The spontaneous diagnosis was optimistic after Mario Götze left the field in the 66th minute of Eintracht Frankfurt's 2-0 win over Union Berlin due to an ankle injury: Not that bad.

On the day of German unity, coach Oliver Glasner left no doubt: "Mario will not be there against Tottenham tomorrow, the pain is too great."

Peter Hess

sports editor.

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The Austrian seemed anything but desperate when he broke the bad news.

And when asked to describe the consequences of the former international's absence, he refused: 'There's no point in talking about those who aren't there.

I'm talking about what it takes to win.

We have enough options and quality to win."

factor on offense

Götze has so far fulfilled all the expectations that Eintracht placed on his commitment.

He is the ball magnet that gives the midfield security, he calms things down or speeds things up, whatever is best for Frankfurt.

And his goal to make it 1-0 on Saturday against the Köpenick league leaders was already the second goal of the clock.

But the 30-year-old is only one important factor in the Frankfurt offensive and not the only decisive one.

Randal Kolo Muani and Daichi Kamada contribute at least as much to Eintracht's respectable attacking game, and Jesper Lindström is on course to become the fourth ace in Eintracht's attacking quartet.

His spectacular solo run to 2-0 against Union could become his personal liberation after his self-confidence suffered from the many missed scoring chances in recent months.

"We're playing to win." Glasner's announcement before the third clash of the first Frankfurt Champions League campaign (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on Amazon Prime) didn't seem like the whistle in the woods, but came with a full heart.

Glasner was asked what makes him so optimistic, given that Eintracht are up against the current third in the Premier League, a club that has significantly more resources and many more famous players than Eintracht in the ranks: English national hero Harry Kane, for example, or the currently best Brazilian national striker, Richarlison, who came from Everton in the summer for over 50 million euros.

"The players make me optimistic," said the Eintracht coach, adding: "I know them very well now.

The work on the training pitch is very focused, but we still have a lot of fun on the pitch.

I have seen that this team can surpass itself.

And that will be necessary against Tottenham.

We have to reach our limit.”

Fragile entity?

The atmospheric changes in the Frankfurt syndicate have been immense since the 1-0 defeat against VfL Wolfsburg.

After three victories, what seemed tense and uncertain is resolved and positive.

Glasner denied that there was "pressure on the boiler" after the 0-1 draw against Wolfsburg.

"We were only critical of ourselves because I thought we hadn't learned anything from last season." But that glosses over the situation at the time a little.

The unit seemed quite fragile for a short time after Glasner had found very clear words to individual players and also to sports director Krösche.

Glasner did not answer which of his measures had led to relaxation.

But nothing heals more in professional football than victories.

The 1-0 win in Marseille was decisive for team captain Sebastian Rode, which meant Eintracht's first victory in their Champions League history.

“It was like a baptism of fire.

Anyone who survives something like this comes out of it with a lot of confidence.” In Marseille, the stands were in a state of emergency, dozens of gunshots gave the confrontation an eerie, aggressive atmosphere, which in some scenes was transferred to the pros.

Against Tottenham, Rode is looking forward to one of the magical Frankfurt European Cup nights and "a great opponent".

The situation in the group changed a bit after Tottenham's defeat at Sporting Lisbon.

The Spurs are no longer the clear favorite.

"The fact that we're playing the two-leg game against Tottenham within a week makes it feel like a knockout round," said Rode.

The opponent is difficult to play on.

"But we've played against opponents like this before, we know what we have to do to control the outstanding attacking individual players." Kristijan Jakic, who has recovered from his hip injury and, according to Glasner, has been training with vigour, will help.

For the coach, the English are still the favorites to win the group.

“They were very unlucky to lose at Sporting.

If this game went like this again, they would win.” After the extensive video analysis, Glasner sees his team well prepared for a defensively oriented opponent who prefers to rely on the fast counterattacks of his outstanding individualists than on long periods of ball possession.

A bit like Union, only with a much higher individual footballing quality.

The fact that Tottenham can afford professionals who have a market value of 50 million euros and well above (Kane) does not make Glasner jealous.

This would not result in unfair competition.

The Premier League clubs would now get a lot more TV money: “And they can spend that with every right in the world.

I'm not worried about that, otherwise we wouldn't have even flown to Barcelona last season."