Big European defeats: Rangers Europa League dream could come true while West Ham learn painful lessons | Football news
Rangers’ dream of Euro glory can come true
Make Us Dream is a message from Rangers fans and players.
They wanted to make legendary cat Jimmy Bell proud just days after his sudden death and they did it and more in an unforgettable evening at Ibrox.
With a 1-0 lead over the first leg on German soil, last night’s 3-1 win was enough to set up a final against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville on May 18.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst has only been in charge for six months and he has the opportunity to do what only Willie Waddell has done before him and lead Rangers to a European Cup.
There’s a feeling this might just be their year – it’s their 150th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of their Champions League victory in Barcelona.
Van Bronckhorst can always count on his captain, James Tavernier, to rise to the challenge and the right-back is the top scorer in the Europa League this season with seven goals so far.
After beating Borussia Dortmund on their way to the final, there’s no reason for Rangers to fear their eventual opponent.
Dortmund are second in the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig are currently fifth and the team they will meet on May 18 are down to 11th.
West Ham learn painful lessons in Europe
West Ham will leave Frankfurt feeling like what could happen after Aaron Cresswell’s red card. And who can blame them?
Eintracht, a team that had had a win in their previous 10 home games, looked nervous for 18 minutes before being sacked in front of a rowdy crowd.
The red card gave them confidence and they never looked back. It’s not hard to see that it’s the turning point.
But perhaps there’s more to it than that. A sloppy defense in key moments failed West Ham – just as they did in the first leg – and ultimately cost them a spot in the Europa League final.
As for being sent off, Cresswell was stuck as the last man to return to tackle a repeat ball overhead, with Craig Dawson and Kurt Zouma not being seen.
Cresswell has shown he can fill in as part of a defender trio, but should never be left to deal with situations like the last man. Certainly not so soon, with the game already so ready.
The other big moment came just eight minutes later, with West Ham all at sea after Creswell was sent off.
An underrated Rafael Santos Borre went completely unmarked at the edge of the six-yard round to extend the lead for Frankfurt after Ansgar Knauff’s cut. All too easy for Frankfurt.
Two blunders left West Ham with an insurmountable test, teaching them a ruthless lesson in how difficult the latter stages of European competition can be.
But there is plenty to be proud of, a win that includes wins over Sevilla and Lyon to reach their first European semi-final in 46 years is not a bad feat. And they will come back.
“We have a pretty good team, so I think we can try again,” David Moyes said after the game. “We’re going to be a little bit wiser and hopefully be able to do it more often.”
Leicester failed to enforce themselves
Having a successful season for Leicester? Having lifted the FA Cup a year ago, you’ll have to say it ended up being overwhelmed with the master here beating the apprentice. Jose Mourinho Silver Foxes in front of Brendan Rodgers Foxes.
Leicester must rebuild, but who will Rodgers call if he really decides to stick with the King Power Stadium.
“It’s been a huge experience for them and that gives them extra motivation to move forward,” added the Leicester boss. “It’s great for the club. We’ve just missed out but now we have to try to finish the season strong and look for improvement in the summer.”
A pre-match banner declared ‘Everybody in England is afraid of the name of the Romans’ – and only four teams from the Premier League have now won 19 such encounters.
The home fans began throwing flares at Leicester’s supporters long before the start of the hostile Stadio Olimpico match against the hosts looking to reach their first European final since since 1991, when they lost the UEFA Cup to Inter Milan.
Tammy Abraham will lead Roma to help Roma achieve their first European success in 50 years but for Leicester there will be a lingering sense of regret as they have failed to cause serious trouble for Roma and not ever execute yourself.
The club have tore up the rule book after winning the Premier League and FA Cup over the past six years, but, this season, success in Europe is just out of reach.