German Bundesliga side, Eintracht Frankfurt beat Scottish side, Rangers 4-5 on penalties to win the 2022 UEFA Europa League in Seville, Spain on May 18, 2022.
The 2022 edition of the tournament is the first European tournament that Eintracht Frankfurt have won since 1980. Recall that they won the 1979-1980 Europa League which was their last European final until this year.
During the Europa League final in Seville, Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers proved to be equally matched as they both played a balanced game at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
In regular time, Rangers enjoyed 52 percent of the ball possession with 72 percent of pass accuracy while Eintracht Frankfurt recorded 48 percent of the ball possession with 73 percent of pass accuracy.
The game was so balanced that the Scottish team made 544 passes while the German side made 493 passes which means that the Rangers made 51 passes more than Frankfurt.
But when it comes to attacking, the German Bundesliga side was busier in the opposition box than the Scottish side as the German side recorded 22 shots, four of which were on target. While Rangers recorded 14 shots, six of which were on target.
How did Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers to win their second Europa League title?
After ending the first half in a draw, the Rangers scored the opening goal in the 57th minute after Joe Aribo took advantage of Frankfurt’s defensive error to give his team the lead.
The nearing 100,000 Rangers supporters who traveled from Glasgow to Seville (most of them could not gain access into the 42,700-capacity stadium) thought it was their night after Aribo’s opening goal. But the Rangers’ celebration did not last for more than 12 minutes before Frankfurt’s Rafael Borre scored the equalizer in the 69th minute.
After the two goals, the two teams could not score in the remaining minutes of regular time. Hence, the match stretched into a penalty shootout.
Eintracht Frankfurt scored all their five spot-kicks but Rangers’ Aaron Ramsay missed his spot-kick to hand the German side the 2022 Europa League title.
Coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst suffered Pep Guardiola’s disease
The media always believe that Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola often overthinks before a crucial UEFA Champions League match. His overthinking was blamed for losing the 2021 UEFA Champions League final to Chelsea for playing the final without a natural striker.
On Wednesday, May 19, Rangers coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst exhibited the same trait by using Joe Aribo as a false nine even though Kemar Roofe had returned from injury days before the final. Roofe was however used as a substitute.
The biggest gamble Giovanni van Bronckhorst made in the game was introducing Aaron Ramsay into the game three minutes before the end of extra time as a penalty specialist.
Unfortunately, it was the same Ramsay that missed his spot-kick to give Eintracht Frankfurt the Europa League title.
“With penalties, it’s a lottery – tonight we weren’t on the good side,” coach Van Bronckhorst said.
“I can’t complain about everything my players gave today. If you play a lot of big finals you will have memories that last forever when you win them, but when you lose it will hurt a lot. I lost a World Cup final.
“We have to move on. We have a big game on Saturday and next season we have to start all over again.”
🗣️ "Our dream tonight was to make everyone proud"— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 19, 2022
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his players react after failing to secure their first European trophy for 50 years 👇 pic.twitter.com/mHYwD3XKUS