Eintracht Frankfurt caused quite a stir on Thursday evening when it came to victory at the Camp Nou (3-2), which was largely decorated in white, the colors of the German fans (between 20 and 30 thousand) who occupied a large part of the stands. The latter did not wait long for a confirmation of the hope born from the first leg (1-1) since the players of Oliver Glasner, who declared their desire to establish themselves in the Catalan camp, managed at the beginning and almost succeeded. Perfect match.
By pressing as four or five players approached the surface of Barcelona, Eintracht immediately created the conditions for a first chance. When Eric Garcia put his hands on Lindstrom’s shoulders so unbalanced in front of a distance of 5.5 metres, the Portuguese referee did not hesitate to whistle a penalty kick. For Frankfurt to check his surprising audacity by opening the scoring, Kostic’s shot fired Ter Stegen with the wrong foot (0-1 sp, 4).
Eintracht had the right way
In their 5-4-1 flat, the German team then scaled back the spaces. It traded itself for defense at low mass, bridging depth and gaps. The mediators had the task of getting out appropriately, to get ahead of the Barcelona midfielders, and thus disrupt the Catalan passing game. Finally, from the recovery, which was fairly infrequent (30% in the first period), the idea was to explode with numbers and aim for the depth with very fast pistons, Knauff and Kostic.
Behind the uninspired heroes, the Germans doubled their chances. Before he scored a superb goal, via Colombian striker Bure, his powerful shot settled under Ter Stegen’s bar, at the end of a hellish race (0-2, 39th place). The knockout was delivered by the left piston Kostick with a cross shot to the ground near the post (0-3, 67), which led to the passivity of the Spanish defense and the dream race.
Like his last seven La Liga games (1 goal, 9 assists), Ousmane Dembele has been very successful on the right lane as he doubled the acceleration, overtakes and crosses. The French striker had fire legs. Frankfurt could never control his speed on the right flank of the Catalans. Entering Adama Traoré, who was often contained, the international passed on the left side where he died several minutes after stopping play to check VAR’s hand on Gorré’s roof (59) right after a brutal save. From Ter Stegen on a shot on goal by Lindström (58).
Busquets cut the score too late. (900 / Cable Press / 900 / Cable Press)
Dembélé’s services have not been transferred by Aubameyang. For lack of good timing, the centre-forward, who changed attacking completely, didn’t move his head (9) when the middle was perfect. The Gabonese international was no more successful at the start of the second half, failing to resume the empty goal, in the far corner, a new gift from Dembele (48th). Perhaps it was the real turning point in the game.
Barcelona’s late reaction
Barcelona scored 45 goals in 2022. But he wasn’t much inspiring with his streak, short play and offensive animation. He didn’t weigh heavily yesterday against a German team in nimble, sometimes very surgical and always united. The second half was a long one-sided opposition with vast spaces and a chance for Glasner’s men to score every ten minutes. Barcelona gave the image of the team gradually giving up, especially when Busquets’ goal was logically canceled due to an offside with the right foot noticed by the VAR (84).
German fans began celebrating their qualification by praising a formidable defensive save from Hintereger (89th). It was to forget the Spanish offensive power. In cold sweats, Busquets tricked Kevin Trapp with a cross-shot before…nine minutes into overtime (1-3, 90+1). Then madness took over the game. The Catalans had nothing left to lose. Despite her exceptional mind, Frankfurt was close to exhaustion. The referee whistled the second penalty kick by sending Ndyka directly (90 + 10). Memphis changed Depay (2-3, 90 + 11) before the final whistle. Too late to imagine an impossible feat.