Madrid: FC Barcelona crashed out of the Europa League after a 3-2 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Barcelona had drawn 1-1 in Germany a week ago and were favourites to qualify for the semifinals, but cheered on by an estimated 20,000 of their fans in the stands of the Camp Nou Stadium Thursday night, Eintracht stunned Xavi Hernandez and his side.
Gavi and Pedri were back in the Barca starting 11, but it was never Barca’s night with Eintracht opening the scoring thanks to Filip Kostic’s fourth-minute penalty after a careless foul from Eric Garcia.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a good chance to head Barca level before Rafael Borre doubled Eintracht’s lead with a thunderbolt. The Colombian was set free down the left by Kostic, cut inside and smashed the ball past Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Xinhua reports. Things got worse for Barca when the influential Pedri failed to appear for the second half and was replaced by Frenkie de Jong, although Aubameyang missed another good chance to drag Barca back into the tie.
The Frenchman needed treatment for a thigh injury soon after and in the 67th minute Kostic’s first-time effort made it 3-0 for the visitors after a quick move following a throw-in.
Luuk de Jong came on for Garcia to try and turn things around, and although he again made his presence felt with a hand in two late goals, this time there was to be no late miracle for Barca.
Sergio Busquets had the ball in the net with 10 minutes left to play, his neat backheel was ruled out for offside, although he then gave Barca a lifeline in the 91st minute when he scored after Luuk de Jong’s shot was blocked.
The big striker then won a penalty in the 10th minute of injury time, but it was too late for a Barca miracle and Eintracht progress to the last four.