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Europa League winners!

Logo: Eintracht Frankfurt

Eintracht Frankfurt

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Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers 5-4 on penalties in the final of the UEFA Europa League after the match finished 1-1.

Oliver Glasner made just one change to his starting line-up following the 2-2 draw at Mainz 05 on the final day of the Bundesliga. Jesper Lindström was passed fit having missed the last four games due to a hamstring injury, and went straight back into the team in place of Jens Petter Hauge.

Close-fought

The early talking point of the match saw Sebastian Rode suffering a nasty cut to the head following a high challenge from John Lundstram (5’), which resulted in play being stopped for a number of minutes and the Eintracht captain requiring a bandage. The first goalscoring opportunity arrived on 12 minutes, when Daichi Kamada wriggled through on goal but was thwarted at close range by goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who also saved Djibril Sow’s follow-up shot. The Eagles were settling into the game and had their best chance of the half in the 20th minute, with Ansgar Knauff dancing into the penalty area before being denied by a good save from McGregor.

Rangers then threatened for the first time when Joe Aribo curled a shot just wide from distance (26’), but clear-cut opportunities remained hard to come by. Filip Kostic dragged a shot wide after a surging run down the left (32’), while the Gers went close during the six minutes of stoppage time when Ryan Jack fired over from the edge of the box.

Level after 90 minutes

Glasner’s men started the second half positively and almost got lucky when Lindström’s effort on the turn was deflected just wide (49’). Shortly after that, Rangers had their best chance yet when the ball came to Ryan Kent on the left of the area, but he lashed it wide (55’). It took a moment of fortune for the deadlock to be broken two minutes later. Sow inadvertently flicked the ball behind him and then Tuta slipped, allowing Aribo a clean run on goal, and he coolly slotted past Trapp.

Eintracht responded well to going behind and were handed a good opportunity when Rangers conceded possession in a dangerous area, but Kamada’s lob landed on the roof of the net (67’). They were level just two minutes later, though. Kostic worked enough space for himself to get the ball into the danger area from the left byline, and Rafael Borré sneaked in between the two centre-backs and prodded in his fourth goal in the competition. Hauge then had a good opportunity moments after coming on, but got underneath his shot from Rode’s lay-off (77’).

The momentum swung back towards Rangers in the dying minutes of regular time, but aside from Fashion Sakala’s attempt from a tight angle (85’), they didn’t really threaten Trapp and there was nothing to separate the two teams after 90 minutes. Trapp steps up

Extra time was a typically cagey affair, with the only notable opening of the first half falling to Borré, who was denied by a last-ditch block from Calvin Bassey – whose slip initially created the opportunity.

In the second half, it was the Scottish side who looked more likely to snatch a winner, with Trapp making saves from Borna Barisic (106’) and Kent (114’) before producing an excellent point-blank stop from Kent (118’). In the final minute of extra time, James Tavernier had a free-kick in a dangerous position, but again the Eintracht goalkeeper was equal to it.

It was Trapp who was the hero again in the shootout. After the first six penalties were all converted, the Germany international saved Aaron Ramsey’s spot-kick. Borré then converted the decisive penalty to settle a nerve-wracking final and spark jubilant celebrations among those in white in the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.

SGE line-up

Trapp – Toure, Tuta (Hasebe 58’), Ndicka (Lenz 100’) – Knauff, Sow (Hrustic 106’), Rode (Jakic 90’), Kostic – Lindström (Hauge 71’), Kamada – Borré

Goals

0-1 Aribo (57') 1-1 Borré (69')

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