Barcelona had been left humiliated in a heavy Europa League defeat in opposition to mid-table Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt on the Camp Nou.
Frankfurt, who languish in ninth spot in La Liga, tore the Catalan giants to shreds in a vastly spectacular efficiency to safe their place within the semi-finals. Filip Kostic netted twice for the guests both aspect of a surprising long-range strike from Rafael Santos Borre.
Kostic gave Frankfurt the fourth-minute lead from the penalty spot after Eric Garcia pulled Jesper Lindstroem to the bottom and after the German aspect spurned a number of possibilities, Santos Borre deservedly doubled their lead with a goal-of-the-tournament contender.
Halfway by the second half, Kostic added a 3rd with a strong left-footed end into the nook and after Frankfurt spurned extra possibilities, Barca launched a late rally. Sergio Busquets had a objective dominated out for offside within the 84 th minute and because the recreation ticked into harm time, the midfielder scored a scorching effort to arrange a dramatic harm time.
The drama continued as Memphis Depay scored a penalty within the eleventh minute of added time to cut back the rating to 2-3 whereas the visiting aspect’s defender Evan N’Dicka was dismissed for a second yellow however Frankfurt held on to say a deserved victory. Listed below are 5 speaking factors from a night of excessive drama in Barcelona.
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Tonight was the third recreation in Europe this season that Barcelona’s frailties have been uncovered by a German aspect. They’d already misplaced 3-0 twice in opposition to Bayern Munich this season, and now they’ve suffered one other heavy defeat in opposition to a Bundesliga outfit. As Bayern forward Thomas Muller identified earlier in the season, Barca are uncovered on this recreation as a result of they ‘can’t deal with the depth’ provided by these from different leagues.
Muller stated after Bayern’s back-to-back three-goal wins over Barca: “I feel Barça cannot deal with the depth. Technically, they’ve all of it, they’re nice gamers tactically and technically. However they cannot deal with the depth in prime soccer.” These phrases turned to be prophetic this night.
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Eintracht Frankfurt have one of many largest and most loyal following of followers in Germany and that was extra evident than ever within the Catalan capital on Thursday. Experiences claimed that as much as 30,000 followers had descended upon Barcelona and it appeared like that within the Camp Nou.
The stadium seemed to be half-filled by these clad in Frankfurt’s white shirts, roaring their workforce on with every objective being met with a deafening roar by their big following. Such was Barca followers discontent with the variety of visiting followers – their predominant ultras teams left the stadium en mass for the primary quarter-hour of the second half.
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Barcelona haven’t misplaced a match in La Ligs since 3 December and have risen to second within the standings, after Xavi inherited a workforce in mid-table. They had been instilled as favourites for the Europa League title after dropping out of the Champions League, however the actuality has labored out considerably in another way.
This two-legged tie in opposition to Frankfurt, who languish in ninth place within the Bundesliga, was a actuality verify. Barca had been totally outplayed in each legs – they had been vastly lucky to attract 1-1 in Germany – and had been outclassed at residence. This exhibits that Barca are nonetheless a way in need of Europe’s elite groups and whereas issues are on the up below Xavi, there’s a very lengthy technique to go.
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He was not the plain star of the evening, however Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp’s calm and guaranteed efficiency was an excellent story of redemption. Over 5 years in the past, he was the Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper who conceded six targets in Barca’s well-known ‘remontada’ within the Champions League Spherical of 16 tie.
That evening had no fault or blame connected in any respect on Trapp, but it surely was a painful evening in his profession and was the type of expertise that many gamers would battle to correctly get well from. Trapp has established himself as Frankfurt’s primary within the years since and was faultless and fully commanding upon his first return to the Camp Nou since that night.
Camp Nou no fortress
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Barcelona’s current residence file in European competitors has been completely dreadful and the Camp Nou is now not the fortress for guests that it was in earlier years.
The Blaugrana had been humbled by Juventus (0-3) and Paris Saint-Germain (1-4) on the finish of final season’s Champions League, whereas their group stage noticed a three-goal residence reverse in opposition to Bayern Munich. They did edge out Dynamo Kiev 1-0, due to an personal objective, earlier than being held by Benfica in a scoreless draw – which in the end helped oversee Barca’s group stage elimination.
The file has not improved within the Europa League, with Thursday’s conflict preceded by two underwhelming attracts in opposition to Napoli and Galatasaray respectively. Barca received the respective away legs to seal their progress within the competitors to the quarter remaining stage.