Eintracht Frankfurt are flying high at the moment, and subjected Fortuna Düsseldorf to a stunning 7:1 beating. Leading the way was Serbian striker Luka Jović, whose five goals not only matched Robert Lewandowski's feat from 2015, but also made him the youngest player to achieve the feat in the Bundesliga.
Eintracht coach Adi Hütter made four changes to the team that had snatched victory at Hoffenheim in match day seven. Skipper David Abraham was back after a couple of weeks out through injury, and was joined by Lucas Torro, Mijat Gaćinović and Sébastien Haller. Marco Russ and Allan were on the bench, while Gelson Fernandes was out of the squad and Ante Rebic suspended after his red card against Hoffenheim.
There were just two changes for the visitors, as Friedhelm Funkel looked to reestablish some stability. Rouwen Hennings and Niko Gießelmann were both on the bench, making way for Marvin Ducksch and Kevin Stöger.
Frankfurt stamp their authority
If there was a sense of adventure in Düsseldorf's start to the season, it was a complete turnaround here. Jolted by their current patchy form, Funkel's team adopted a defensive stance. When this tactic works, it usually works well. But when it fails, disaster often follows.
Die Adler would have VAR to thank for their opening goal. There was plenty of scrutiny after Fortuna skipper Adam Bodzek was called for handball, and Frenchman Haller just about managed to beat Michael Rensing from the penalty spot in the twentieth minute.
It was just the spark Hütter's men needed. Six minutes later, they served up a all-Serbian special. Gaćinović started the move, Filip Kostić provided a lovely first-time cross, and Jović finished in spectacular style. He was almost floating, twisting, dancing in the air as his left foot made perfect contact. It was the sort of goal you could watch again and again, from every angle.
After 34 minutes, it got even better for Frankfurt. Kostić was again involved in the buildup, Haller found Jović just outside the penalty area, and the twenty-year-old beat Rensing with a crisp first-time swing of his left boot. I have no idea what the celebration routine between the Serb and Haller was all about though!
When a goalkeeper concedes a stack of goals, it is fair to say that they have not had a great day. But as the Düsseldorf defence were torn apart by the rampant Eagles, Michael Rensing was working overtime. It could have been half a dozen by half-time, but the Fortuna 'keeper managed to keep out a fearsome shot from Torro before parrying a close-range Haller effort just before the break.
The Luka Jović show
Rensing was arguably Düsseldorf's best player, but it was pretty clear that he couldn't keep the home side at bay all by himself. Frankfurt were relentless, and it took just five minutes of the second half for Haller to notch up his brace as he dinked the ball calmly over the 'keeper.
Sub Dodi Lukebakio did manage to pull a goal back for the visitors against the run of play (53.), but this was simply the precursor for what would turn into the Luka Jović show.
If the Serb's first goal was spectacular and his second clinical, the third was smooth and almost nonchalant. Again it was Kostić the provider, and after making his marker Jean Zimmer look a little silly, Jović swept the ball past Rensing to seal his hat-trick.
There was more to come. With two goals in the space of three minutes, Jović turned his hat-trick into a perfect five-goal salvo.
On 69 minutes, Jonathan de Guzmán won the ball just inside the opposition box, and Jović was right on hand to find the back of the net via the base of the upright. Three minutes later, he rounded off his solo show with smart header from Haller's nicely-floated cross.
In scoring his five goals, Luka Jović matched Robert Lewandowski's five of the best against VfL Wolfsburg in 2015.
While he may have taken more time to put everything together (I don't think anybody will ever match five in nine minutes!) the Serb became the youngest player to achieve the feat, and the first from his country to score three or more in the Bundesliga. It was also the first individual "five pack" in the long history of the commerce city club.
What a start to the weekend!
Result: Eintracht Frankfurt 7 (Haller pen 20., 50., Jović 27., 34., 55., 69. 72.) Fortuna Düsseldorf 1 (Lukebakio 53.)