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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Strong performance with a view

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The professionals of Eintracht Frankfurt and their euphoric fans celebrated the belated happy ending of the football thriller against Real Betis Sevilla long after the final whistle. Even coach Oliver Glasner, otherwise rather reserved, got into the mood shortly before midnight. “I am completely overwhelmed by emotions. The match offered everything that Europa-Eintracht stands for,” said the 47-year-old Austrian after reaching the Europa League quarter-finals 1-1 after extra time in a duel with Spain’s top club. “I enjoyed what happened. in the stadium”.

In the 120 minutes, the Hessian Bundesliga club had experienced a game of madness. Shortly before the end of the regular season, Borja Iglesias shattered Eintracht from their quarter-final dreams with a 1-0 draw, which finally came true in the last second of extra time: Martin Hinteregger took a free kick. Filip Kostic’s center with total dedication and thus forced the own goal. “In the 90th minute the world of football came crashing down on us, in the 120th minute it was pink again,” Glasner summed up, giving his players a huge compliment: “Big congratulations to my team. I’m incredibly proud of what they accomplished against a very good opponent.”

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It is the sixth time that Eintracht have reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League or the previous competition, the UEFA Cup, which they even won in 1980. The Hessians drew with Hamburger SV and 1. FC Köln. No German team has reached the quarter-finals of this competition more often than this trio. And of course, Frankfurt brings back memories of the 2018/19 season, when Eintracht reached the semi-finals and only lost on penalties to eventual winners Chelsea.

Attractive rivals like top Spanish club FC Barcelona and Italian representative Atalanta Bergamo, who defeated Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16, now await in the quarter-finals. Frankfurt midfielder Sebastian Rode wants a duel with Glasgow Rangers, who eliminated Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16. Also in the draw on Friday afternoon are Sporting Braga, Olympique Lyonnais, West Ham United and Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig. (dpa)

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