Barcelona rallied for a 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt in their Europa League quarterfinal first leg on Thursday night.

The hosts soaked up the pressure early on, hoping to hit Barca on the break, but were in danger after three minutes when Kevin Trapp tipped Ferran Torres’ shot over the bar.
Trapp was at it again to deny Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the game was to swing the Bundesliga side’s way.

Sergio Busquets appeared to bring down Rafael Santos Borre in the area before the break, but referee Srdjan Jovanovic overturned his initial penalty call out after a VAR review as the first half ended scoreless.

Eintracht kept going, though, and were rewarded three minutes into the second half when Ansgar Knauff found the back of the net with a stunning shot from outside the box after a poor clearance by the Barca defence.

Barcelona hit back on 66 minutes when substitutes Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele started a slick team move to set up Torres for the finish to level the score.

“The combination between Ousmane, Frenkie and Ferran … it’s a golazo, pure talent from the player,” Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez told reporters afterward.

Eintracht’s hopes of a late winner were dashed in the 78th when Tuta got a second yellow card for a rough challenge on Pedri, leaving his team to finish the game a man short.

Xavi’s side continued to force the issue in the second half but couldn’t find the go-ahead goal, setting up a winner-take-all second leg at the Camp Nou on April 14.

“They’re a tough side, very physical and they came out like demons on the counter-attack,” Xavi said. “It made it difficult for us. The pitch was not in perfect condition, either, and didn’t help how we wanted to play.

“We created less than usual, but satisfied with the result and now we have the return leg at home. Camp Nou will have to be a pressure cooker for us like their fans were here tonight.”


Courtesy: ESPN FC

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