Frankfurt earn vital victory against fellow strugglers Hannover
Niko Kovac's first home game as Eintracht Frankfurt coach ended in victory as Anis Ben-Hatira scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against fellow Bundesliga strugglers Hannover.
Kovac's second game in charge returned a first league win since January that moved Frankfurt level with Augsburg and Hoffenheim on 27 points, although they remain in the bottom two on goal difference.
But things continue to look bleak for Hannover, whose 12th defeat in 13 matches leaves them 10 points adrift at the bottom and needing a dramatic turn in their fortunes if they are to extend their stay in the top-flight to 15 years.
Ben-Hatira was given his first start for Frankfurt since joining them in the winter break, and he looked particularly keen to impress.
After testing Ron-Robert Zieler from distance, he gave the hosts the lead in the 33rd minute from a lot closer range, albeit from a tight angle.
Haris Seferovic wasted a chance to double Frankfurt's lead early in the second half when he failed to beat Zieler in a one-on-one situation, while Ben-Hatira also came off second best in a duel with the Hannover goalkeeper midway through the second half.
Zieler saved again from Ben-Hatira after once again being let down by his defence, but while he was doing all he could to keep his team in the game there was no such urgency from Hannover's forwards.
Hugo Almeida had a goal ruled out for offside and that was the closest Hannover came to scoring, as Frankfurt pushed them even closer to relegation.