A photo essay by David Shaw
On a blustery afternoon in February, over 40,000 Eintracht Frankfurt fans entered the Commerzbank-Arena to see their team play fierce rivals 1. FC KÃ¶ln. Eintracht’s 2017/18 season had so far been very good; finding themselves on the cusp of Champions League football, a competition they had not played in since they were runners-up to the great Real Madrid in the old European Cup in 1960, whilst three days previously they qualified for the semi-final of Germany’s knock out tournament – the DFB Cup – which they then went on to win.
With so much at stake, Eintracht’s fans required a win, and with a KÃ¶ln equaliser making it 1-1 in the 57th minute, it seemed that this was not going to be the eventuality. However, with the fans loudly behind the team an eight minute, three goal onslaught commenced and with 67 minutes gone, Eintracht were firmly ahead at 4-1. Despite one more KÃ¶ln goal the final thirty minutes were pure joy for the home crowd who were on the road to having their most successful season in decades.
For the travelling 1. FC KÃ¶ln fans, not only did they lose to a fierce rival but it further consolidated their position at the very bottom of the Bundesliga. A few hundred Cologne Ultras were also forbidden from entering the stadium due to violence and their refusal to remove face covering.
As Claas – a Frankurt fan – put it: â€œThe Eagle beat the Goat! The Eagle (Frankurt’s nickname) is now preparing for Europe whilst the Goat for 2.Bundesliga. A perfect match day.â€