Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Barcelona: Player ratings

Eintracht Frankfurt posted an entertaining 1-1 draw at home to Barcelona in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night.

Xavi might as well have been looking into a crystal ball when he made a prescient assessment of Frankfurt’s threat: “They are well organised, they are physically very strong and they are good in transition.”

Facing its first crowd since the pandemic, Frankfurt channeled the suffocating cacophony into a dizzying start. Flying forward after each turnover, the Bundesliga’s ninth-placed left their lavender-clad visitors in molasses.

Barcelona did not take long to gain a foothold in the tie by establishing a monopoly on the ball. Slowing down breathlessly, however, the Catalans had to settle for a barren possession in the face of a blocking Frankfurt eager to run forward.

Filip Kostic led one of those quick breaks in the last ten minutes of the first half, firing a low ball that Marc-Andre ter Stegen spilled at the feet of Rafael Borre. Sergio Busquets was initially considered to have conceded a penalty, but a quick VAR review recognized that the Barcelona captain came at the ball with his big toe.

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