Frankfurt 1-0 West Ham (agg: 3-1): Eagles soar into final by downing ten-man Hammers
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Eintracht Frankfurt booked their spot in the UEFA Europa League final with victory at home to ten-man West Ham.
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Rafael Borré scored the only goal of the night as Eintracht Frankfurt reached their first European final since 1980 with a 1-0 win against a West Ham side who played more than 70 minutes with ten men after Aaron Cresswell's first-half red card.
17': Cresswell sent off for West Ham
26': Borré increases aggregate lead
44': Antonio effort cleared off line
Match in brief: Frankfurt hold off Hammers
Frankfurt suffered an early blow when Martin Hinteregger was forced off injured, but they had a man advantage inside 20 minutes when Aaron Cresswell was sent off for dragging down Jens Petter Hauge, an initial yellow card overturned after a VAR review.
The home side soon made that advantage count when Ansgar Knauff found the unmarked Borré in the penalty area and he duly slotted in from eight metres.
Evan N'Dicka had to hack a Michail Antonio effort off the line at the other end before the break but clear chances remained at a premium in the second half, with neither keeper forced into a save of note.
Hammers boss David Moyes was sent from the touchline late on and his side's hopes of a first European final since 1976 went with him, a late flurry of pressure from the visitors unable to force a breakthrough as Frankfurt secured their spot in Seville.
Steffen Potter, Frankfurt reporter
They've done it! Oliver Glasner's men have had a difficult domestic season and their start in this competition wasn't too bright either, but over this season they have once more developed that UEFA Europa League spirit that almost took them to the final in 2019. Having had to integrate plenty of new players into a team in what was expected to be a transitional campaign has worked out so well that they are now on the verge of matching the club's 1980 UEFA Cup triumph if they beat Rangers in Seville. Having taken out their fair share of big names along the road, they have certainly shown they are capable.
Matthew Howarth, West Ham reporter
David Moyes and his players will be wondering what might have been after Aaron Cresswell's early dismissal and Rafael Borré's goal nine minutes later left them chasing a two-goal deficit with only ten men. The Hammers did all they could in the second half to pressurise the Frankfurt defence, but the home side never looked in danger of letting their place in the final slip through their fingers.
Oliver Glasner, Frankfurt coach: "It was a very difficult game and we scored a fantastic goal. Second half we defended with a lot of passion and heart and I am very proud of the team. It's so great to be in a final with this club and these great fans after 42 years."
Ansgar Knauff, Frankfurt winger, speaking to UEFA.com: "The last six months have been a dream come true. So many emotions, such a great run into the European final and the matches I have experienced here. Just incredible."
Declan Rice, West Ham captain, speaking to BT Sport: "We had genuine belief that they weren’t going to beat us. Maybe they play a similar way to us and it caught us out a bit. No one expected West Ham to be here but I’m so proud of everyone. The boys went out on a high, even though we lost."
David Moyes, West Ham manager, speaking to BT Sport: "We tried. We created chances and I thought we had better chances than Frankfurt had at that time [after the sending off]. We congratulate Frankfurt and give them our best wishes. I felt this was a chance. I think we’ve played better teams than Frankfurt. If we’re honest, we probably lost the tie in the first few seconds at the London Stadium."
Joe Cole, BT Sport
"The West Ham fans should be very proud of the players and vice versa. Their journey has been incredible. In the second half they showed fight, they matched Frankfurt. It was all against them. It wasn't West Ham's night."
- Frankfurt are unbeaten in their 12 UEFA Europa League matches so far this season (W7 D5).
- Frankfurt kept a clean sheet for only the second time in 20 UEFA Europa League matches.
- West Ham failed to score for just the third time in 12 UEFA Europa League matches this season.
- Aaron Cresswell was sent off for the second time in his last three UEFA Europa League appearances.
- Frankfurt have won all ten UEFA ties in which they recorded an away victory in the first leg.
Frankfurt: Trapp; Tuta, Hinteregger (Touré 8), N'Dicka; Knauff, Sow, Rode (Jakić 76), Kostić; Hauge (Hrustic 82), Borré (Paciência 82), Kamada.
West Ham: Areola; Coufal (Yarmolenko 87), Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Souček, Rice, Fornals (Benrahma 74); Bowen, Antonio, Lanzini (Johnson 22).
This season's final against Rangers/Leipzig takes place at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium in Seville. The game will kick off at 21:00 CET on Wednesday 18 May.