Eintracht continued their good recent form with their first ever Bundesliga victory at Mainz. Silva’s spot-kicks in the 24th and 72nd minutes settled what was a fiercely contested local derby at the OPEL ARENA, as the Eagles recorded three straight league wins for the first time since April 2019.
Head coach Adi Hütter stuck with the same side that earned an impressive 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the opening match of the new year, meaning that midfielder Sebastian Rode – who was available again after a one-game ban – had to settle for a place on the bench.
Silva strikes for team in gold
After a quiet start to the game, Eintracht fashioned the first notable opportunity on 13 minutes, when Filip Kostic fired straight at Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner from a tight angle. The key moment of the first half arrived just after the 20-minute mark, when Silva was dragged back as he attempted to get on the end of Amin Younes’ pass and referee Bastian Dankert awarded a penalty. The Portuguese frontman coolly converted it himself, bagging his tenth Bundesliga goal of the campaign.
Neither goalkeeper was really troubled after that as the Eagles held onto their lead comfortably until the half-time whistle.
Frantic second half
The second period got off to a much livelier start with the Eagles going close three times inside the opening three minutes. After Kostic’s cross was diverted just over by Mainz defender Alexander Hack, Erik Durm’s half-volley sailed narrowly over the bar before Silva’s header from close range produced the same outcome.
That appeared to spark the hosts into life, though, with Jonathan Burkardt spurning two good chances in the space of two minutes. There was another worrying moment for Eintracht in the 60th minute when Dankert pointed to the spot for a high foot from Djibril Sow, but the decision was reversed following a VAR review. Burkardt had another good opportunity shortly after that, but Kevin Trapp produced a strong block to deny the young striker.
With the Zerofivers looking more threatening, Eintracht’s second goal arrived at just the right time. Referee Dankert spotted an infringement by Moussa Niakhaté as Martin Hinteregger tried to reach the rebound from Kostic’s shot, and Silva again made no mistake as he maintained his 100 per cent record from the spot in the Bundesliga. There was no way back for Mainz after that as the Eagles preserved their lead and clean sheet.
Summary: Gritty win
Eintracht were certainly made to sweat for a while during the second half, with Mainz missing a number of good chances and also having two penalty decisions correctly overturned, but that shouldn’t take away from a solid overall performance by the Eagles, who head into a busy few weeks in good form.
Trapp – Abraham, Hinteregger, Ndicka – Durm (Toure 87’), Sow (Ilsanker 87’), Hasebe (Rode 77’), Kostic – Kamada (Barkok 80’), Younes (Zuber 80’) – Silva
0-1 Silva (pen. 24’)
0-2 Silva (pen. 72’)