Frankfurt win 2-1 at West Ham, Leipzig beat Rangers in Europa League semifinals

Frankfurt win 2-1 at West Ham, Leipzig beat Rangers in Europa League semifinals
Frankfurt's midfielder Knauff (R) scores the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League semifinal match against West Ham United on April 28, 2022. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 29 April 2022

Frankfurt win 2-1 at West Ham, Leipzig beat Rangers in Europa League semifinals

Frankfurt win 2-1 at West Ham, Leipzig beat Rangers in Europa League semifinals
  • Frankfurt’s last final came when they won the Europa League predecessor UEFA Cup in 1980, and West Ham’s last game of that stature was the 1976 Cup Winner’s Cup final

LONDON: Eintracht Frankfurt are a step away from reaching their first European competition final in more than 40 years after beating West Ham 2-1 in the first leg of the Europa League semifinals on Thursday.

The German team had knocked out Barcelona in the quarterfinals and quickly shocked West Ham when Ansgar Knauff scored 51 seconds after kickoff at the London Stadium.

Both clubs are bidding to reach what would be their biggest match in decades — Frankfurt’s last final came when they won the Europa League predecessor UEFA Cup in 1980, and West Ham’s last game of that stature was the 1976 Cup Winner’s Cup final.

An all-German final in the second-tier European competition is a possibility after Leipzig scored late to defeat Rangers 1-0 at home in the other semifinal match.

Leipzig had beaten Atalanta to reach this stage and are aiming for their first-ever European final. Both second legs are next week with Frankfurt and Rangers hosting.

Frankfurt had a dream start in London.

The visitors got the ball for the first time with West Ham defense letting Rafael Borré in the area to cross for Knauff at the far post to stun the hosts within the opening minute.

It was Knauff’s second goal in the competition this season after netting in the 1-1 draw in the first leg against Barcelona.

Michail Antonio, who returned to the starting lineup after being rested by manager David Moyes in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea, canceled out the early lead. Kurt Zouma headed a cross off Manuel Lanzini’s free kick for diving Antonio to equalize 20 minutes after the opening goal.

Frankfurt were ahead again early in the second half after West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola parried Djibril Sow’s shot and Daichi Kamada scored the winner on a rebound.

Leipzig had to wait till the 85th minute to break the deadlock.

With their three-man attack failing to hit the target, it was their Spanish defender Angeliño who volleyed home off a corner kick for Leipzig.

Rangers are trying to reach their first European final since 2008.
 


’Emotional’ Werner scores for Leipzig on Bundesliga return

’Emotional’ Werner scores for Leipzig on Bundesliga return
Updated 41 sec ago

’Emotional’ Werner scores for Leipzig on Bundesliga return

’Emotional’ Werner scores for Leipzig on Bundesliga return
BERLIN: Former Chelsea striker Timo Werner found the back of the net on an emotional return to Leipzig, but it was not enough to secure their first win of the season as Cologne snatched a 2-2 draw on Saturday.
Leipzig played the majority of the game with 10 men, after Hungary midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai received a straight red card for an elbow to the throat of Cologne’s Florian Kainz just before half time.
Werner left Leipzig for London in 2020 before returning earlier this week in a £25 million ($30.2 million, 29.5 million euros) deal.
Leipzig’s record goal-scorer put his side ahead in the 36th minute, when goalkeeper Marvin Schwaebe let Werner’s long-distance strike dip under his body and trickle across the line.
Cologne equalized just four minutes later however, when striker Florian Dietz dinked in from close range to chalk up his first ever Bundesliga goal.
French forward Christopher Nkunku gave the home side the lead in the 56th minute, but Cologne were able to equalize with 20 minutes to go through a clumsy own goal from Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol.
After the game, Werner — who was subbed off to warm applause in the 68th minute — said he was “very emotional” to return.
“It was something special for me, to return after two years.”
“Leipzig is always a part of me. I grew up here and I got my first Germany call up here.”
The 26-year-old, however, was less enamoured of the result which means Leipzig have drawn their opening two matches.
“When you see how we’ve lost points this season, it’s really bitter.
“Considering we were playing with a man down for so long, 2-2 is acceptable, but for our aims (this season), it’s far from satisfactory,” he said.
In Saturday’s late game, Schalke secured a last-minute 2-2 draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach when Marius Buelter converted a penalty in injury time.
Schalke opened the scoring in the 29th minute thanks to a stunning solo goal from Rodrigo Zalazar, who dribbled the ball from halfway before scoring via a long-range strike from the edge of the penalty box.
Jonas Hofmann — fresh off a midweek contract extension — skidded the ball over the line in the 27th minute, before France’s Marcus Thuram put Gladbach in front just six minutes later.
Gladbach winger Patrick Herrmann was adjudged to have handballed in the penalty area in injury time, giving Buelter the chance to convert from the spot.
Schalke striker Simon Terodde summed up his side’s emotional full-time celebrations.
“The people here — they’ve missed us,” he said.
“It’s beautiful that we could give them a point in the 93rd minute.”
Werder Bremen snatched a late point at home against Stuttgart through a 95th minute goal from Scottish winger Oliver Burke.
Bremen’s two-pronged attack of Niclas Fuellkrug and Marvin Ducksch again combined, putting the home side in the fourth minute.
Stuttgart equalized in the 38th minute through Wataru Endo and took the lead with just over ten to play through Silas Katompa Mvumpa, before Burke won a point for Bremen late.
Augsburg won 2-1 away at Bayer Leverkusen thanks to an 82nd minute goal from Andre Hahn, deepening the winless Leverkusen’s woes after their early German Cup exit.
In the German capital, under pressure Hertha Berlin drew 1-1 with Eintracht Frankfurt. Frankfurt had a late penalty overturned on VAR and Hertha held on to pick up their first point of the season.
In Sinsheim, Hoffenheim came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against an impressive Bochum, thanks to goals from former Liverpool defender Ozan Kabak, Christoph Baumgartner and an 88th minute header from Munas Dabbur.
On Friday, Dortmund scored three goals in the last 15 minutes away at Freiburg to win 3-1.
On Sunday, Wolfsburg travel to Bayern Munich while Mainz are at home to Union Berlin.

