Are you watching, Real Madrid? Jovic scores again for in-form Eintracht Frankfurt

By Sports Desk January 23, 2021

Luka Jovic continues to make an impressive impact back at Eintracht Frankfurt after scoring again for the Bundesliga club – meaning the striker has already surpassed his goals tally for Real Madrid.  

The Serbia international departed Frankfurt after a hugely productive 2018-19 season, during which he scored 27 times in all competitions.  

Madrid paid €60million to sign him, though the move has failed to work out as hoped. During his 18 months in the Spanish capital, Jovic managed just two goals in 32 appearances, albeit he started on just 11 occasions.  

However, a return to familiar territory has helped the 23-year-old - who will spend the rest of the season on loan in Germany - quickly rediscover his form. 

He scored twice in his first game back, a 3-1 triumph over Schalke, and while unable to find the net as a substitute against Freiburg, he was on the scoresheet once more on Saturday.  

On as a second-half substitute once again, Jovic rounded out the scoring for Adi Hutter's in-form side as they thrashed Arminia Bielefeld 5-1 on the road.  

It means the former Benfica player has now managed three goals from four attempts in just 76 minutes of action for Eintracht - and he is also having a big impact on one of his team-mates.

Filip Kostic provided two assists against Bielefeld and, according to Hutter, has been rejuvenated by the arrival of his countryman.

"I do think that his improvement has a lot to do with the return of Luka, because they got along really well and are friends off the pitch, as well as in the Serbia national team," Hutter told the media. 

"So, I think that played a part in it, too. But I felt that when Luka came, Filip's confidence went up a lot." 

Andre Silva was the beneficiary of Kostic's work, the Portuguese forward grabbing a first-half brace to take his tally to 14 in 18 league games, equalling a club record previously set by Theofanis Gekas. 

"We worked hard for this win and we deserved it," Silva said. "I was in the right place with the first goal, and with the second I hit the ball really well.  

"Luka is a great player. We can get even better together and help the team even more."

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    D.C. have slipped to 11th in the Eastern Conference standings by failing to win any of their last seven matches, their last victory coming against Atlanta United on May 12.

    They were beaten 1-0 in a rematch with the Five Stripes in midweek, leading Lesesne to lament their failings with the ball.

    "It's a tough position to be in right now," Lesesne said. 

    "Everyone's frustrated — that's clear to see — but at the same time we're not doing enough to earn ourselves points, and that's the truth. We have to demand more.

    "When you're playing at home you can't allow a team to come into a game. There are periods in the games where we just don't do enough and that's disappointing.

    "We defend quite well and press quite well, but with the ball right now we need to be better, we need to be more composed in certain areas of the game."

    Houston, meanwhile, are eighth in the Western Conference after registering three successive 2-2 draws, the latest seeing them blow a 2-0 lead against the Seattle Sounders.

    Head coach Ben Olsen was infuriated by the way they failed to make a positive performance count in that match, saying: "It was a poor result and it's happened too many times where we've done so much good, then shot ourselves in the foot.

    "We don't score the extra goal and then we let them back into the game through complacency, it's a recurring thing."

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    D.C. United – Christian Benteke 

    Benteke won 10 of 12 aerial duels for D.C. United last time out, his 11th match this season with at least 10 aerial duel wins. All other MLS players combined have four such games.

    Houston Dynamo – Latif Blessing 

    Blessing scored both of the Dynamo's goals in their draw with Seattle on Wednesday and has now scored five goals in his last five games. 

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    Former England defender Jamie Carragher was among those to highlight the lethargic nature of the display, saying more energy was required from the bench.

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    Southgate's reluctance to use Gordon was a hot topic on social media, with England again looking lopsided in the absence of a natural left winger or left-back.

    Just 23.3% of England's attacking touches came on that flank, with 44.6% coming on the right-hand side, where Kyle Walker – not renowned for his attacking qualities – often looking like the Three Lions' best outlet.

    One major criticism of Southgate at recent tournaments has been a perceived failure to change games from the bench, but does the data back up that idea?

    As far as the Euros are concerned, yes. Southgate has made 33 substitutions in total at the 2020 and 2024 editions, with those players playing a total of 682 minutes.

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    Those goals have come via 13 players, with nobody netting more than two (Tammy Abraham, Danny Welbeck, Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount, Grealish and Kane).

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    Carragher wrote for The Telegraph: "Unfortunately, two of the best Premier League footballers – Trent Alexander-Arnold and Phil Foden – will have to be sacrificed now.  Introducing Alexander-Arnold into midfield in a major tournament was always a risk. 

     

    "It is a more physically demanding position than full-back, and, on the evidence so far, Alexander-Arnold has more time and space to utilise his passing range when he is in the hybrid role.

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    Foden did not have a single touch in the attacking third within the width of the six-yard box against Denmark, and when it came to making changes, Southgate preferred to stick with a below-par Bellingham rather than shift the Manchester City star infield.

    Southgate's substitutions will be key if England are to grow into this tournament, and the data suggests he has improvements to make in that area.

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