Eintracht Frankfurt booked their place in the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League Final by downing West Ham United 1-0. Facing them will be Rangers after the Glaswegian outfit remarkably overturned a deficit against the favored RB Leipzig.
West Ham United’s hopes of reaching the first UEFA cup final since 1975/76 were dashed no sooner than the game had begun. Already trailing 2-1 on aggregate against Eintracht Frankfurt, the Hammers lost left-back Aaron Cresswell to an early red card – the Englishman adjudged to be the last man tackling Jens Petter Hauge as he ran through on goal and sent off upon VAR review.
With a man advantage, Frankfurt took the game to the Hammers and were rewarded for it in the 26th minute. The impactful Ansgar Knauff beat the opposition offside trap to latch onto a through ball before pulling it back across the face of the goal for a perfectly-positioned Rafael Santos Borre, who diverted it past Alphonse Areola for the only goal of the second leg.
West Ham had lost control of the tie early on, but they went completely off the rails in the 78th minute when, in a moment of rage, manager David Moyes booted the ball towards a ballgirl, thus earning himself a red card from the referee. The Hammers finished the game with a man fewer, both on the pitch and off it.
Frankfurt advanced to Seville, where they will face Rangers on May 18 after the Glaswegian outfit knocked out tournament favorites RB Leipzig.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Rangers leveled the tie on aggregate in the 18th minute through the talismanic James Tavernier – the right-back’s 15th goal of the season. The Englishman arrived at the back post just as Ryan Kent had fizzed the ball across the box and tapped it in.
Glen Kamara doubled his side’s lead soon after: the midfielder curled a low shot past Peter Gulacsi after some deft one-touch football around the box by Rangers.
Leipzig pulled a goal back in the 70th minute – leveling the tie on aggregate again, 2-2. Moments after Konrad Laimer was denied one-on-one, Angelino curled a cross into the opposition box, and the in-form Christopher Nkunku guided it past the goalkeeper the first time.
However, just ten minutes later, a goalkeeping error from Gulacsi and a loose clearance from Josko Gvardiol presented an opportunity to John Lundstram, and the Englishman thumped the ball in from close range to put Rangers 3-1 ahead on the night – and 3-2 on aggregate. They held on, reaching their first European final since 2008.