Eintracht Frankfurt are in control of their UEFA Europa League semi-final against West Ham thanks to a 2-1 first-leg win in London.
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Bidding to reach a first European final in 42 years, Eintracht Frankfurt are in control of their UEFA Europa League semi-final against West Ham thanks to a 2-1 first-leg win in London that maintained their unbeaten record in Europe this season, although the English side can take heart from a resounding second-leg away win in the quarter-finals.
• Eintracht came unbeaten through UEFA Europa League D in the autumn, topping the section with 12 points ahead of Olympiacos, Fenerbahçe and Antwerp to qualify directly for the round of 16, where they eliminated Real Betis thanks to an own goal in the last minute of extra time (2-1 a, 1-1 h). They then claimed another Spanish scalp in the quarter-final, knocking out Barcelona with a famous 3-2 victory in the Camp Nou – courtesy of two Filip Kostić goals and a spectacular Rafael Borré strike – following another 1-1 draw in Frankfurt.
• West Ham, making their debut in the UEFA Europa League proper, were comfortable winners of Group H, clinching top spot with a game to spare on 13 points – three more than runners-up Dinamo Zagreb. They then staged an eye-catching extra-time comeback triumph against the competition's serial winners. Sevilla in the round of 16 (0-1 a, 2-0 h) before seeing off Lyon in the last eight, a 1-1 home draw preceding a 3-0 victory in France – West Ham's biggest European away win – with Jarrod Bowen scoring in both games.
• Frankfurt were ahead within 51 seconds of the first leg at the London Stadium, Ansgar Knauff heading in Borré's cross, and although West Ham levelled through Michail Antonio's close-range finish on 21 minutes, the visitors won the game when Daichi Kamada tapped in his fifth UEFA Europa League goal of the campaign early in the second half.
• The clubs' only previous UEFA encounters before this tie – and West Ham's most recent against German opposition – were in the 1975/76 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final, Frankfurt winning the first leg 2-1 at home before the East London side came back to take the tie with a 3-1 victory at Upton Park, Trevor Brooking scoring twice. The Hammers would go on to lose the final, 4-2 to Anderlecht in Brussels.
• Eintracht's last European semi-final was against West Ham's city rivals Chelsea in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League, a tie they lost on penalties at Stamford Bridge after two 1-1 draws to make it four defeats out of four against English clubs in two-legged UEFA knockout ties. Their most recent encounters with Premier League opposition were against Arsenal in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League group stage, when they lost 0-3 in Frankfurt on Matchday 1 – their first home defeat by English visitors (W2 D3) – but won the return 2-1 with a Kamada double.
• West Ham had played another European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final against German opposition in 1965/66, losing both legs (1-2 h, 1-3 a) to eventual winners Borussia Dortmund. The Hammers were the holders, having lifted the trophy the season before with a 2-0 victory in the Wembley final against another German club, 1860 München.
• Having been absent from Europe in 2020/21, Eintracht returned for a third UEFA Europa League group stage campaign in four seasons – and fourth in all – thanks to their fifth-placed finish in the Bundesliga. Last summer they replaced coach Adi Hütter with another Austrian, Oliver Glasner, who was in charge of fourth-placed Wolfsburg last term.
• Eintracht have now qualified for the UEFA Europa League knockout phase on all of their four group stage appearances, notably reaching the semi-finals in 2018/19, when they were denied a place in the final only by that penalty shoot-out defeat against eventual winners Chelsea. They won all six of their group games that season – the only German club ever to achieve the feat – but managed just three this term, two against Olympiacos (3-1 h, 2-1 a) and one against Antwerp (1-0 a), in addition to three draws – 2-2 at home to Antwerp and 1-1 in both games against Fenerbahçe.
• Frankfurt are participating in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals for the second time. That defeat three years ago by Chelsea made Eintracht's all-time record in UEFA semi-finals W2 L2, their last victory having been against Bayern München (0-2 a, 5-1 h) in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup, which they went on to win, beating another Bundesliga club, Borussia Mönchengladbach, on away goals in the final (2-3 a, 1-0 h).
• The German club's home record in the UEFA Europa League, including qualifying, is now W15 D7 L3, though they have won just one of the last six matches, against Olympiacos on Matchday 3, drawing their other four European home games this term. The three defeats all came in 2019/20, the last of them 0-3 in the first leg of the round of 16 against Basel, which ended Frankfurt's six-match unbeaten home run in the competition's knockout phase (W3 D3).
• Eintracht have won all nine previous UEFA ties in which they recorded an away victory in the first leg. Three of those successes came after a 2-1 win, the most recent in this season's round of 16 against Betis, though they needed extra time before drawing the second leg 1-1 and progressing to the quarter-finals.
