Eintracht Frankfurt: their weaknesses and where they could hurt Rangers

Before the Europa League final we look at lessons learned from the German club’s win over West Ham in the previous round

Kamada’s creativity It will be crucial for Rangers to keep a close eye on Daichi Kamada in the final third. The Japanese playmaker is a lovely, silky player and was impressive when Eintracht Frankfurt saw off West Ham in the last four. Even Declan Rice found it difficult to pin Kamada down when Eintracht won the first leg at the London Stadium. West Ham never seemed to know what to do with Kamada, who plays as one of the two attacking midfielders in Oliver Glasner’s 3-4-2-1. He had a role in Eintracht’s opening goal, was in the right place to tap home the winner after Djibril Sow’s shot was saved and was unlucky to see a deflected shot hit the woodwork during the final stages, so Rangers will need to keep a close eye on the 25-year-old. If Kamada is given too much space to dribble inside from the left and play clever passes then Rangers will be in trouble.

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Allan McGregor: ‘Rangers in the Europa League final shouldn’t really happen’

The 40-year-old goalkeeper has 12 winner’s medals but beating Frankfurt would top the lot in what could be his last game

As Ibrox roared with approval at the vanquishing of RB Leipzig eyes were drawn towards Allan McGregor. Three months after his 40th birthday an individual not known for demonstrative behaviour bellowed along to “The Blue Sea of Ibrox”. McGregor was like a giddy teenager.

“A lot of people have said the same,” McGregor says. “Someone asked me recently – obviously I am getting on a bit – whether I actually savour moments more now. I thought about it. ‘I should. Why not?’ If I hadn’t been asked that maybe I wouldn’t have been that way that night.

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Rangers show power of unity and have nothing to fear in Europa League final

Like it or not, Rangers have overachieved by reaching the final of a tournament which has seen bigger names beaten and others fall by the wayside

A post-match episode in mutual appreciation as stragglers made their way along Paisley Road West shortly before 11.30pm on Thursday. RB Leipzig fan: “Great stadium.” Rangers fan: “We were the underdogs.” Leipzig fan: “Underdogs? This is Glasgow Rangers.” Laughs, handshakes and both went on their merry way.

Anyone with an interest in football’s soul – certainly in Germany - may find it appropriate that Rangers progressed to the Europa League final at the expense of the sporting wing of an energy drinks empire. Red Bull and its wings cannot upstage Ibrox when it sings. Those who visited as part of the Leipzig contingent did appear struck by the atmosphere, which was far more intense than a week earlier at the RB Arena.

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Rangers’ Van Bronckhorst eyes ‘another proud moment’ in Europa League final

  • Manager delighted with semi-final victory over RB Leipzig
  • ‘The pressure will be different’ for final against Frankfurt

Giovanni van Bronckhorst immediately set his sights on winning the Europa League after Rangers sealed a Seville final meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt by beating RB Leipzig on a famous evening at Ibrox.

“We will prepare well and try to create another proud moment for this club,” said the Rangers manager. “We don’t have to do anything different in terms of preparation than we have done so far. Of course the pressure will be different for a final but we still have to play to our strengths. Finals are always nice if you win them and that’s what we want to do.

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Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 West Ham (agg 3-1): Europa League semi-final, second leg – as it happened

Aaron Cresswell and David Moyes were sent off as West Ham’s Europa League dream ended on a sad and frustrating night in Frankfurt

“It’s really good to see how Declan Rice has progressed this year but interesting also as he was arguably outshone in England’s central midfield by Kalvin Phillips in the summer,” says David Wall. “I wonder if Phillips has got similar potential to kick on to the extent that Rice has. It certainly suggests that Leeds would be nowhere near the trouble they’re in if he’d been fit more this season.”

Phillips is three years older so I doubt he has quite the same scope for improvement. He’s already a superb player though, unique in English football. I know all teams get injuries but Leeds have been desperately unlucky. If Phillips and Patrick Bamford had played 75 per cent of the games, never mind Liam Cooper, I think they’d be fine.

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Rangers’ Lundstram strikes late to beat RB Leipzig to Europa League final

The 60th game of Rangers’ season delivered the most memorable moment of all. There could be better – far better – to come in Seville on 18 May. With Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team on the ropes and RB Leipzig in the ascendancy, John Lundstram bulged the net in front of the Copland Road stand. The level of euphoria depicted a goal for the ages. Who cared that is was scrappy?

Rangers, a decade on from financial meltdown, will compete in a Europa League final. Leipzig will be sore about that given their prominence at the time of Lundstram’s intervention but the truth is Rangers’ effective football prevailed.

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West Ham fan taken to hospital after violence before Europa tie in Frankfurt

  • Group of West Ham fans were attacked inside pub
  • 34-year-old man taken to hospital with slight injuries

A group of West Ham United fans were attacked and one was taken to hospital with slight injuries on Wednesday before Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt, German police said.

Police said in a statement that two vans stopped outside a pub where West Ham fans had gathered in the early hours of Wednesday.

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Shocked Rangers find extra semi-final motivation after kit man’s death

  • Jimmy Bell had worked at Ibrox for more than 30 years
  • Van Bronckhorst spells out desire to ‘make Jimmy proud’

Strange as it may seem that a team could glean added motivation before a European semi-final, Rangers’ desire to see off RB Leipzig on Thursday has been intensified by the sudden death of their kit man, Jimmy Bell.

Bell had worked at Ibrox for more than 30 years and news of his death reached a stunned Rangers squad on Monday. He had been in the dugout as Rangers drew at Celtic Park on Sunday. Giovanni van Bronckhorst, speaking as his team prepare for the visit of Leipzig – who hold a 1-0 advantage in this Europa League tie – said reaching the final would be the perfect way to honour Bell.

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