After defeating West Ham 2-1 in the first leg of the Europa League semifinals on Thursday, Eintracht Frankfurt is one step closer to reaching its first European competition final in more than 40 years.
The Germans had knocked out Barcelona in the quarterfinals and stunned West Ham with a goal 51 seconds after kickoff at the London Stadium.
Both clubs are attempting to reach what would be their biggest match in decades Frankfurt’s last final came in 1980, when it won the Europa League’s predecessor, the UEFA Cup, and West Ham’s last game of that calibre was the 1976 Cup Winner’s Cup final.
After Leipzig scored late to defeat Rangers 1-0 at home in the other semifinal match, an all-German final in the second-tier European competition is a possibility.
Frankfurt’s Ansgar Knauff celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s opening goal during the Europa League semi-final, first leg match between West Ham United and Eintracht Frankfurt, Thursday, April 28, 2022, at the London Stadium in London. (Photo by AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Leipzig defeated Atalanta to advance to this stage and is aiming for its first European final. Frankfurt and Rangers will host the second legs next week.
Cyriel Dessers was unstoppable again for Feyenoord in the new third-tier Europa Conference League, scoring twice as the Dutch team defeated Marseille 3-2 in the first leg of the semifinals. Desserts lead the scoring chart with ten goals.
In the other semifinal match, Roma manager Jose Mourinho and his protege, Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers, hugged on the sideline after their teams drew 1-1. During Mourinho’s first stint at Chelsea, Rodgers was appointed to the club’s academy.
The second-leg matches are set for next Thursday.