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Marco Fabian Returns As Eintracht Frankfurt Avoid Relegation

Marco Fabian made it back into the Eintracht Frankfurt team as they secured their Bundesliga safety against FC Nürnberg. A Haris Seferovic goal proved the difference as Frankfurt won 1-0 in Nuremberg and 2-1 on aggregate.

Eintracht Frankfurt captain Marco Russ, who played the first leg despite being diagnosed with a tumor, was suspended for the second leg in Nuremberg while Mexico international Marco Fabian made it to the bench after being left out of the squad for the the first leg and the last league game against Werder Bremen. 

Eintracht Frankfurt

Marco Fabian added a spark to the match when he came on in the 11th minute. Photo: @sportanosdxt | Twitter

The game started slowly, much as it did in the first leg last week, with Nürnberg attempting to hold on to their precious away goal. The game took a slight upturn after Marc Stendera went down in the 11th minute with a twisted ankle and was replaced by Marco Fabian. The Mexican winger added a little bit more energy to the proceedings and Frankfurt started to gain the upper hand.

Still, chances were at a premium as the first half came and went largely without incident. In fact, to be honest, it was a pretty forgettable first half, to put it nicely.


Frankfurt came out in the second half with more intent, but Nürnberg stayed compact and disciplined. Frankfurt enjoyed the majority of possession, but they struggled to penetrate Nürnberg's defense. Frankfurt fired plenty of shots at Raphael Schäfer's goal, but the keeper was barely called into action. Frankfurt only managed to direct six of their 17 shots on target, and the lack of quality in the final third that has come to define their entire season was clearly evident. 

It looked for a while like Nürnberg would hold out and gain promotion, but in the 66th minute, a lapse of concentration cost them dearly. Some skillful play by Mijat Gacinovic saw him gain a yard of space down the left side of the penalty area before he squared it to Haris Seferovic for an easy tap in. It was a cruel turn of fate for Nürnberg, who had held Frankfurt at arm's length for much of the game. 

Having set themselves up to defend, Nürnberg now had to go out and attack but their inability to maintain possession made that an uphill battle. Marco Fabian almost made them pay following a quick counter attack that put him one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he was quickly smothered by Schäfer.

Nürnberg's best chance fell to Niclas Füllkrug in the 89th minute, but his effort was high, wide and not very handsome. Nürnberg's impotency was summed up by one damning statistic: they failed to get a single shot on target the entire match, and only managed seven attempts. 

At the end of the day, Frankfurt's individual quality was too much for Nürnberg, and in a game of very, very fine margins, that was the crucial difference. Nürnberg defended well, but if they hope to compete with the big boys again, they absolutely have to invest up front and in the midfield as they were hopelessly stranded in their own half for most of the game. 

Eintracht Frankfurt

Mijat Gacinovic scored the equalizer in the first leg and assisted the winner in the second. Photo: @eintracht_eng | Twitter

For Frankfurt, Marco Fabian made a definite impact as he added a directness that was sorely lacking before his introduction. His performance was good enough that Frankfurt should think twice before possibly moving him on. That being said, their finishing and clinicism in the final third is still woeful, and if they don't address it in the summer, they will surely end up in this situation again next season. 

Follow me on Twitter @J_Hansen_89

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