As recently as 2005, Alemannia Aachen were playing in the last-32 stage of the UEFA Cup. One year later, Eintracht Frankfurt were taking part in the same continental competition, albeit one they exited at the group stage despite remaining unbeaten against the three teams who progressed at their expense – Newcastle United, Celta Vigo and Fenerbahçe. Half a decade later, however, the good times are over for both clubs, and they meet on Sunday afternoon in a 2. Bundesliga clash which sees Friedhelm Funkel return to the club he coached between 2004 and 2009. After embarking on a star-heavy recruit drive over the summer, Aachen looked as though they’d be up there with Frankfurt – who retained the majority of their Bundesliga squad post-relegation – challenging for promotion to the top-flight. Yet, despite having one of the tightest defences in the league, goals have proved hard to come by (a mere eight in 14 games), meaning that Aachen come into this game second-bottom in the table. Continue reading
Limited but determined Aue overcame an Aachen side who forgot to bring their shooting boots with them to East Germany.
The away side started the game brightly, stringing together a number of sharp one-twos, looking comfortable and confident both in possession and in their formation, and playing in particular off roving front-man Marco Stiepermann, who showed some neat touches early on. But it was Rico Schmitt’s Aue who created the game’s first chance after Jan Hochscheidt showed power and strength to run from the byline boomerang-style to the D, before skying a right-footed rocket over, ruining his good work. Whereas the hosts were initially more direct in their approach to attacking, often knocking a ball down the wing for one of the widemen to chase, Aachen adopted a more structured approach, generally getting Stiepermann to drop and attempt a flick on for Benjamin Auer after building from the back. Continue reading