Eintracht Frankfurt Beat Rangers on Penalties to Win Europa League
Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to force the Europa League final against Rangers to penalties and emerge winners after a flawless display in the shootout that ended 5-4.
Nothing could separate the sides after 90 minutes regular time and the following extra time as the score stood level on 1-1. Former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey was the only player to miss out the kick in the shootout.
Frankfurt appeared to be the more settled of the two sides during the majority of the first half, however the Scots did improve as the half progressed.
Allan McGregor deflected Ansgar Knauff’s shot wide to deny Eintracht the greatest opportunity of the half. Joe Aribo and John Lundstram each had shots for the Rangers, with Aribo’s going just wide and Lundstram’s hitting the crossbar.
Rangers took the lead in the 57th minute when Joe Aribo scored against the run of play, after a series of defensive miscues, by charging clear and slotting the ball past Trapp.
However, the Germans reacted quickly and were on the verge of levelling at any time. They squandered a golden opportunity to draw level before Rafael Borre converted from close range as Rangers failed to clear a cross into their six-yard box.
The Bundesliga side dominated the proceedings and looked to put the game to bed on regular time. However, the Scots withheld the pressure and held on to force the match into 30 minutes extra time.
The best chance in the extra 30 minutes fell to Rangers substitute Ryan Kent, but Kevin Trapp blocked the shot from inside three yards with an incredible stop. He also did well to save a last-second freekick from James Tavernier.
The triumph will mark Eintracht Frankfurt’s return to the Champions League for the first time since 1960, when they reached the final of Europe’s premier club competition but lost to Real Madrid. The 62-year wait to return to the UCL is the longest in the history of the tournament.
Before the game, there was fan violence outside the stadium, with supporters of both teams throwing chairs and tables at one another. The night prior, five German supporters were detained following a clash with police.
The majority of the over 150,000 supporters who travelled to Sevilla were without tickets for the final at the 43,000-seat Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.