Barcelona’s European campaign has gone from bad to worse in its first season post Lionel Messi. First the Spanish powerhouse was eliminated from the lucrative Champions League, and now it has been knocked out of the second-tier Europa League by Eintracht Frankfurt. The German team stunned Barcelona 3-2 at the Camp Nou to advance to the semifinals on a 4-3 aggregate score.
Barcelona was the title favorite, looking to win the one trophy not in its collection. It was playing for the first time in the Europa League and had never won its predecessor, the UEFA Cup, reaching the semifinals on four occasions but not getting to a final. Frankfurt won the UEFA Cup in 1980. Frankfurt will next face West Ham after the Premier League club advanced to a European competition semifinals for first time since 1976 by eliminating Lyon 4-1 on aggregate.
Earlier, Christopher Nkunku scored twice to help Leipzig reach its first semifinals in a European competition with a 2-0 victory at Atalanta. Kemar Roofe scored in extra time for Rangers to prevail 3-1 over nine-man Braga for a 3-2 aggregate victory to face Leipzig next.
Leicester became the first team to advance to the semifinals of the inaugural Europa Conference League after coming from a goal down to beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in the Netherlands. The Premier League team will next play Roma. With José Mourinho in charge, Roma is one of the favorites to win UEFA’s new third-tier competition. The Italian club got its revenge with a 4-0 victory over Norway’s Bodø/Glimt to make the semifinals 5-2 on aggregate.
Barcelona had possession, but Frankfurt scored. They had entered tied 1-1 after the first leg. In a dream start for the visitors, Filip Kostić put them ahead 1-0 from the penalty spot four minutes into the game, sending goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen the wrong way.
Rafael Borre doubled the advantage still in the first half with a drive into the roof of the net from 25 meters (yards), giving Ter Stegen no chance. Kostić scored again in the 67th minute.Barcelona threatened late when Sergio Busquets scored in the 91st minute. The visitors were reduced to 10 after Evan N’Dicka received the second yellow ahead of substitute Memphis Depay’s penalty 11 minutes into stoppage time. American defender Sergiño Dest entered for Barcelona in the 61st, his first appearance since straining his left thigh at Galatasaray on March 17.
In Lyon, West Ham survived early pressure and Craig Dawson netted the opening goal from Pablo Fornals’ corner kick in the 38th. Declan Rice doubled the lead with a deflected shot six minutes later. Jarrod Bowen stretched the lead to 3-0 three minutes into the second half with a low shot from the edge of the area.
At the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, James Tavernier erased a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Braga with an angled shot in the second minute. The Rangers defender scored his second from a penalty just before halftime. David Carmo’s header for Braga the 83rd minute forced extra time, and Roofe’s effort in the 101st propelled Rangers.
Nkunku scored after 18 minutes on a feed from Konrad Laimer and doubled the lead on a penalty late in the second half to seal Leipzig’s 3-1 aggregate win. Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso had fouled Nkunku in the area to set up the Frenchman’s 30th goal of the season in all competitions.
Europa Conference League
Leicester became the first team to advance to the semifinals of the inaugural Europa Conference League after coming from a goal down to beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in the Netherlands. Leicester’s 2-1 aggregate victory after a 0-0 draw in the first leg sets up a semifinal match against Roma.
Ricardo Pereira scored the winner two minutes from time to earn the first European semifinals for Leicester after goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo saved substitute Patson Daka’s attempt. Eindhoven opened the scoring when former Germany international Mario Götze set up Eran Zahavi to net his eighth European goal this season and fourth in the last four Europa Conference League games. James Maddison canceled that out for Leicester in the 77th minute.
At Stadio Olympic in Rome, striker Tammy Abraham opened the scoring for Roma in the fifth minute before Nicolò Zaniolo stole the show. He increased the lead to 3-0 with two goals — the first one between the legs of goalkeeper Nikita Haikin — in the span of six minutes later in the first half and completed his hat trick early in the second.
Marseille won the second leg at PAOK Thessaloniki 1-0 to advance 3-1 on aggregate and meet Feyenoord in the semifinals after the Dutch club knocked out Slavia Prague 6-4 on aggregate. Cyriel Dessers scored twice to lead Feyenoord to a 3-1 victory over Slavia.