Last night we saw the return of Europa League football as the eight remaining teams in the competition took part in the first leg of their quarter-final ties. All of the clubs still left in the mix will fancy their chances at going all the way and on Thursday, Eintracht Frankfurt and Barcelona proved why they’re two of the favourites to lift the trophy by the time we get to May.
In an entertaining clash of styles, the pair played out a thoroughly entertaining 1-1 draw – leaving us no close to discovering who will make it to the final four.
The Barca style is back
With their back against the wall and a passionate crowd against them, Barcelona really had to dig deep in order to come away with something from this game. They had to wait for their moment but in the 66th minute, a tremendous combination of passes eventually ended with Ferran Torres knocking the ball past the keeper to ensure we head into the second leg at honours even.
Frankfurt hold on
Eintracht Frankfurt’s home support were dubbing this one of their biggest games of the century, and that’s how they performed as an onlooking crowd. From the first minute until the very last they were behind their boys and after the hosts went down to ten men, they really had to find something within themselves to make sure they didn’t go behind – and because of that, they should feel pretty good about the second leg.
Favourites for the crown?
As much as the other seven clubs would love nothing more than to win the Europa League this season, we just feel as if everything is clicking into place at just the right time for Barca. Xavi has put together a squad that genuinely looks like they have some self belief and as much as that may sound cheesy, the fact they’ve been unbeaten since way back in early December speaks volumes about their resurgence.
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