Europa League final key moments: Blood, bedlam, nerves and then sheer agony for Rangers as Eintracht Frankfurt triumph in absorbing decider… with Kevin Trapp’s last-gasp save from Ryan Kent proving crucial
- Rangers left heartbroken after suffering Europa League final defeat
- The Scottish side were defeated 5-4 in a penalty shootout on Wednesday
- Make-shift forward Joe Aribo opened the scoring for Rangers in Seville
- But Rafael Borre fired in an equaliser from close range for Eintracht Frankfurt
- Rangers winger Ryan Kent went close to scoring a dramatic winner in extra time
Rangers faltered at their final Europa League hurdle with a cruel 5-4 penalty shootout defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.
Joe Aribo had the Gers fans in raptures in the searing heat of the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium when he opened the scoring in the 57th minute.
However, Colombia forward Rafael Borre levelled in the 68th minute to give the game 30 added minutes where Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp made a fantastic last-gasp save from Ryan Kent.
Then came penalties and despair for the Light Blues and substitute Aaron Ramsey in particular who had his spot-kick saved.
Sportsmail’s JOHN MCGARRY details the key moments.
Eintracht Frankfurt players celebrate lifting the Europa League trophy for the second time
Despite having Kemar Roofe available, Giovanni van Bronckhorst kept the Englishman in reserve on the bench with Joe Aribo given the nod up front.
Glen Kamara was also selected ahead of Aaron Ramsey with Scott Wright also retaining his place as the manager went for the same line-up that defeat RB Leipzig at Ibrox.
John Lundstram’s high challenge saw Eintracht captain Sebastian Rode floored with a facial cut. After a lengthy delay, to Rangers’ relief, Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic kept his cards in his pocket.
A penetrating run by Daichi Kamada in the left channel wasn’t properly dealt with. The ball broke to Djibril Sow who worked Allan McGregor with a curling strike from the edge of the box.
With Eintracht on the ascendancy in the early stages, Ansgar Knauff worked his way into space and tried to curl the ball into the corner. McGregor did well to shift his feet to his left and the tip the ball round the post.
John Lundstram was was fortunate to escape a red card for a challenge on Sebastian Rode
With the Rangers’ defence backing off, Sow advanced and let fly. To McGregor’s considerable relief, the ball was always on the rise.
A sharp turn by Scott Wright gave Aribo half a chance. The Nigeria international wrapped his left foot around the ball from 20 yards but it floated just a foot wide of Kevin Trapp’s goal.
Jesper Lindstrom’s shot is blocked by his own man Kamada who was standing three yards from goal. Kostic then sent a dipping shot on to the roof of the net.
A slack header by James Tavernier allowed Kostic to run fully 70 yards.
The Serb went for goal rather than looking up and put is strike just beyond the far post .
Joe Aribo put Rangers into dreamland when he fired his side ahead in the 57th minute
With Rangers improving, Sow’s foul on Kent allowed Borna Barisic to swing in a dangerous free-kick. With Trapp stuck on his line, Lundstram’s header was tipped over the bar by Trapp.
First half injury time
Fine work by Aribo on the right on the right presented a chance to Ryan Jack on the edge of the penalty box. Leaning back, the midfielder failed to work Trapp with his rising strike.
Some nervous moments at the Germans force a corner in the final minute of the six added on at the end of the first half but Rangers stood tall and make it to the break with the score still blank.
Eintracht restarted on the front foot. Knauff picked up the ball in a good area and looked set to pick out a man for a tap-in until Calvin Bassey intervened.
Tuta advanced and tried his luck from distance. Again Eintracht failed to hit the target.
Jesper Lindstrom turned Kamara on the edge of the Rangers box but his deflected shot went wide.
But just 12 minutes after falling behind, Frankfurt equalised when Borre poked home a low cross from close range
A nervous moment as Rafael Borre went down under a challenge by Connor Goldson. After a VAR check, the verdict was a corner.
Tavernier’s surge down the right prompted panic in the German defence. The ball fell for Kent but he sliced his shot into the side-netting.
Sow’s header was uncertain. Tuta slipped underneath it and in a flash Aribo was moving in on goal. The make-shift forward kept his composure to slide the ball past Trapp. A scene of utter bedlam inside the stadium.
Lindstrom’s shot looked to be heading for goal until Bassey got in the way. Despite appeals by Eintracht, the ball clearly hit the defender’s chest.
Sent clear on goal, Kamada lifted the ball over McGregor but onto the roof of the net.
Ryan Kent could have won the game in the dying moments of extra-time only to see his close range effort kept out by Trapp
Kostic’s whipped pass across the face of goal caught Rangers on the heels. Borre nipped in and poked the ball home to level. Goldson was caught on his heels but none of those immediately in front of McGregor covered themselves in glory.
Van Bronkhorst tried to wrestle back the initiative by introducing Steven Davis and Fashion Sakala with Wright and Jack making way.
With the game up for grabs, Eintracht substitute Jens Petter Hauge passed up a fine chance by curling an effort into the stand.
Good work by Kamara gave Fashion Sakala an opening from an angle. With better options in the middle, the substitute went for goal and the keeper smothered.
With players increasingly tired, Sakala’s cheap concession high up the pitch led to Kostic taking aim. His shot fizzed across goal but went the wrong side of the far post.
Ramsey was the only player to miss in the shootout as his central effort was saved by Eintracht Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp
Rangers’ final chance to win the cup in normal time fell down when Sakala failed to hold the ball up.
For a brief second it looked like Kostic had the run on Goldson as the Germans surged forward but the defender made up the ground to ensure the game went to extra-time.
Van Bronkhorst again went to his bench with Scott Arfield replacing Kamara.
A rare error by Bassey let in Borre. A tremendous recovery by the Rangers defender ensured Eintracht only earned a corner. It felt like a game-changing moment.
Substitute Steven Davis popped up in space and tried his luck from the edge of the box. Brave defending by Toure ensured the opening did not amount to anything.
Barisic drilled a swerving shot on target but couldn’t find a way past the keeper.
Rangers’ Aaron Ramsey is consoled by John Lundstram after missing the decisive penalty kick in the Europa League final
Eintracht substitute Ajdin Hrustic lined up a shot but from the edg off the box it went narrowly past McGregor’s upright.
Kent tired but still found the energy to work rap with a fierce strike from the edge of the box.
Jakic tried his luck with a meaty strike which narrowly flew over McGregor’s bar.
Sub Roofe’s cross seemed set to be converted by Kent until Trapp produced an outstanding save. Davis fired the follow up over the top. Trapp parried Tavernier’s late free-kick.
Tavernier, Davis and Arfield netted with Frankfurt responding with perfectly executed strikes from 12 yards.
Aaron Ramsey was the first man to blink with Borre clinching the trophy with the final kick.
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