Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers on penalties to win the Europa League in dramatic fashion on a tense night in Sevilla.
After a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and extra time, the game went to a shootout where Aaron Ramsey saw his effort saved by Kevin Trapp and Raphael Borre buried the decisive kick.
In a dull first half Frankfurt began the better, Jesper Lindstrom wasting a decent opportunity when a corner was cut back to him. But gradually Rangers asserted, Joe Aribo bending a fine shot wide with Trapp beaten.
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The second half was a much better game, and on 57 minutes Aribo gave Rangers the lead after consecutive error from Djibril Sow and Tuta. But similar – though less egregious – behaviour from Scott Wright, Connor Goldson and Calvin Bassey meant that Borrre equalised on 69.
Both teams flogged themselves in search of a winner, but neither had the class to find one, and effectively shook hands on a draw with five minutes to go.
Hard though they tried, neither side had the class or legs to force the issue in extra time – though Kevin Trapp made a life-defining save two minutes before the end – so penalties it was and Ramsey was the fall guy as Frankfurt celebrated the win, the trophy and entry to next season’s Champions League.
By playing 4-3-3, he neutered James Tavernier, the competition’s top scorer, as an attacking force – he spent most of the night marking Philipp Kostic – and to didn’t seem coincidental that when he switched to 3-5-2, in extra time, his team began to dominate.
Similarly, Kemar Roofe made an immediate impact, and though he might not have been fit enough for much, he was surely fit enough for more than five minutes. Nevertheless, though Rangers will worry that they’ve missed a rare opportunity, there is the sense that something is building.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Calvin Bassey (Rangers) He’s been a revelation during this run and was almost impeccable tonight – again.
Rangers’ Italian-born English defender Calvin Bassey (R) vies with Frankfurt’s Norwegian midfielder Jens Petter Hauge during the UEFA Europa League final football match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Glasgow Rangers at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium
Image credit: Getty Images
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp 8, Tuta 5, Toure 6, Nduka 6, Knauff 7, Rode 6, Sow 5, Kostic 7, Kamada 6, Lindstrom 6, Borre 7. Subs: Hasebe 6, Hauge 6, Jakic 6, Hrustic 6.
Rangers: McGregor 6, Tavernier 6, Goldson 6, Bassey 8, Barisic 5, Jack 5, Lundstram 6, Kent 5, Wright 5, Kamara 6, Aribo 6. Subs: Davis 6, Sakala 5, Arfield 7, Ramsey 6, Roofe 7.
Oliver Glasner is the first Austrian coach to win a major European competition since Ernst Happel won the1983 European Cup with Hamburger SV.
52’ – LONG KICK, FLICK-ON And Borre is charging through the middle, Goldson in pursuit! He slows up, goes again, and Goldson puts a foot in front of him, so Borre vaults over it and hollers for a penalty, but I’m going to jump the gun and say no. VAR checks, and concludes to that effect.
57’ – GOAL! Eintracht Frankfurt 0-1 Rangers (Aribo) OH MY DAYS! They could’ve been one down but now they’re one up! Goldson wins a header when Trapp kicks long, Sow tires to reurn but the ball skids backwards off the top of his heid, Tuta slips, and Aribo strides through the middle, opens his body to go right corner, then and passes home on the left side! MAYHAM!
95’ – CALVIN BASSEY SLIPS! Eesh! He’s out on the left and Borre streaks off towards goal! But Bassey tracks him like his life depends on it, which it does, slide in, and cedes a corner that comes to nowt. Brilliant recovery.
118’ – THIS IS THE CHANCE! A ball over the top and into the channel, Roofe is onto it, he cuts back from the line and here comes Kent to win the trophy! He makes lovely contact, punching a sidefooter … but Trapp is on him so quickly, spreading himself, and he keeps it out! That’s a brilliant save, it really it, especially at that moment, but Dvis is following up and he clatters with laces … but it takes two deflections, yet earns a goalkick! That was THE MOMENT!
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