Gabriel Jesus scores 2 in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leicester

Gabriel Jesus scores 2 in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leicester
Updated 34 min 42 sec ago

Gabriel Jesus scores 2 in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leicester

Gabriel Jesus scores 2 in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leicester
  • The Brazil striker marked his home debut for Arsenal with two goals and two assists
  • “He was really disappointed in the dressing room, because he said he could have scored four,” said Mikel Arteta

LONDON: Gabriel Jesus didn’t take long to make an impression at Emirates Stadium.
The Brazil striker marked his home debut for Arsenal with two goals and two assists in a 4-2 win against Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday.
But apparently it wasn’t enough for Jesus himself.
“He was really disappointed in the dressing room, because he said he could have scored four,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said. “I wouldn’t like to play against him as a defender. He’s so mobile, so intuitive, always sharp.”
The 25-year-old Jesus, who joined from Manchester City as Arsenal’s marquee summer signing so far, opened his account for the Gunners in the 23rd minute with a brilliant, curling finish. He got his second in the 35th from a header and had several chances to finish the game with a hat trick.
The two times Leicester found a foothold in the match, Arsenal struck back right away.
The visitors made it 2-1 from an own goal by William Saliba in the 53rd, but Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka restored the home side’s two-goal cushion two minutes later. Xhaka scored after Jesus poked a loose ball into his path when Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward failed to hold on to a routine cross into the box and collided with defender Wesley Fofana.
Leicester attacking midfielder James Maddison made it 3-2 in the 74th when he sent a low shot through the legs of Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
A nervous murmur went through the crowd, but the Arsenal team didn’t panic as they did in similar situations in recent seasons. Jesus drove forward just a minute later and squared the ball to forward Gabriel Martinelli, who fired a left-footed shot from just outside the area to beat Ward at the back post to make it 4-2.
“It was a bit of a mixed bag for us today,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. “There were good moments. But in key moments of the game, we made mistakes.”
Leicester also had a penalty decision overturned just before halftime after the referee first pointed to the spot and then was asked to review a coming together of Ramsdale and Leicester forward Jamie Vardy in the box.
On a hot day when the mercury hit around 33 C (91 F), six goals and the pace of the game took a lot out of the players and water breaks were needed in each half. The result means that Arsenal have won both of their opening league games, with Leicester drawing their first match.
Jesus was the focus of Arsenal’s attack throughout the game, with teammates trying to get him the ball at every opportunity. For his first goal, he took one touch after receiving a pass from Xhaka, set himself and then bent a shot that took a slight deflection to sail in past Ward.
Jesus got a bit of help for his second from Vardy. The Leicester forward flicked the ball backward across the face of goal from a corner, and Jesus headed into an empty net at the back post.
The striker nearly scored a hat trick before halftime when he dominated Leicester defender Jonny Evans with his back to goal, spun around him into the box and fired a low shot saved by Ward. He had multiple chances in the second half as well.
The challenge for Arsenal when it comes to Jesus will be keeping him fit throughout the course of the season since he wasn’t used to playing in every match during his time at Manchester City.
“We have to manage that load,” Arteta said. “We have to be on top of that.”
But the manager said Jesus has already lifted the standards among the team in training and with the way he connects with his teammates.
Jesus says he’s enjoying being Arsenal’s No. 9, but he doesn’t harbor any bad feelings against his former club.
“I was not unhappy at City,” he said. “I just want to play. I understand the club, I understand the manager. But you know sometimes players want to play. And I’m the same. And here I come and I train every day.”
Unlike Arsenal, Leicester have been very quiet in the transfer market and will look to hold onto key players like Fofana and Maddison, who are attracting interest from other clubs. The team only announced their first signing of the transfer window on the eve of Saturday’s match. Alex Smithies, a 32-year-old backup goalkeeper who most recently played for Cardiff, signed with the Foxes on a two-year deal.
Rodgers hopes the transfer rumors involving some of his players doesn’t infect the team as a whole.
“I think it’s difficult for the young players,” he said. “But you could see the spirit in the team today. The players kept going right until the end.”


