PARIS: Favourites Barcelona were sensationally knocked out of the Europa League by Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals on Thursday, while West Ham United and Rangers joined RB Leipzig in qualifying for the last four.
Serbian international winger Filip Kostic scored twice either side of a Rafael Santos Borre strike at the Camp Nou for Frankfurt, who survived a late fightback to win 3-2 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.
Sergio Busquets scored a late consolation before Memphis Depay’s even later penalty for Barcelona but Eintracht held on, to the delight of the estimated 30,000 German supporters who made it into the Camp Nou despite away fans only being allocated 5,000 tickets.
Barca were expecting huge backing at the stadium and president Joan Laporta said he was “embarrassed and ashamed”.
“Frankly what happened today makes me feel embarrassed and ashamed. There were many fans of the other team and not many of ours,” Laporta told Barca TV. “I’m very sorry for what has happened. What we can avoid are certain situations but as of now, we will have to be much more strict. We can’t allow these situations to happen.”
Coach Xavi Hernandez called the situation a “miscalculation” and said it did not help his side, who suffered their first defeat in 16 matches in all competitions.
“I’ve tried to tell the players that the important thing is what happens on the pitch, but logically this could have affected us. It’s very clear,” Xavi told a news conference. “We’ve tried to focus on the game and we’ve not been good. It has nothing to do with one thing and the other. It’s not an excuse. It hasn’t helped us, but on the pitch, we haven’t been good, and we haven’t competed.”
Barca’s recent revival under Xavi had been remarkable but this defeat means they have won just once at home all season in Europe, and their campaign is now set to end without silverware.
Eintracht, meanwhile, go through to their second Europa League semi-final in four seasons, having lost on penalties to Chelsea at the same stage in 2019.
After conceding three penalties in their weekend win over Levante, Barca fell behind to another spot-kick inside four minutes against Eintracht, as Kostic converted after a foul by Eric Garcia to the delight of the enormous away support.
The visitors scored again in the 36th minute as Colombian forward Borre fired high into the net from range, and Kostic’s low finish into the far corner made it 3-0 midway through the second half.
Busquets had a late goal disallowed for offside before he found the net with a fantastic strike from 20 metres in the first minute of injury time.
The game carried on into an 11th added minute when Depay netted a penalty after Evan Ndicka was sent off, receiving a second caution for a foul on Luuk de Jong.
Eintracht maintained their record of not having lost to Spanish opposition since the 1960 European Cup final against Real Madrid, and they will face West Ham in the semi-finals.
The English side are through to their first European semi-final since losing the 1976 Cup Winners’ Cup final to Anderlecht after they outclassed Olympique Lyonnais in France, winning 3-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.
The Hammers took the lead in the 38th minute of the return when Craig Dawson headed in a Pablo Fornals corner.
Captain Declan Rice slotted in their second just before the break, his sidefoot effort from the edge of the area beating Lyon goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck with the aid of a deflection.
The outcome was put beyond doubt when West Ham scored again three minutes after the restart as Fornals sent Jarrod Bowen away to make it 3-0.
West Ham United manager David Moyes wants his team to think of themselves as favourites to win the Europa League.
“We’re not favourites, but I want the players to think that they are,” Moyes told reporters. “I want the players to have great self-belief and I want them to think right from the start of the tournament.
“I’ve always thought the form we were in at the start this season, I would have taken anybody on at that time. I’m hoping we can keep it going, I’m hoping we can be talking about the final soon.”
There was drama in Glasgow as Rangers were taken to extra time by Braga before winning 3-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate as the Portuguese side finished the game with nine men.
James Tavernier gave Rangers a second-minute lead to level the tie on aggregate, and they had another goal disallowed and then hit the woodwork before winning a penalty just before the interval.
Vitor Tormena was sent off for a foul on Kemar Roofe, and Tavernier netted from the spot.
David Carmo’s 83rd-minute header took the tie to extra time, but Roofe’s 101st-minute finish put Rangers back in front on aggregate and Braga then had Iuri Medeiros dismissed.
Rangers will now face Leipzig in their first European semi-final since reaching the 2008 UEFA Cup final.
French international Christopher Nkunku scored both goals as Leipzig beat Atalanta 2-0 in Italy to win their last-eight tie 3-1 on aggregate.
Nkunku opened the scoring in the 18th minute in Bergamo and then added a late penalty, his 30th goal of the season in all competitions.
In the third-tier Europa Conference League, Leicester City battled back to beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 on Thursday in the Europa Conference League to reach a European semi-final for the first time in their history, where they will face Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma.
After a goalless draw in the first leg in England last week, PSV took the lead in the quarter-final tie through Eran Zahavi. But late goals from James Maddison and Ricardo Pereira sent Brendan Rodgers’ Premier League side through and stunned the Philips Stadion crowd.
Leicester will play Roma for a place in the final in Tirana on May 25, after the Serie A side overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit against Norwegians Bodo/Glimt with a 4-0 thrashing as Nicolo Zaniolo scored a brilliant hat-trick.
Olympique de Marseille also booked their place in the last four as Dimitri Payet scored for the second time in the tie — a 1-0 victory over PAOK in Greece sealing a 3-1 aggregate success.
The Ligue 1 club will take on Feyenoord in the semis, after the Dutch outfit won 3-1 against Slavia Prague in the Czech capital after a 3-3 first-leg draw, with Cyriel Dessers netting twice.