Hoffenheim retained its unbeaten record in the Bundesliga by battling with Eintracht Frankfurt to 0-0 in an ill-tempered match

By Associated Press
December 09, 2016

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Hoffenheim retained its unbeaten record in the Bundesliga by battling with Eintracht Frankfurt to 0-0 in an ill-tempered match that saw Eintracht defender Timothy Chandler sent off on Friday.

There were virtually no chances on either side but plenty of fouls and dirty play in a match that threatened to get out of control at any time.

Chandler was set off in the 83rd minute after a melee, apparently for grabbing the neck of Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner.

Referee Christian Dingert did not give a yellow card until the 52nd, to Eintracht midfielder Marco Fabian, despite the many fouls. By the end of the match, he had handed out eight yellow cards and one red.

"I really don't know why he got the red, I wasn't really aware," Wagner said of Chandler. "I think he was trying to protect me."

After watching a replay, Wagner said, "I guess he put his hand to my neck but I didn't really feel it. It's a football match, it happens. I hope he doesn't get punished too harshly."

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Wagner was involved in another situation that should have produced a red card but went unpunished, when he was elbowed in the face by defender David Abraham.

Eintracht captain Alexander Meier said the referee was too lenient in the first half.

"There were a lot of fouls from the start, maybe he should have given a yellow or two," Meier said.

After the match, Eintracht coach Niko Kovac and his Hoffenheim counterpart Julian Nagelsmann had a heated discussion that also involved the referee.

The match featured two of the league's surprise teams but never lived up to expectations.

Hoffenheim is the only unbeaten team apart from leader Leipzig. After 14 matches, Hoffenheim stayed fourth, one slot above Frankfurt.

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