Gavi and Ousmane Dembele were the only positives as Barcelona lost at home to Eintracht Frankfurt to bow out of the UEFA Europa League.
A miscalculation on Barcelona’s part meant as many as 30,000 Eintracht Frankfurt fans slotted into Camp Nou ahead of the game. With a roaring away support pushing them, the visitors were hot out of the gates and broke the deadlock in the fourth minute through Filip Kostic after Eric Garcia needlessly brought down Jesper Lindstrom.
Barcelona looked to push forward searching for an equaliser, but the chances came few and far between. In fact, even though Barcelona had the lion’s share of the possession, Eintracht Frankfurt created the better openings, with their wing-backs running riot. And the intense pressure from Die Adler paid off as they doubled their advantage ten minutes before half-time.
After winning the ball at the centre of the pitch, Kostic released Rafael Santos Borre, who unleashed a wondrous long-range strike. It was more of the same after the break, although Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a great chance to pull a goal back early in the second half. But Eintracht Frankfurt had one foot in the semi-finals when Kostic scored another superb goal to put the visitors three ahead.
Barcelona then pushed to keep their faint hopes alive, with Sergio Busquets scoring a belter just as regulation time ended. Luuk de Jong won a late penalty after Evan Ndicka fouled him and got sent off for a second bookable offence, with Memphis Depay converting from the spot to make it 3-2.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 14, 2022
But it was too little too late as Barcelona bowed out of the UEFA Europa League, while Eintracht Frankfurt set up a semi-final clash later this month with West Ham United. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Xavi Hernandez’s men.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6/10
Marc-Andre ter Stegen could not have done anything to deny Eintracht Frankfurt, as one of the three goals was a penalty, while the other two were world-class strikes. He made a couple of saves to spare Barcelona’s blushes and was not at fault for the defeat.
Oscar Mingueza: 3/10
With Sergino Dest not fit enough to start, Mingueza got a rare start at right-back. But the Spaniard endured a horrid evening against the rampant Filip Kostic, who gave him nightmares for nights on end. Mingueza did not carry any threat in the final third either and was rightly taken off for Dest in the second half.
Ronald Araujo: 4/10
It is not every day that Araujo leaves a lot to be desired with his performance. But the young centre-back was underwhelming, to say the least, on Thursday. The Uruguayan international left Rafael Santos Borre too much space to unleash his fiercely-driven shot for the second Eintracht Frankfurt goal. And his output on the ball was abysmal.
Eric Garcia: 4/10
Eintracht Frankfurt LEAD at Camp Nou! 🚨
Eric García concedes a slopy penalty to give Filip Kostić a chance from the spot, and he absolutely buries it! 💪
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 14, 2022
Garcia once again gave away a needless penalty which set the ball rolling for Eintracht Frankfurt. While the Spanish international made amends later by winning a few crucial duels, his actions early in the match had done the damage already.
Jordi Alba: 4/10
Alba endured a torrid outing against Eintracht Frankfurt, with Ansgar Knauff running him ragged throughout the evening. The veteran defender hardly posed a threat in the final third while losing possession an alarming 18 times. All in all, it was a game to forget for Alba.
Pedri has often been the game-changer for Barcelona this season, but the Spaniard looked out of sorts on Thursday. While the teenage prodigy looked to push his team forward, Eintracht Frankfurt’s relentless pressing caught him off guard at times. Frenkie de Jong replaced him at half-time.
Sergio Busquets: 6/10
Busquets did not enjoy himself for most of the game, as Eintracht Frankfurt overran him with ease on the counters. But the Barcelona captain was often the calm within the storm and won a few crucial duels. Busquets also gave Barcelona slim hopes of a comeback with his late goal, but it was not to be for them.
in other news, did busquets score the greatest goal of his career today? pic.twitter.com/c8uFfGyqka
— alex (@agizzlefizzle12) April 15, 2022
Gavi might have lost several duels, but he worked hard and pressed relentlessly whenever the opportunities presented themselves. More impressively, the teenage prodigy was at hand to complete nearly all his attempted passes, which is a big feat, considering the effectiveness of Eintracht Frankfurt’s press.
Ousmane Dembele: 7/10
Dembele was the only player who looked like he could make things happen in a forgettable first half for Barcelona. The Frenchman played a joint-game-high three key passes, but he faded dramatically when Barcelona needed him to be at his best, especially with Frenkie de Jong looking in good touch.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 4/10
Aubameyang’s recent slump continued on Thursday, with the Gabonese forward failing to make his mark again. The former Arsenal captain fed off scraps for most of his outing, but he did have two great chances falling his way, only for him to make a meal of those openings.
This was what made Aubameyang's situation at Arsenal untenable. Repeated discipline issues as captain, contributing little to nothing to build-up phases and then missing chances LIKE THIS on a super max contract. https://t.co/g5BJCicsmc
— AI (@nonewthing) April 14, 2022
Ferran Torres: 5/10
Torres came into this match as one of the most in-form players for Barcelona. But his output on Thursday was sub-par, to say the least, and he lost possession cheaply several times under pressure from an Eintracht Frankfurt player.
Frenkie de Jong: 6/10
Frenkie de Jong was easily Barcelona’s best player in the second half, as he was efficient with his end product in both the phases. But with the rest of the Barcelona players out of sorts, the Dutch midfielder’s endeavour did not yield the required results, apart from creating a chance for Aubameyang.
Adama Traore: 3/10
Traore replaced Aubameyang but was even worse than the former Arsenal captain as he brought nothing to the pitch. As has been the case lately, the Spanish international was too predictable, and his end product left a lot to be desired.
Sergino Dest: 6/10
Dest was an upgrade on Mingueza on both ends of the pitch, as he did not face much trouble versus Kostic while posing a greater threat in the final third. The USMNT international also completed all his attempted passes. With just a few league games left in the season, Dest will need to make every opportunity count to remain at Barcelona.
Luuk de Jong: 6/10
Luuk de Jong replaced Eric Garcia with 20 minutes left in regulation time but was anonymous for the most part. That said, the experienced Dutchman again made an impact off the bench by winning the late penalty that Memphis Depay converted.
Memphis Depay: N/A
A late introduction, Depay completed all his passes but failed to create a chance. However, he was at hand to convert the late penalty, although it did not amount to much.