This 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 called the European Cup at the time. UEFA, won on Wednesday May 18 in Seville (Spain), against Glasgow Rangers after a penalty shootout (5-4) following a draw (1-1) at the end of regulation time and extensions.
This success, the “Eagles” owe it in large part to their goalkeeper, Kevin Trapp, imperial. After signing two decisive saves at the end of extra time, first ahead of Ryan Kent (118and) then on a free kick from James Tavernier (120and + 2), the former Paris-Saint-Germain goalkeeper stopped Welsh veteran Aaron Ramsey’s attempt during the penalty shootout to crown his team.
Rafael Borré, who already scored the equalizer for the German club in the 69thand minute after the opening of the score of the Rangers signed Joe Aribo (57and), sealed the victory for Eintracht with a final converted shot on goal, to conclude the perfect session with five successful shots out of five.
A bloody start
A historic achievement for Eintracht, which notably defeated FC Barcelona and West Ham, to reach the final and end its 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 lift a European trophy since the legendary Ernst Happel, in 1983 (winner of the C1 with Hamburg).
“We played thirteen 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 disillusion is immense: the Gers have also been waiting for fifty years to regain European glory, since their European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.
If the match was hung until 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, immediately putting his hands on his bloody wound . Long cared for by trainers, he will return to the lawn with a blue and white bandage around his head, after changing his blood-soaked jersey.
“A historic night”
Apart from this incident, the first period turned out to be quite disappointing. The two teams battled for possession, with a lot of technical waste. It will be necessary to wait half an hour to see the first Scottish attempt: a ball rolled up from the left by Joe Aribo, which will not catch the frame, but which forced Trapp to extend with his whole body, just before a essential cool break.
Because the thermometer exceeded 40 ° C in Seville during the day on Wednesday. And it was the supporters of the two teams who set fire to the stands, with songs, drums and tifo for the Germans. The Pizjuan inferno really took shape on the return from the locker room, when the “white wall” of German supporters lit red smoke bombs to carry his team to the final triumph, and put an end to a forty-two-year drought on the continental scene.
“I had dreamed of this night, that it was going to be a historic night for the club, a historic night for me”said Colombian striker Rafael Santos Borré. “Now we’re going to enjoy it. [Les supporteurs] are fantastic, they always accompany us everywhere, and this title belongs to them in part, that’s for sure »he concluded.
“Playing a European final and losing it will always hurt”admitted Dutch Rangers coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst. “It didn’t work out in our favour, but I can’t blame my players after all they gave. (…)I know what it is, I lost a World Cup final, the biggest match that can exist. But you’re always moving forward”he encouraged.
Rangers player James Tavernier did not score in this Europa League final, but he finished as the competition’s top scorer (7 goals), a first for a defender. But small consolation compared to the disappointment of the evening.
The winners of the Europa League since its 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)