Man United bottom of Premier League after 4-0 thrashing by Brentford

Man United bottom of Premier League after 4-0 thrashing by Brentford
Updated 54 min 41 sec ago

Man United bottom of Premier League after 4-0 thrashing by Brentford

Man United bottom of Premier League after 4-0 thrashing by Brentford
  • The former Ajax boss' reign began with Brighton's first ever win at Old Trafford last weekend
  • The jubilant home support taunted Ten Hag with chants of "you're getting sacked in the morning"

LONDON: Erik ten Hag’s bad start as Manchester United manager descended into an embarrassment as a 4-0 thrashing by Brentford on Saturday left the Red Devils bottom of the Premier League.
The former Ajax boss’ reign began with Brighton’s first ever win at Old Trafford last weekend, but much worse was to come as the Bees punished a series of errors to score four times in the first 35 minutes.
Josh Dasilva’s strike slipped through David de Gea’s grasp to open the floodgates before Mathias Jensen pounced on United’s attempt to play out from the back to make it 2-0 inside 18 minutes.
Ben Mee then exposed the visitors’ frailty from set-pieces for his first Brentford goal and Bryan Mbuemo rounded off a stunning counter-attack 10 minutes before half-time to sink United to the bottom of the table for the first time in 30 years.
The jubilant home support taunted Ten Hag with chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning.”
But the Dutch coach has inherited a rabble rather than being the root cause as United lost a seventh consecutive away league match for the first time since 1936.
That run included shipping four goals at Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton last season.
The arrival of £57 million ($69 million) center-back Lisandro Martinez from Ajax has done little to shore up United’s leaky defense and questions will be asked of why Ten Hag has left Raphael Varane on the bench in favor of the Argentine and the out-of-sorts Harry Maguire.
Ten Hag did recall Cristiano Ronaldo to the starting line-up, but the wantaway five-time Ballon d’Or winner played a part in the opening goal.
Ronaldo went to ground too easily seeking a foul as he was surrounded by Brentford bodies. Dasilva’s shot should still have been a comfortable save for De Gea, but the ball squirmed underneath the Spaniard.
De Gea compounded that mistake eight minutes later with an attempted pass to Christian Eriksen, who was outmuscled by his former teammate Jensen, and the Dane coolly slotted home to double Brentford’s lead.
Martinez’s diminutive 5ft 9in (1.8m) frame was raised as a red flag for his ability to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.
And the Argentine was beaten at the back post by Mee for the third goal after Ivan Toney headed a corner across goal.
Credit to Brentford in just their second season in the English top-flight for 75 years may get swept away in the waves of criticism coming United’s way.
But Thomas Frank’s men produced a stunning move to tear United open again for their fourth goal.
Toney was released down the left wing and picked out Mbuemo with a precise first-time pass for the Frenchman to race in behind Luke Shaw and finish low past De Gea.
Ten Hag made his feelings clear at the break with a triple substitution with Shaw, Martinez and Fred the scapegoats.
United did at least stop the bleeding after the break and should have had at least one consolation as Ronaldo looped a header over before Eriksen’s header lacked the power to beat David Raya.
The damage, though, was long since done for Ten Hag and worse could still be to come.
United host Liverpool, who beat their historic rivals 5-0 and 4-0 last season, in their next game on August 22.


Eddie Howe admits Newcastle lucky to earn ‘valuable’ point at Brighton

Eddie Howe admits Newcastle lucky to earn ‘valuable’ point at Brighton
Updated 41 min 57 sec ago

Eddie Howe admits Newcastle lucky to earn ‘valuable’ point at Brighton

Eddie Howe admits Newcastle lucky to earn ‘valuable’ point at Brighton
  • The Magpies were lucky to play out a 0-0 draw on the south coast of England
  • United chief admits he was pleased with the spirit shown by the dressing room to grind out result

BRIGHTON: Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has admitted the Magpies rode their luck in their draw at Brighton — although he was pleased to get another Premier League point on the board.

The Magpies were lucky to play out a 0-0 draw on the south coast of England with Graham Potter’s Seagulls dominating Newcastle as both sides continued their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.

