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Frankfurt 1-1 Barcelona: Eintracht denied famous victory

Ferran Torres put the finishing touches on a neat passing move to deny Frankfurt a first-leg advantage in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final opener.

UEL 2021/22 - Highlight - Medium
Highlights: Frankfurt 1-1 Barcelona

Frankfurt and Barcelona conjured up a spectacular goal apiece to leave their UEFA Europa League quarter-final all square after an engaging contest in Germany.

Key moments

48' Ansgar Knauff's dipping half-volley breaks deadlock
66' Ferran Torres caps neat passing move for equaliser
78' Tuta dismissed for second bookable offence

Match in brief: Ferran Torres clinches draw in style

Both sides started brightly, with Kevin Trapp pulling off a smart fingertip save to deny Ferran Torres with just three minutes gone. The hosts cut through the Barcelona defence just moments later, with Djibril Sow slicing wide from close range following Jesper Lindstrøm's cutback.

Ansgar Knauff fires Frankfurt in front
Ansgar Knauff fires Frankfurt in frontAFP via Getty Images

The Bundesliga outfit deservedly took the lead just after the break, when Ansgar Knauff sent a dipping half-volley out of Marc-André ter Stegen's reach after the visitors had only half-cleared a corner. Oliver Glasner's men almost doubled their advantage straight away, but Lindstrøm blasted wide from Filip Kostić's low centre.

However, Xavi Hernández's introduction of Ousmane Dembélé and Frenkie de Jong just after the hour mark paid dividends, with both combining in the neat passing move that Ferran Torres capped with a crisp finish. The hosts were reduced to ten men in the closing stages when Tuta was shown a second yellow card, but the Bundesliga club held firm.

As it happened: Frankfurt 1-1 Barcelona

Steffen Potter, Frankfurt reporter

Frankfurt demonstrated that they relish these European nights and can raise their performances when compared to the Bundesliga. Tonight, they again proved capable of being resilient and uncomfortable opposition for almost any team and, had they been a bit more clinical with their chances and counterattacks, could even have clinched a historic win. Going to Barcelona next week they are very much in this tie.

Semi-finals: 28 April and 5 May

Leipzig / Atalanta vs Braga / Rangers
West Ham / Lyon vs Frankfurt / Barcelona

Graham Hunter, Barcelona reporter

Xavi Hernández tries to rouse his troops
Xavi Hernández tries to rouse his troopsAFP via Getty Images

The 'Xavi' effect at Barça, since November, has been both impressive and unrelentingly positive. But this match in Frankfurt showed an unwanted side effect. The Catalan coach has raised the level of Dembélé and Frenkie de Jong so significantly that, without them, the Blaugrana looked much less effective. Neither Gavi nor Adama Traoré were poor, but the impact of the Frenchman and Dutchman was palpable. This was the latest in a series of matches in which Barcelona have matched quality with character.

Reaction

Ansgar Knauff, Frankfurt goalscorer: "We have taken part in a great match. They created a beautiful goal; you cannot deny that. Everyone could see we can compete with them."

Oliver Glasner, Frankfurt coach: "We were very disciplined, especially after the red card, so I can be very pleased with our performance. We have to accept the goal they scored, it was a classy move and the only clear chance they had. This makes me very proud. We now have to up the ante even more in Barcelona and still have a chance to progress."

Xavi, Barcelona coach: "Our goal was superb. We were starting to get to the danger zone via the wings, but it was the product of huge talent from my players. I thought we were a little more sluggish than usual early on here but Frankfurt are a good team, and we knew that."

Ferran Torres, Barcelona goalscorer: "To go behind but end up drawing might end up a very valuable result for the second leg. Frankfurt were a tough opponent – they made things difficult."

Key stats

  • Frankfurt are unbeaten in their last eight UEFA club competition matches against Spanish sides (W5 D3).
  • Frankfurt have drawn each of their last four matches in all competitions.
  • Knauff's goal was his first in senior UEFA club competition.
  • Ferran Torres has struck five times in his last seven outings for Barcelona.

Line-ups

Frankfurt: Trapp; Tuta, Hinteregger, N'Dicka; Knauff, Jakić (Rode 89), Sow, Kostić; Lindstrøm (Hauge 73), Borré (Ache 89), Kamada (Touré 80)

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Ronald Araújo, Piqué (Lenglet 23), Eric García, Jordi Alba; Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Gavi (De Jong 62); Traoré (Dembélé 62), Aubameyang, Ferran Torres

Where is the 2022 Europa League final?

Sevilla's Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium will stage the final on Wednesday 18 May.

The winners gain a place in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage, if they have not qualified via their domestic competition.