Rafael Santos Borre produced a memorable performance as Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers to lift the UEFA Europa League.
Eintracht Frankfurt secured their first European title in 42 years by winning the UEFA Europa League, beating Rangers narrowly on penalties. It was a memorable night for the Germans, who also became the fifth Bundesliga side to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season.
It was a closely fought game, especially in the first half with both sides not afraid to pour men forward. Eintracht Frankfurt impressed more than Rangers, who looked extremely nervy at the start. The Gers allowed the opposition to make several exciting breakthroughs during the first half.
The likes of Daichi Kamada, Djibril Sow and Filip Kostic all had attempts on goal, but it was Ansgar Knauff who came the closest to scoring. His close-range effort had to be saved by Allan McGregor, in what proved to be a vital stop. Rangers, in response, could not create any opportunities other than Joe Aribo’s attempt from range, which was covered by Kevin Trapp.
In the second half, Eintracht Frankfurt started strongly but looked complacent defensively. It cost them at the end as Aribo made full use of a mix-up between the Eintracht defenders to find the opener against the run of play. But the lead did not last long, as the Eagles levelled the scoring in the 69th minute through Rafael Santos Borre.
Rangers had the opportunity to put the game to bed, but Trapp made an extraordinary save to force the game into extra time. After drawing goalless during the thirty added minutes, penalties followed.
Both the goalkeepers had very little to save up against well-taken strikes from all the takers. But it was Aaron Ramsey, who was brought in around 117th minute solely for penalties, who missed his kick, with Trapp saving his effort brilliantly. It was enough to ensure the cup triumph for Eintracht as goalscorer Borre netted the penultimate strike.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt players in their memorable and magical UEFA Europa League final in Seville this midweek.
Allan McGregor: 7/10
Allan McGregor made a few extremely important saves throughout the game to keep Rangers in the contest. His save to deny Djibril Sow in the first half was quite vital, while he was also on hand to deny Kamada. Unfortunately, the veteran could not keep out a single penalty during the shootout.
Rangers keeper Allan McGregor set to become the last player born before Return of the Jedi came out to appear in a major European final.
In goal for Frankfurt? It's a Trapp pic.twitter.com/HOIUz9fABj
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) May 18, 2022
James Tavernier: 6/10
James Tavernier had a mixed game at right-back. He looked extremely nervous and offered very little offensive output. Defensively, he forced Kostic to make mistakes and hurry his crosses, but his control over the Serb faded as the game progressed.
Connor Goldson: 7/10
Connor Goldson had a good game at the heart of the Rangers backline. Apart from a loss of communication with Calvin Bassey in the second half, the centre-back looked strong and firm with his defensive contributions.
Calvin Bassey: 7.5/10
Calvin Bassey was another Rangers defender that impressed on the night. His pace, tackling prowess and immense physicality made him a major roadblock for the Eintracht frontmen. However, he should have done much better to deny Borre in the second half.
Borna Barisic: 5/10
Borna Barisic allowed acres of space for Ansgar Knauff at times. He was not as impressive as the other Rangers defenders and was quite lucky that Knauff was not able to maximise his opportunities.
Ryan Jack: 5/10
Ryan Jack had an underwhelming game in the middle of the park. He was not able to produce the through balls in behind the backline for the likes of Ryan Kent and co. Not the best of nights for the midfielder, who was the first Rangers player to be subbed off.
John Lundstram: 6/10
John Lundstram was involved in the game right from the start, with his attempted tackle leading to a nasty head injury for Sebastian Rode. The Rangers midfielder had to cover a lot of ground and while he did a rather good job, he and his teammates struggled to dominate the middle of the park.
"I think he's a lucky boy there."
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) May 18, 2022
Glen Kamara: 5/10
Glen Kamara had a quiet game in midfield. He was not able to truly utilise his quality to help Rangers get on top of the proceedings. He was taken off just before extra time, with coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst preferring more energy in midfield.
Scott Wright: 4/10
Scott Wright was not involved much in the proceedings. He was unable to make use of the space Kostic left behind or to cause any problems for Evan N’Dicka on the far side.
Joe Aribo: 7/10
Joe Aribo became a nuisance for the Eintracht defenders due to his physicality and work ethic. He was a handful for Tuta, in particular, with the Brazilian notably failing to keep hold of him in the lead up to the Rangers opener. Unfortunately for him, Aribo lacked the proper attacking support around him.
JOE ARIBO PUTS RANGERS IN FRONT 💥
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 18, 2022
Ryan Kent: 5.5/10
Much was expected of Ryan Kent heading into this final as he had the quality to make something out of nothing. But he was barely a threat for Almamy Toure on the far side, thus leading to a rather quiet game for the Eintracht defender.
Fashion Sakala: 5/10
Fashion Sakala could not provide much to the table after coming on during the final phase of the game. Giovanni van Bronckhorst was right not to play him ahead of Aribo in the number nine role.
Steven Davis: 6/10
Steven Davis was brought in to provide the experience and composure in the Rangers camp. He notably converted a penalty calmly but was let down by Aaron Ramsey.
