Barcelona have toiled at dwelling in continental competitors this season however they might want to discover a well beyond Eintracht Frankfurt on the Camp Nou on Thursday if they’re to succeed in the semi-finals of the Europa League.
The Catalans wanted a second-half Ferran Torres strike to return from behind and draw 1-1 with Eintracht in Germany within the first leg of their quarter-final final week, leaving the tie open going into the return.
Barca have received simply as soon as at dwelling in Europe this season, edging Dynamo Kiev 1-0 throughout their failed Champions League group-stage marketing campaign.
Since dropping into the Europa League — the primary time they’ve taken half within the second-tier European competitors since 2004 — they’ve drawn at dwelling to each Napoli and Galatasaray earlier than getting the job carried out within the return.
There could also be no away targets benefit anymore, however the present type makes Barcelona clear favourites to advance to the final 4 with Xavi Hernandez’s crew unbeaten in 15 video games, a run that has lifted them again as much as second in La Liga.
Which means they’re unlikely to must win the Europa League to return to the Champions League subsequent season, however they nonetheless wish to end the season with silverware and are eyeing a spot within the ultimate in Seville on Might 18.
Eintracht lie in mid-table within the Bundesliga and haven’t received any of their final 5 matches however they’ve misplaced solely as soon as to Spanish opposition — towards Actual Madrid within the 1960 European Cup ultimate.
Whoever emerges victorious on the Camp Nou will play both Lyon or West Ham United within the final 4.
These sides meet in France with their quarter-final tie additionally finely poised after a 1-1 attract London, the place West Ham held out regardless of having Aaron Cresswell despatched off within the first half.
“We didn’t play properly and we are able to solely play significantly better subsequent week,” stated West Ham supervisor David Moyes after the primary leg.
They are going to be with out French worldwide defender Kurt Zouma on account of damage for the return towards a Lyon facet struggling domestically and who’ve health worries of their very own.
Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and midfield duo Houssem Aouar and Tanguy Ndombele all got here off injured enjoying in the course of the weekend and Lyon could be significantly weakened with out that trio.
On the opposite facet of the draw, Rangers should overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit as they play host to Braga at Ibrox, and the winner of that tie will face both Atalanta or RB Leipzig within the semi-finals.
– Pressure –
In the meantime, Leicester Metropolis go to the Netherlands to face PSV Eindhoven within the Europa Convention League hoping to progress to the primary European semi-final of their historical past.
The groups drew 0-0 in England final week and the winner will face both Roma or Bodo/Glimt.
Jose Mourinho’s facet misplaced 2-1 in Norway final week that means they haven’t overwhelmed Bodo/Glimt in three makes an attempt this season.
That match was marred on the finish by a scuffle involving Bodo/Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen and Roma goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos. Each males have been suspended for what might be a tense return leg.
Marseille followers should not anticipated to journey to Greece for his or her crew’s sport towards PAOK after violence amongst supporters marred the primary leg in France, which OM received 2-1.
Greek authorities referred to as on UEFA to ban away supporters, though in any case, one main Marseille fan group had already confirmed they’d not attend the return.
Fixtures on Thursday (Kick-offs 1900 GMT until acknowledged)
Europa League quarter-final second legs
Atalanta (ITA) v RB Leipzig (GER) (1645) (1-1)
Barcelona (ESP) v Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) (1-1)
Lyon (FRA) v West Ham United (ENG) (1-1)
Rangers (SCO) v Braga (POR) (0-1)
Europa Convention League quarter-final second legs
PSV Eindhoven (NED) v Leicester Metropolis (ENG) (1645) (0-0)
Roma (ITA) v Bodo/Glimt (NOR) (1-2)
Slavia Prague (CZE) v Feyenoord (NED) (3-3)
PAOK (GRE) v Marseille (FRA) (1-2)