It was a far from vintage show by Howe’s players, but the United chief admits he was pleased with the spirit shown by the dressing room to grind out a positive, if arguably undeserved, share of the spoils.

“I am always disappointed not to win but very pleased with a point in the end, especially after the second-half,” he said.

“I thought it was a difficult second-half, Brighton played very well. We rode our luck at times but dug in and showed a great spirit and unity.

“We got a valuable point.”

Former Seagulls defender Dan Burn, as well as United keeper Nick Pope, were the stand out performers for the Magpies — and both had to be at their very best to keep Potter's men at bay.

And while Pope was brought in to produce the kind of saves he did at the Amex Stadium, Burn was not added to the group to play left back, which he did at Brighton.

“I thought Dan did great today,” said Howe.

“It was very difficult. Although it’s a small transition across the pitch, it’s a huge one at the same time. He hadn’t played left-back for a long time but I thought he did very well against his former team.

“He put in one crucial block that saved us at a key time in the game.

“Overall, very pleased with his performance and his attitude to doing that position.”

Pope made three or four top class saves to deny Brighton three points on the day and further his England ambitions with a flashy show.

"I just thought he was top class and he has been since he came to the club,” said Howe.

"He is a very relaxed figure, very confident in the dressing room. He’s got a real calmness about him.

"The save from Adam Lallana was top class. Not just that save, he made a number of really important ones for us. I think he showed his importance to us this season.”

In a rare moment of forward threat, Callum Wilson did see a goal disallowed for a high foot in the opening exchanges. It was a controversial call from Graham Scott — and one Howe questioned.

"I’d need to see it again. My initial reaction was I thought it was harsh and given too quickly,” he said.

"The decision could have been let go to see what VAR said but it wasn’t to be. We had a number of moments in that first-half. We had some really good attacks, threatened on the counter-attack and in transitions we were very strong.

"For large parts, the last action wasn’t decisive enough. Unfortunately none of those attacks came to much.”

Meanwhile, Howe has explained the reason why Scotland international winger Ryan Fraser was not in the Newcastle squad for the game.

He said: "He had a slight back spasm on Thursday and Friday. He was close to making the game.”

Matt Targett, another absentee, is expected to be fit for next week’s visit of Manchester City to St James’ Park, having missed this one with a dead leg.


World Cup hospitality website lists Palestine, not Israel, as country

World Cup hospitality website lists Palestine, not Israel, as country
Updated 13 August 2022

World Cup hospitality website lists Palestine, not Israel, as country

World Cup hospitality website lists Palestine, not Israel, as country
  • Arab football fans hail ‘bold and rightful step’
  • “FIFA should do the same since Russia is perceived as an aggressor and occupier, then so is Israel,” fan tells Arab News

DUBAI: The official website for booking match tickets and hospitality packages at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 lists Palestine as a country instead of Israel, according to media reports.
Israelis wishing to make bookings to travel to Doha for matches have to choose Palestine as their territory instead of Israel.
Winterhill Hospitality is the exclusive sales agent of match hospitality in Asia and Oceania territories for official hospitality programs.
Palestinian news agency WAFA said the previous listing read “Palestinian Territory, Occupied” before being changed to “Palestine.”
Arab football fans took to social media to hail the move, which was described as a “bold and rightful step” for recognizing Palestine as a country on the list instead of Israel.
Israeli media first raised the issue on Wednesday as Israel was not listed in the section for Europe either.
“Thank you to Qatar for crossing out the name of Israel from the list of the countries of the World Cup. Salute to the Government of Qatar,” read one tweet.
Lebanese football fan Ali Halawi said he was thrilled to see an Arab country supporting Palestinians.
“Qatar has decided not to recognize that Israel exists and not to grant them the right to join an Arabic event, just like when there’s a foreign event happening and organizers decide not to allow whoever they want not to attend,” he told Arab News.
He said the myth of not involving politics in sports had fallen, especially since FIFA and UEFA were permitting teams, clubs, and fans to show solidarity with Ukraine in its war with Russia.
“The international football governing body should do the same since Russia is perceived as an aggressor and occupier, then so is Israel,” concluded Halawi.
But Iraqi Ali Ebrahim said there was no issue for him as a football fan as neither team had qualified for the tournament.
“It only matters (to) the fans of those countries who qualified to the big event,” he told Arab News, saying the step was “nothing more than a moral victory to Palestinians.”
A US-Palestinian lawyer who requested to be identified as Jamal said the listing was an “appreciated move” that indirectly recognized Palestinians’ rights and their ongoing fight for a free land.
“Not that this will change anything, but it’s an emotional and moral victory. I love football and hate politics, so I’d rather not say much and enjoy the game,” he added.
Samer Osman said he did not like to involve sport in any political issue and was unsure if the move would improve the quality of life for Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza.