It was a night of lopsided encounters as the quarterfinals of the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League came to a close, with West Ham and Eintracht Frankfurt registering thumping victories against Olympique Lyon and FC Barcelona, respectively. Many expected a completely different result at the end of the two legs, with the Hammers not in the best of form in the Premier League and the Catalans finding a resurgence of late after coach Xavi Hernandez arrived at the club.
West Ham brushed Lyon aside 3-0 away from home at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, as Craig Dawson, Declan Rice, and Jarrod Bowen all getting themselves on the scoresheet early on in the game to give the English side a comfortable victory, with veteran manager David Moyes in touching distance of major European silverware.
However, the scoreline did flatter the Moyes’ men, as the Ligue 1 side created more opportunities to score, managing a higher xG count, but were not clinical in front of goal, ultimately leading to their downfall.
However, the same could not be said about Barcelona, who were thoroughly outplayed by Eintracht Frankfurt in front of their own fans. It was a poor display of football by the five-time UEFA Champions League winners, whose defensive line looked virtually non-existent at the Camp Nou.
The Germans took full advantage of Barcelona’s struggling backline, as Eric Garcia’s blatant early foul on Jesper Lindstrom gave Frankfurt a penalty, which Filip Kostic gladly put away. The Serbia international doubled his tally after the pause, sinking Barcelona’s chances of progressing.
An eventful final few minutes involved two goals for the Blaugrana, as veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets scored in the first minute of stoppage time after his earlier effort was chalked off for offside.
Frankfurt tried their best to delay proceedings as Barca tried to mount the pressure in the final minutes, as they earned themselves three yellows and a red card, even as Memphis Depay converted the spot-kick off the latter.
However, it was too little too late for the Spaniards, who crashed out of the Europa League quarterfinals, 4-3 on aggregate. As such, West Ham and Lyon joined RB Leipzig and Rangers to complete the semi-final participants of the Europa League, which will commence on April 29.