Frankfurt fairytale return stutters

Zoltan Stieber 's second-half strike ensured Greuther Fürth claimed a battling point at an in-form Eintracht Frankfurt.

Story highlights

  • Eintracht Frankfurt held to a 1-1 draw by Greuther Fürth
  • Alexander Meier's fifth goal in past games gave home side the advantage after just 20 seconds
  • Zoltan Stieber grabbed an equalizer for Greuther Fürth after the interval
  • Frankfurt sit third in Bundesliga with four point advantage over Borussia Dortmund

Eintracht Frankfurt's fairy tale return to the Bundesliga has had the old romantics yearning for yesteryear.

Once a feared and respected name in German and European football, the club has been in the shadow ever since it reached the European Cup final some 52 years ago.

Back in the big time, Frankfurt has made a blistering start to its season, winning its first four games before being held to a 3-3 tie by champion Borussia Dortmund.

Promotion last season promised a bright future for the club and recent weeks have not disappointed.

Just two defeats from its first nine games had fans dreaming of the old days when their side was a force in European football.

Champions Dortmund held as Eintracht Frankfurt set early Bundesliga pace

In 1959, Eintracht won its one and only Bundesliga title and went on to reach the European Cup final the following year.

Just a mention of the 1960 European Cup final will have the older supporters recollecting memories of how Real Madrid, inspired by Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas, put the Germans to the sword that night.

Puskas, arguably one of the greatest players of his generation, scored four times, while di Stefano netted a hat-trick as Real ran out 7-3 winners in one of the finest football matches in the competition's history.

While the two clubs may have reached the pinnacle on that night in Glasgow, they soon took very different paths as Real continued to conquer, while Frankfurt began to fade.

While Frankfurt did reach the 1980 UEFA Cup, where it lost out to German rivals Borussia Monchengladbach, success has eluded the club in recent history.

The club has struggled to compete with the giants of Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke, instead spending its time moving between the top two divisions.

Not since 2006 has the club appeared in Europe, where it competed in the now defunct UEFA Cup following its appearance in the German Cup final.

Bayern set new record as Dortmund slip up against Schalke

While manager Armin Veh has performed miracles, there have been signs that life at the top is beginning to catch up with Frankfurt.

Last weekend's defeat by Stuttgart, its second of the campaign, brought the players back down to earth.

Its home game against Greuther Fürth, a team sitting bottom of the Bundesliga at the start of the weekend, was supposed to provide the opportunity to get back on track

Frankfurt made the perfect start when Alex Meier scored with an 18-yard drive after just 20 seconds to claim his fifth goal in as many games.

But while many expected Greuther Fürth to capitulate, it was quite the opposite as Frankfurt were forced on to the back foot for much of the contest.

Fürth, who was promoted from the second division alongside Frankfurt last year, has struggled so far this term.

But it refused to give up the fight and Zoltan Stieber fired home a 53rd minute equalizer to claim a point a lift the club off the bottom of the table.

Bayern unbeaten run in Bundesliga halted by Bayer Leverkusen

The result means Frankfurt has 20 points from its ten games so far this season and sits in third ahead of the rest of this weekend's games.

And what next for Veh's side? Well, that would be the small question of a trip to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich side which reached last season's Champions League Final and has won eight of its nine league games this season.

If Frankfurt was unsure whether it was back in the big time, then next week will certainly provide a healthy dose of reality.

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