Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Europa League: Frankfurt, Leipzig win

Eintracht Frankfurt is a step away from reaching its first European competition final in more than 40 years after beating West Ham 2-1 in the first leg of the Europa League semifinals on Thursday.
The German team had knocked out Barcelona in the quarterfinals and quickly shocked West Ham when Ansgar Knauff scored 51 seconds after kickoff at the London Stadium.
An all-German final in the second-tier European competition is a possibility after Leipzig scored late to defeat Rangers 1-0 at home in the other semifinal match.
Leipzig had beaten Atalanta to reach this stage and is aiming for its first-ever European final.
Both second legs are next week with Frankfurt and Rangers hosting. In the new third-tier Europa Conference League, Cyriel Dessers proved unstoppable again scoring twice for Feyenoord as the Dutch team beat Marseille 3-2 in the first leg of the semifinals. Desserts top the scoring table with 10 goals.
In the other semifinal match, Roma manager Jose Mourinho and his apprentice, Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers, embraced each other on the sideline after their teams finished in a 1-1 draw. Rodgers was appointed to Chelsea’s academy during Mourinho’s first stint with the London club.
The second-leg games are scheduled for next Thursday. Frankfurt had a dream to start in London.
The visitors got the ball for the first time with the West Ham defence letting Rafael Borre in the area cross for Knauff at the far post to stun the hosts within the opening minute.
Michail Antonio, who returned to the starting lineup after being rested by manager David Moyes in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea, cancelled out the early lead. Kurt Zouma headed a cross off Manuel Lanzini’s free-kick for diving Antonio to equalize 20 minutes after the opening goal.
Frankfurt was ahead again early in the second half after West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola parried Djibril Sow’s shot and Daichi Kamada scored the winner on a rebound.
Leipzig had to wait till the 85th minute to break the deadlock.
Lorenzo Pellegrini drove the ball in between the legs of Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel for Roma’s first-half lead.
Substitute Harvey Barnes used his pace to feed Ademola Lookman to make it 1-1 in the second half _ officially an own goal by defender Gianluca Mancini.


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