Sunday, November 27, 2022



Europa League – Barcelona and Eintracht Frankfurt sparked each other



Europa League – Germans and Spaniards have always played good games. And this was no exception. Barcelona and Eintracht Frankfurt gave their all in the first leg of the Europa League Quarterfinals. However, neither could get the upper hand in a match that is sure to be closer in the second leg.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

When Barcelona learned that Eintracht Frankfurt would be their opponent in the Europa League, they knew it would be a difficult match. Far from being a formality, and in Germany, Frankfurt proved to be up to the task. And that Barcelona arrived at a good time.

At Deutsche Bank Park, Xavi’s team drew 1-1 with Eintracht Frankfurt. The duel was tight and both teams proved to be candidates to win the Europa League.

The start of the match was extremely frenetic. Barcelona went for it: possession, creating space and looking for the third man. However, Eintracht Frankfurt, with direct play, imposed the conditions and could have taken the lead. But, as expected, Xavi did not give up his ideas.

Although he controlled the ball, Barcelona suffered from a lack of speed and never had a clear chance. The 0-0 draw in the first half was thanks to poor finishing. And also due to Marc-André Ter Stegen’s interventions, Culé’s lack of ingenuity and the intervention of the VAR.

The first half came to an end. And Santos Borré fell inside the Barcelona area for an alleged touch by Busquets and the referee awarded a penalty. Filip Kostic was already preparing to take the penalty. But the VAR intervened, called the referee and changed the ruling.

Both teams went into the break knowing that the result did not reflect what happened on the pitch. Eintracht Frankfurt was up for more.

The second half had less play, but more action. The Germans came out with a vengeance and managed to make it 1-0 thanks to a great goal by Ansgar Knauff. Barely two minutes had passed when Knauff took a rebound and shot from outside the box. He nailed it into the corner.

Xavi again showed what he is made of

Up to that point, the result was fair. But Xavi, who has the same reading of the game from the bench as he does on the pitch, made the right changes. Frankie De Jong for Gavi. Ousmane Dembélé for Traoré. And everything changed.

Ball handling was transformed into danger. And so much so that, Ferrán Torres scored the equalizer with 25 minutes to go. In addition, Frenkie de Jong once again lived up to the price Barcelona paid for him. But the most important thing was the combination of two players who are the future of the club.

Tuta’s sending off after 80 minutes only meant more possession for Barcelona and more containment from Eintracht Frankfurt. The 1-1 draw was more than justified. For the tactical superiority of the Germans in the first half and for the control of the Catalans in the second.

Now, the semifinalists will have to be decided next Thursday at Camp Nou. Where Barcelona has not lost since December 4. And where Xavi once again formed a fortress worthy of the club’s history. Eintracht Frankfurt has what it takes. But it will have to be up to the task.

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