Rangers suffered Europa League heartbreak as they were defeated on penalties against a lively Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.
In what will go down as one of the most memorable nights in the history of the Scottish side, a single miss from Aaron Ramsey proved crucial in the shoot-out following a pulsating 1-1 draw in normal time.
Nearly three hours earlier, it had been the German side that began the first half on the front foot, with Germany U-21 international Ansgar Knauff forcing Alan McGregor into a fine early save as Rangers were rocked inside a cauldron of noise.
Come the halftime whistle, however, it was the Scottish side that were firmly on top, dominating the ball and keeping Frankfurt penned into their own half, despite not really coming close to testing Kevin Trapp in the Frankfurt goal.
5 minutes into the second half, Rangers fans’ hearts were back in their mouths as Connor Goldson tangled with Rafael Borre in the box, only for the referee to point for a corner rather than a penalty. But fear quickly turned to ecstasy when a slip from Tuta allowed Joe Aribo to run through and calmly slot past Kevin Trapp, sending the Scottish fans in the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium delirious.
ARIBO IS IN, AND HE SCORES! ⚽️
Rangers lead in the Europa League final and the travelling Glaswegians go wild! 🔥
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 18, 2022
But, Frankfurt hit back, with a Filip Kostic cross turned home by Borre following a rare mistake from the Rangers backline. And, heading into the final minutes of normal time, it was the German side posing the questions once more.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side held firm, however, and ensured that they took the tie to extra time. The low-quality affair continued to ebb and flow without too much by way of goalmouth action, and the Europa League final headed for a shoot-out for a second successive season.
Following six perfect penalties, Rangers blinked first as loanee Aaron Ramsay saw his tame effort saved by Kevin Trapp, before Filip Kostic hammered home the advantage. Borre fired home the winning penalty, ending any remaining hope for the Scottish side.
Kevin Trapp – 8
Had precious little to do in the 90 minutes, but will have felt he could have done better with the opening goal. Made some excellent saves in extra time to keep his side in the tie.
Almamy Toure – 7
Didn’t put a foot wrong in the 90 minutes. A very strong performance.
Tuta – 5
A slip at the worst possible time for the Brazilian allowed Rangers in for the opening goal. Was hooked immediately afterwards.
Evan N’Dicka – 6
Looked flustered at times when he had the ball, but defended well. Clear to see why Premier League clubs are interested in the Frenchman and will be hoping his injury isn’t too serious.
Ansgar Knauff – 7
A constant threat for the German outfit. Forced a fine save from McGregor early on and did plenty of running against Bassey.
Sebastian Rode – 8
A general in the heart of Frankfurt’s midfield. Rode was exceptional for the German side both defensively and in launching quick counter-attacks.
Djibril Sow – 5
A quiet night for the Swiss midfielder, who offered plenty of running but little else.
Filip Kostic – 7
Looked dangerous on the counterattack and shot narrowly over in the first half. It was his cross that Borre bundled home, and plenty more caused Rangers problems.
Daichi Kamada – 5
Was quiet and spurned a golden opportunity to level the tie in the second half.
Jesper Lindstrom – 5
A very quiet evening and was hooked immediately after the Rangers goal. Will be disappointed with his impact.
Rafael Borre – 7
Will feel aggrieved not to have won a penalty early in the second half, but took his goal brilliantly.
Jens Petter Hauge – 5
Came on with Frankfurt dominating the ball, but could do little with it.
Makoto Hasebe – 6
Came on for Tuta and was largely untroubled.
Kristian Jakic – 5
Made little difference to the tie when he came on.
Christopher Lenz – 5
Came on for the stricken N’Dicka and was solid but unspectacular.
Ajdin Hrustic – 4
Fired narrowly wide with his first touch. Did nothing else of note.
Alan McGregor – 7
Made a crucial save midway through the first half to keep the score at 0-0.
James Tavernier – 6
A quiet night offensively for Rangers’ key outlet as he battled Kostic, but he did well defensively.
Connor Goldson – 5
Was lucky not to give away a penalty in the early stages of the second half. Should have done better for the equaliser.
Calvin Bassey – 9
A rock in the Rangers backline, he was not afraid to put his body on the line but should arguably have done better for the equaliser. Was excellent in extra-time.
Borna Barisic – 6
Was solid defensively and provided plenty of moments in attack, too.
Ryan Jack – 5
Didn’t have the best of games, and was perhaps lucky to last until the 75th minute.
John Lundstrum – 6
Perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch following a high boot, but followed it up with a very solid outing for the Scottish outfit.
Glen Kamara – 5
Was largely bypassed in all phases of the game.
Ryan Kent – 8
The star in the Rangers side attacking wise. Was always a threat and was perhaps a victim of the referee’s desire to let the game flow as challenges flew in. Missed a golden chance to win the game in extra time.
Joe Ayodele-Aribo – 7
Came up with a crucial goal to open the scoring for Rangers, but was quiet around that.
Scott Wright – 5
Took up some good positions but never really got into the game. Hooked on 75 minutes.
Steven Davis – 5
The 37-year-old was solid but unspectacular when he came on.
Fashion Sakala – 3
Could not hold the ball up and offered very little going the other way, too. Needed to do better and was himself substituted towards the end of extra-time.
Scott Arfield – 6
Came on to offer fresh legs, but found himself playing as a striker for much of his time on the pitch.
James Sands – 6
Solid but unspectacular when he came on. Made a difference with his energy.
Keemar Roofe – N/A
Came on for the final five minutes.
Aaron Ramsey – 2
Came on to take a penalty, but was the only one of the 10 to see his effort saved.
What the experts said
Think Goldson is very lucky there, in the VAR era. Clear contact, however much the fall was theatrical. Amazed the referee wasn’t told to have a look at it.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) May 18, 2022
15 crosses for Kostic, creates one chance which is the equaliser 🎲
— Tom Worville (@Worville) May 18, 2022
Calvin Bassey’s defensive numbers vs Frankfurt (90 minutes):
8 ball recoveries
4 ball clearances
4 ground + aerial duels won
1 blocked shot
A player to watch out for. 🇳🇬 👀 pic.twitter.com/B3aqdHiHkD
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 18, 2022
What the fans said
Actually maybe not there is contact from on Borré from Connor Goldson, you’ve certainly seen them given , that’s a big moment in this game #UELfinal
— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) May 18, 2022
Tuta stacked it in a Europa League Final and got dragged by his manager straight away 😂
— J.\KE BUCKLEY 🇦🇺 (@TheMasterBucks) May 18, 2022
What you may have missed
2 – Rangers forward Joe Aribo is just the second Nigerian to score in the final of a major European competition after Alex Iwobi (for Arsenal vs Chelsea) in the 2019 UEFA Europa League. Breakthrough. #UELfinal pic.twitter.com/91vsR7DY9t
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 18, 2022
This article was edited by Conor Laird.