After their sensational win against Barcelona, the Hessians have put the next exclamation mark on their record. The Bundesliga club was also convincing in London against West Ham United.
The title chasers from Eintracht Frankfurt are reaching for the dream goal on their spectacular European Cup journey. Coach Oliver Glasner’s team once again celebrated a magical night at West Ham United, winning the insanely loud first leg of the Europa League semi-final 2-1 (1-1). This means that the Hessians hold all the final cards for their home match next Thursday.
Ansgar Knauff raised hopes of a coup like the one against FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals after just 49 seconds, before Michail Antonio (21) struck back before the break. But Daichi Kamada (54th) ensured the third away win of the knockout round for the SBU, who now even need a draw in the second leg. The final on 18 May would then be a German clash with RB Leipzig or a clash with Glasgow Rangers.
No “eagle invasion” this time
After the “eagle invasion” with 30,000 supporters dressed in white at Camp Nou, thousands of Eintracht fans marched together to the 2012 Olympic stadium. Only 3,000 of them were allowed into the arena, however, as the hosts had a zero tolerance policy outside the visitors’ block. But even the small visitors’ block made its presence felt from the start, and the team, without the suspended Evan Ndicka and Kristijan Jakic, got carried away on the field.
In the first action, the Hessians combined cleverly on the left side and Knauff headed home Rafael Borre’s perfect cross at the second post. But after that, some carelessness crept into the combination play, and the Bundesliga team repeatedly invited the Britons to quick counterattacks. Keeper Kevin Trapp deflected Jarrod Bowen’s shot with his foot against the post (14th), but then Antonio scored after a dubious free kick.
But the third goal for Frankfurt was also possible
As a result, a duel of equals developed with enormous intensity and many duels in midfield. Frankfurt tried a lot of crosses by Filip Kostic, while the team of team manager David Moyes preferred to find the way through the centre. Both teams were united in this phase by a lack of determination, Knauff (37.) just missed the only other chance before the break.
After the change, the SGE got off to the better start, too, with Kamada dusting off after a dream combination in the penalty area. As a result, Glasner’s team was more likely to look for counter-attacks and let West Ham take control of the game. Trapp’s goal was mainly threatened by standards and from distance, with Said Benrahma’s shot (69th) hitting the far post. On the other side, Kamada was unlucky with a shot against the post (79.). In injury time, Bowen hit the crossbar with a bicycle kick.
Eintracht could then meet another German team in the final. RB Leipzig also won the semi-final first leg against Glasgow Rangers (read all about the match here).