further growth as a team.
Fantasy star performers
Daichi Kamada – 35 points
Evan N'Dicka – 31 points
Djibril Sow – 27 points
In: Philipp Max, Almamy Touré, Aurélio Buta
Out: Jens Grahl, Jérôme Onguéné, Luca Pellegrini
Clubs had until 24:00 CET on Thursday 2 February to register a maximum of three new eligible players prior to the knockout stage. Since 2018/19, it no longer matters whether those players have already played in the competition for another club, even for another club still in the competition.
• Frankfurt's Djibril Sow covered 74km of ground across his six appearances – the longest distance of any player in the group stage.
• Frankfurt won possession 296 times during the group stage – at least 18 more ball recoveries than any other side.
• This is Frankfurt's first UEFA Champions League group stage campaign; prior to this season, their last European Cup game was the final of the 1960 competition, which they lost 7-3 to Real Madrid.