3 points for Christmas!

St Pauli secured 3 points in a crucial top of the table battle with Eintracht Frankfurt to keep within touching distance of Fortuna Dusseldorf who lead the 2.Bundesliga table at the Winter Break.

With Fortuna Dusseldorf losing at home to Paderborn on Friday night, Eintracht Frankfurt could have topped the ‘Winter Table’  going into the Winter break with 3 points, but the points were also vital to St Pauli who had seen Paderborn and Greuther Furth to climb above them in the table. Line-ups below:

St Pauli: Tschauner – Schachten, Thorandt, Morena, Funk – Boll, Daube, Bruns, Bartels, Kruse – Ebbers

St Pauli faced early pressure from Frankfurt, with Tschauner having to make a sharp save from a near post header to prevent the away side from taking the lead, before almost carrying his catch from another free-kick over his own goal-line. St Pauli were quite honestly rather wasteful with possession in the final third, their best chance of the opening stages came on 11 minutes – some excellent work down the right from Bruns saw him beat his man to the touchline, but his ball back across the six yard box was too far behind Bartels who could only scoop his effort into the air. St Pauli had plenty of attacking ambition, but it had amounted to nothing in the first 30 minutes – with crosses going astray and final balls not reaching their target. On 31 minutes however, Frankfurt failed to deal with a corner, St Pauli players seemingly did all they could to stop themselves from scoring, before Morena tapped in from 4 yards to give St Pauli the lead.

Before half-time Tschauner was called into action again, a great low save preventing the equaliser before a last ditch defensive block from Morena to keep out the follow-up from hitting the back of the net. Half time approached, St Pauli had a free-kick on the edge of the box in a good position but Bruns could only hit a weak effort straight into the goalkeepers hands.

After the break, St Pauli had a chance to double their lead however again the decision making in the final third cost them. A ball over the top from Schachten found Kruse running inside the box, he cut the ball back to Bartels who was blocked by a combination of the defender and goalkeeper, and the ball came out to Boll on the edge of the box who’s shot was blocked with a seemingly open goal. From the resulting corner a Frankfurt playing seemed to be struck with an object thrown from the crowd, further investigation will no doubt take place on this and hopefully it won’t lead to further punishment.

Eintracht Frankfurt pushed for the equaliser towards the hour mark and had a succession of corners. It seemed inevitable that a goal was coming, and it was only ever going to be for the away side based on the possession. Idrissou had a curling shot from the edge of the box saved brilliant by Tschauner, who then saved a low drive from Gekas a couple of minutes later and managed to pounce on the ball before it rebounded to Idrissou. Morena then cleared a header off the line from yet another corner. With Frankfurt seemingly on the verge of scoring, the goal came.

A corner for Frankfurt was intercepted on the edge of the box by Bartels, who ran the full length of the pitch pursued by 4 Frankfurt defenders. Who managed to hold them off, finding space to play a square pass into Kruse who was spriting past the opposition players into the box – and Kruse expertly fired home the second!

After this, Frankfurt offered very little going forward and St Pauli were happy to settle for the points. St Pauli collected the much needed early xmas present of 3 points to keep them in touch with the leaders at the top of the table.

1) Fortuna Dusseldorf – 42 points

2) Greuther Furth – 40 points

3)  Eintracht Frankfurt – 39 points

4) St Pauli – 39 points

5) Paderborn – 39 points.

Merry Xmas one and all. I’ll leave you with this!