It is the first time that a German club has won the Europa League under this name, which appeared in 2010. Eintracht Frankfurt, winner in 1980 of the old version of this European Cup, then the European Cup, UEFA, won on Wednesday 18 May in Sevilla (Spain ), against Glasgow Rangers on penalties (5-4) after a draw (1-1) at the end of regular time and overtime.
The Eagles owe this success in large part to their keeper, Kevin Trapp, Imperial. After two decisive saves at the end of extra time, first for Ryan Kent (118and) and then on a free kick by James Tavernier (120and+2), the former Paris-Saint-Germain goalkeeper stopped Welsh veteran Aaron Ramsey’s penalty shootout attempt to crown his team.
Rafael Borré, who already scored the equalizer for the German club in the 69thand minutes after the Rangers opened the score, Joe Aribo (57and), sealed the win for Eintracht with a final converted shot on target, finishing the perfect session with five successful shots from five.
A bloody start
A historic feat for Eintracht, who notably defeated FC Barcelona and West Ham to reach the final and conclude his odyssey crowned with laurels in the hot Andalusian night, in front of the nearly 44,000 supporters of the Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
Oliver Glasner thus became the first Austrian coach to win a European trophy since the legendary Ernst Happel in 1983 (winner of the C1 with Hamburg).
“We played 13 games in Europe and we haven’t lost any this season. I have no words to describe the hard work these guys have put in to get this far.” exclaimed the Eintracht coach.
For the Scots, on the other hand, the disillusionment is immense: the “Gers” have also been waiting for fifty years for the recapture of European glory, since their European Cup II in 1972.
If the match had stalled to the end, it could have degenerated from the start: at the 5and minute, John Lundstram kicked the ball a little too high, and his studs hit the front of the skull of Eintracht captain Sebastian Rode, who lay down on the lawn and immediately placed his hands on his bloody wound. Long cared for by trainers, he returns to the lawn with a blue-and-white bandage on his head, having changed his blood-soaked jersey.
“A historic night”
Apart from this incident, the first period was rather disappointing. The two teams battled for possession, with a lot of technical waste. We will have to wait half an hour to see the first Scottish attempt: a ball rolled from the left by Joe Aribo who will not catch the frame, but who forced Trapp to stretch with his whole body, just before a break essential freshness.
Because the thermometer exceeded 40°C during the day on Wednesday in Seville. And it was the supporters of the two teams who set fire to the stands, with songs, drums and tifo for the Germans. Pizjuan’s inferno really took shape on the return from the locker room, when the “white wall” of German supporters lit up red smoke to carry his team to final victory and end a 42-year drought on the continental stage . †
“I had dreamed of that night, that it would be a historic night for the club, a historic night for me,” said Colombian striker Rafael Santos Borré. † Let’s take advantage of it now. [Les supporteurs] are fantastic, they always accompany us everywhere, and this title belongs to a part of them, that’s for sure”, he concluded.
‘Playing and losing a European final will always hurt’ Dutch Rangers coach Giovanni Van Bronckhorst admitted. † It didn’t work for us, but I can’t blame my players after all they’ve given. †I know what it is, I lost a World Cup final, the biggest game that can exist. But you’re always moving forward”he encouraged.
Rangers player James Tavernier did not score in this Europa League final, but finished as the league’s top scorer (7 goals), a first for a defender. But little consolation compared to the disappointment of the evening.
The winners of the Europa League since the new formula
2010: Atletico Madrid (ESP)
2011: Porto (POR)
2012: Atletico Madrid (ESP)
2013: Chelsea (ENG)
2014: Sevilla FC (ESP)
2015: Sevilla FC (ESP)
2016: Sevilla FC (ESP)
2017: Manchester United (ENG)
2018: Atletico Madrid (ESP)
2019: Chelsea (ENG)
2020: Sevilla FC (ESP)
2021: Villarreal (ESP)
2022: Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)