Barça salvage draw against Frankfurt
Sports Desk, Apr 7 (EFE).- Barcelona came up against an intense Eintracht Frankfurt side Thursday in their Europa League quarterfinal and managed to get out of Deutsche Bank Park with a 1-1 draw that leaves the tie to be decided next week at Camp Nou.
The West Ham United-Lyon and RB Leipzig-Atalanta matches also ended 1-1, while Braga beat Rangers 1-0.
Despite having only 33 percent possession, Frankfurt outshot the Blaugrana 16-7 and took the lead early in the second half on a blast from outside the area by Ansgar Knauff.
As the contest entered the final 30 minutes, Barça coach Xavi Hernandez made a double change and the decision didn’t take long to pay off, as subs Ousmana Dembele and Frenkie de Jong combined to set up Ferran Torres for the equalizer in the 66th minute.
Buoyed by the goal, the visitors began to win all of the individual battles and got a further boost when Frankfurt’s Tuta was sent off in the 79th minute for a second yellow card, but the hosts hung on to preserve the draw.
West Ham, playing in their first European quarterfinal since 1981, emphasized defense against high-scoring Lyon, who knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League just two years ago.
The strategy worked well until Aaron Cresswell picked up a straight red card in first-half stoppage time to reduce the Hammers to 10 men.
Overcoming the disadvantage, Jarrod Bowen scored in the 52nd minute to put the Londoners ahead, though the lead lasted only to the 66th minute, when Tanguy Ndombele brought the visitors level.
In the day’s other action, Abel Ruiz’s goal in the 40th minute was enough to give hosts Braga a 1-0 victory over Rangers, while the Red Bulls and Atalanta battled to a 1-1 result in Leipzig. EFE rz-msg-pfm/dr