Scott Arfield: 6/10
Scott Arfield was involved in some crucial moments after coming on for Kamara just before the extra time. He worked hard for his team during the final thirty minutes.
James Sands: N/A
James Sands did not make much of an impact during the late stages of the game. He did not even play enough to warrant a rating.
Aaron Ramsey: N/A
Missed the penalty that secured Eintracht Frankfurt the victory. A night to forget for the former Arsenal playmaker.
Aaron Ramsey was subbed on three minutes before the shootout.
His miss led to Rangers missing out on the Europa League trophy 💔 pic.twitter.com/NcdIibc4Fj
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 18, 2022
Kemar Roofe: N/A
Kemar Roofe made an instant impact when he created a chance late in the game. Took his penalty brilliantly as well.
Kevin Trapp: 8.5/10
Kevin Trapp had a memorable night in Seville. He made a few crucial saves in the final, including the late stop to deny a certain winner from Rangers. He was also on hand to deny Aaron Ramsey’s penalty to help Eintracht Frankfurt seal the Europa League title. A season to remember for the German international.
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) May 18, 2022
Almamy Toure: 7.5/10
Tasked with the responsibility of replacing Martin Hinteregger, Almamy Toure did an exceptional job on the night. He was not fazed by the pressure and kept Kent quiet for the most part.
Fresh from signing a new contract, Tuta did not win any new fans with his underwhelming performance at the heart of the Eintracht Frankfurt backline. He looked nervy and was culpable for conceding the opener in the second half. He was subbed off shortly after, most likely due to injury.
Evan N’Dicka: 7.5/10
Evan N’Dicka had a quiet game as he was not troubled a great deal by Wright. The defender kept things tidy at the back and looked quite useful with his forward passes. He had a few problems in the end, but his presence was vital in helping Eintracht Frankfurt withstand the pressure.
Sebastian Rode: 8/10
Sebastian Rode picked up an early head injury that left him bleeding heavily. But the midfielder tied up quickly and soldiered on. His second-half performance was brilliant as the former Borussia Dortmund star led the team by example, distributing possession and winning the ball back for his team at every opportunity.
Rode as Ruso Pérez pic.twitter.com/icULKAhXVD
— EUROPACUPSIEGER🏆🏆🇺🇾 (@frankfuyrt) May 18, 2022
Djibril Sow: 6.5/10
It was Djibril Sow’s headed backpass that caught Tuta off-guard, eventually leading to Aribo’s opener. He was not as effective as Rode, but Sow did not disappoint either, always appearing competent in the second line of press.
Ansgar Knauff: 6/10
Ansgar Knauff had a poor game on the right-hand side. He was never short of energy, but he executed his chances poorly and lacked the decision-making skills in the final third. The youngster was quite frustrating to watch, at times.
Filip Kostic: 8/10
Filip Kostic was having a rather bad game up until the moment he produced a stellar assist for Rafael Borre. It was his 15th cross of the game at the time and the only one that ended up creating a chance. The Serb was brilliant after that, becoming a menace for the Rangers defence with his crossing prowess.
Jesper Lindstrom: 6/10
Jesper Lindstrom was not fully fit, and it was evident in his performance. Although he was not short of energy, there was a lack of x-factor in his game, influencing Oliver Glasner to sub him off in the 71st minute.
Daichi Kamada: 6.5/10
Daichi Kamada had a mixed bag of a final in Seville. His ability on the game was useful in switching the play or releasing men forward. But the Japanese international looked indecisive at times and had an opportunity to score in the first half.
Rafael Santos Borre: 9/10
Rafael Santos Borre was quite simply the star of the game in this final. The Colombian striker was having a rather quiet day at the office until he showed his true quality by latching on to a cross from Kostic. He later turned out to be a nuisance for the Rangers defence and kept his composure to score the final penalty that ensured the victory for SGE. A brilliant performance worthy of the cup itself.
6 – Rafael Borre’s goal for Eintracht Frankfurt was the sixth goal scored by a Colombian player in an #UELfinal, with players of no other nation scoring more goals in the final of the competition (Spain also 6). Vamos. pic.twitter.com/IYmOMqzGlf
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) May 18, 2022
Makoto Hasebe: 7/10
Makoto Hasebe replaced Tuta just before the hour mark. The Japanese veteran offered the calmness and the experience in the Frankfurt defence. It was vital in guiding his team through the rest of the proceedings.
Jens Petter Hauge: 3/10
Jens Petter Hauge was arguably the worst performer in this final. He offered nothing to the table and slowed Eintracht’s attacking momentum whenever he was on the ball.
Kristijan Jakic: 6.5/10
Kristijan Jakic was involved heavily in the second line of press after replacing Rode. The midfielder was unlucky at times with the refereeing decisions, but he gave his everything on the pitch.
Christopher Lenz: N/A
A late replacement for N’Dicka, Lenz took his penalty well. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Ajdin Hrustic: N/A
Another one who took his penalty quite well. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.