• A sixth-placed finish in the 2020/21 Premier League earned West Ham a first appearance in the group stage of a UEFA competition. In each of their last two continental campaigns, in 2015/16 and 2016/17, they were eliminated in the UEFA Europa League qualifying phase by Romanian club Astra Giurgiu.
• Having won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1964/65, West Ham would reach the semi-finals, final and quarter-finals of that same competition over the next 16 years. The furthest they had gone in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League before this season was the second round in 1999/2000. Their semi-final record in UEFA competition – all in the European Cup Winners' Cup – is W2 L1, a 1964/65 victory over Real Zaragoza (2-1 h, 1-1 a) preceding those two Anglo-German ties.
• This season David Moyes' side won their first three Group H matches without conceding – 2-0 away to Dinamo, 2-0 at home to Rapid Wien and 3-0 at home to Genk. They then dropped their first points in a 2-2 draw away to the Belgian side before wrapping up top spot with a 2-0 win in Vienna and losing their last game 0-1 at home to Dinamo. The aggregate wins against Sevilla and Lyon have made them the first club to reach the UEFA Europa League semi-finals in their debut campaign since Arsenal in 2017/18.
• West Ham failed to score for the first time in seven European away games when they lost 1-0 at Sevilla in the round of 16 first leg. The subsequent 3-0 victory at Lyon was just the fourth win in their last 12 UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League games outside England (D2 L6), although those also include this season's group stage successes in Zagreb and Vienna.
• The Hammers have lost three of the four previous UEFA ties in which they were defeated at home in the first leg, their sole comeback success against Metz in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup final (0-1 h, 3-1 a). The only previous tie in which they lost the first leg 1-2 at home was that 1965/66 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final against Dortmund.
Links and trivia
• Ukrainian forward Andriy Yarmolenko joined West Ham from Borussia Dortmund, where he spent 2017/18 in the company of Frankfurt midfielder Sebastian Rode, though the latter played no Bundesliga games in that campaign.
• Opposing goalkeepers Kevin Trapp (Frankfurt) and Alphonse Areola (West Ham) were team-mates and rivals at Paris Saint-Germain in 2016/17 and 2017/18.
• Kristijan Jakić (Eintracht) and Nikola Vlašić (West Ham) are fellow Croatian internationals.
• Eintracht's Austrian international defender Martin Hinteregger played his 50th match in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, in the second leg against Barcelona, becoming the 23rd player to reach that milestone.
• Trapp and Borré have started all 11 of Eintracht Frankfurt's UEFA Europa League games this season, with Kamada also appearing in every game (once as a substitute), while West Ham have two players who have been involved, either as starters or substitutes, in all 11 games – Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma.
• No team has ever won a UEFA Europa League semi-final after losing the first leg at home. In fact, West Ham are only the third team ever to lose the first home leg of a UEFA Europa League semi-final – after Basel against Chelsea in 2012/13 (1-2 h, 1-3 a) and Celta Vigo against Manchester United in 2016/17 (0-1 h, 1-1 a).
• West Ham were one of just two newcomers to the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2021/22, along with Danish champions Brøndby. Mid-term arrivals Barcelona made it three debutants in this season's competition proper.
• Frankfurt are the only club taking part in this season's UEFA Europa League semi-finals to have previously lifted the trophy, in their case in its former guise as the UEFA Cup (1980).
• Germany are the only country with more than one club in the semi-finals – Frankfurt and Leipzig. It is the first season in which two Bundesliga sides have appeared in the last four of the UEFA Europa League. No German team has ever reached the UEFA Europa League final.
• West Ham's victory over Lyon means an English club is represented in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals for the seventh season in a row, whereas Barcelona's elimination by Frankfurt ended Spain's record run of successive semi-final representations at eight.
• West Ham are the tenth debutants in the UEFA Europa League proper to have reached the semi-finals. Three teams have gone on to win the competition on their maiden appearance, the most recent another London club, Chelsea, in 2012/13.
• West Ham were beaten 2-1 at home by Arsenal on Sunday, their third successive defeat in all competitions, and can no longer qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League via their Premier League placing.
• Frankfurt were defeated 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Monday night and are now down in 11th place on 40 points with two games to go.
• Eintracht's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L2:
4-5 v Salzburg, 1993/94 UEFA Cup quarter-final
3-4 v Chelsea, 2018/19 UEFA Europa League semi-final
• West Ham's record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W1 L0:
5-3 v Birkirkara, 2015/16 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round