Underdogs Eintracht Frankfurt have secured a major upset by beating hosts Barcelona 2-3 in the Europa League quarter-finals.
- Barcelona were bundled out of the Europa League after losing to Frankfurt 3-4 on aggregate
- Despite a resurgence in La Liga, the former Champions League winners are now out of every major European competition
- Frankfurt will take on West Ham in the first semi-final, who defeated Lyon 4-1 on aggregate
Two goals from winger Filip Kostic and a third to Rafael Borré put Frankfurt 4-1 ahead on aggregate in the second leg, but the Germans had to weather a late Barcelona storm to secure their spot in the final four.
Serbia international Kostic opened the scoring for Frankfurt in the fourth minute via a penalty after Jesper Lindstrom was brought down by Eric Garcia in the box.
That was followed by a thunderous strike by Borré in the 36th minute from 30 yards out.
Kostic added a third in the second half to give the club a much-needed cushion as the Catalans fought back in the game’s dying stages at Camp Nou.
Despite having 75 per cent of possession, Barcelona registered fewer shots and better chances throughout regulation time, including missing a handful of opportunities through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
With an unhappy home crowd at their back, the fallen giants were forced to claw two desperate goals back in stoppage time through Sergio Busquets and Memphis Depay, who converted a penalty in the 101st minute after Frankfurt’s Evan N’Dicka was sent off with a second yellow.
But their late surge was not enough to force extra time. Frankfurt, home to Socceroos midfielder Ajdin Hrustic, held on to win the game 3-4 on aggregate and claim their first win over the La Liga side in front of a raucous traveling contingent.
“I am speechless,” Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp said.
“Nobody expected this, to be honest. Everyone expected us to suffer here.
“We needed to take our chances and today, we were very efficient. We are in the last four and we want to get as far as possible. We showed we don’t have to hide from anybody, but no doubt, now we want to make the end.”
Eintracht, who are unbeaten away from home in Europe this season but currently sit ninth in the Bundesliga, will now face Premier League side West Ham, who bulldozed past French side Olympique Lyonnais 4-1 on aggregate after a convincing 3-0 win in the second leg on Thursday.
Goals to Craig Dawson, Declan Rice, and Jarrod Bowen eased the Hammers through to their first major European semi-final since 1976, where they will meet Barcelona’s conquerors Frankfurt on April 29.
“We’ve got a really good group of lads, I’m really lucky,” West Ham manager David Moyes said.
“The journey in two years — we were talking about relegation and now we’re talking about getting to the semi-final of a European tournament. It’s fabulous. Tonight was a big moment for us: a really, really good result.”
The other semi-final will see RB Leipzig, who defeated Italian side Atalanta 1-3 on aggregate, take on Scottish side Rangers on the same day.