Barcelona: Underdogs Eintracht Frankfurt scored a major upset when they stunned hosts Barcelona 3-2 on Thursday (Friday AEST) to march into the semi-finals of the Europa League thanks to two goals from winger Filip Kostic.
They will face West Ham, who powered into their first major European semi-final in almost 50 years with an emphatic 3-0 win at Lyon to secure a 4-1 aggregate victory, in the last four. The London side, who won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965, overpowered their French opponents and goals by Craig Dawson, Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen set up a repeat of their 1976 semi-final against Frankfurt.
At the Camp Nou, Serbia international Kostic converted a fourth minute penalty and added another in the 67th with a low drive after Rafael Borre thundered in their second goal in the 36th for a 4-3 aggregate victory and a sensational win.
The Catalans, pre-match favourites after a first leg 1-1 draw in Germany last week, missed a couple of chances with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but were far less threatening than their opponents who could have added to their tally.
Sergio Busquets pulled a goal back for Barca with a powerful stoppage time effort and the Catalans scored again with a Memphis Depay penalty even deeper into stoppage time after Frankfurt’s Evan N’Dicka was sent off. But they ran out of time for a third goal.
In France, following a 1-1 draw at home, West Ham soaked up early pressure at the Groupama Stadium before hitting Lyon in ruthless fashion to lead 2-0 at half-time.
Frankfurt’s Daichi Kamada celebrates at full-time in Barcelona.Credit:AP
Bowen added the third goal soon after the interval and there was no way back for Lyon.
The hosts made a bold start, with Karl Toko Ekambi’s shot from inside the area crashing onto Alphonse Areola’s post after five minutes.
West Ham, however, were also dangerous and Pablo Fornals threatened with a half volley that was well blocked by Julian Pollersbeck.
Lyon continued to pile the pressure but the London side kept their composure and opened the scoring seven minutes from the break.
West Ham’s Declan Rice and Mark Noble.Credit:Getty
Dawson headed home at the near post from Fornals’s corner and they doubled the advantage six minutes later, making the most of Lyon’s shaky defending.
Rice collected a clearance from the Lyon defence just outside the area and beat Pollersbeck with a low shot to give David Moyes’s team a comfortable half-time lead.
“It feels special. Very, very special. We knew it was a tough place to come, we knew they had top individual quality. But we knew we could score goals tonight,” Rice said.
“It’s such a great night. If you can’t get up for these games, you shouldn’t be playing football. We want to reach the final, and will give it everything.”
Lyon fans attempt to enter the field of play after full-time.Credit:AP
Lyon’s hopes were all but over three minutes into the second half after manager Peter Bosz had sent on Tete and Lucas Paqueta to boost his attacking line.
Fornals sent a diagonal pass to Bowen, who raced down the middle and fired a searing shot past Pollersbeck.
Moussa Dembele and Tete had chances for Lyon but lacked precision and West Ham comfortable closed out the win, only Lyon’s third home defeat in the competition in 24 games.
A modest 10th in the Ligue 1 standings, Lyon have little left to play for this season and their fans vented their frustration as a security cordon was deployed around their bench in the closing stages of the game.
The other semi-final will feature Rangers and Leipzig. Kemar Roofe struck in extra-time as Rangers beat nine-man Braga 3-1 (3-2 on aggregate) while Leipzig won 2-0 at Atalanta for a 3-1 overall victory.
Watch football’s biggest superstars in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League on Stan Sport.
Most Viewed in Sport
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article