Kevin Trapp made a crucial save at the end of extra time then kept out Aaron Ramsey’s penalty in the shoot-out as Frankfurt triumphed.
Frankfurt have won their first European trophy for 42 years after overcoming Rangers 5-4 on penalties following a pulsating 1-1 draw in the UEFA Europa League final in Seville.
Frankfurt European champions for the first time since 1980.
Frankfurt and Rangers became the 17th and 18th clubs to take part in the Europa League final. They were also the first finalists from Germany and Scotland respectively.
This is the first time the Europa League has been won by a team outside of Spain or England since 2010/11, when Porto defeated Braga.
Frankfurt are the first Bundesliga team to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League since 1997, when Schalke beat Inter on penalties.
The first period was a half of two halves with both sides eager to seize the upper hand. The 40-year-old Allan McGregor repelled an early effort from Daichi Kamada and made a fine fingertip save to deny Ansgar Knauff as the Eagles had the better of the opening 20 minutes, before Joe Aribo curled just wide and John Lundstram’s header was tipped over by Kevin Trapp as Rangers rallied.
Frankfurt started the second half on the offensive but were rocked when Tuta lost his footing trying to react to Djibril Sow’s header and Aribo raced away to calmly slide Rangers in front. Oliver Glasner’s men refused to panic – a sign of confidence from a team yet to taste defeat in the competition this season – and duly equalised when Filip Kostić’s low cross was prodded past McGregor by Rafael Borré.
Both sides continued to press for a winner in normal then extra time, but neither summoned the necessary guile or composure to break through and spare their fervent supporters the spectacle of a penalty shoot-out, Ryan Kent coming closest in the dying moments only for Trapp to produce the save of the match via an outstretched leg.
The Frankfurt goalkeeper would have the final say in the shoot-out too, saving from Aaron Ramsey to allow Borré the chance to seal the trophy for the German club and book them a first ever berth in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Frankfurt will play in the Champions League for the first time next season – their only season in UEFA’s premier club competition previous was in 1959/60, when they made it to the European Cup final.
The Eagles finished unbeaten in this season’s competition (W7 D6) and became only the third team to go through the campaign without a defeat – after Chelsea in 2018/19 and Villarreal last season.
Rangers’ James Tavernier said “It’s never nice to lose a game like that. I am proud of every single one of those lads in the dressing room and the journey we’ve been on. We just couldn’t finish it off and we are all devastated.”
Rangers coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst said , “The players gave everything, but in the end it was a very tight game. It’s a big disappointment; we were really so close to winning a trophy. When you win, you have memories that last forever – when you lose, it hurts.”
Eintract Frankfurt’s Kevin Trapp said ,”This is not my night. It’s everyone’s night. To be able to give back to our fans this way is so special.”
Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner, said ,”Unbelievable. It was our 13th game in Europe and we didn’t lose any of them. I told the players we had a fantastic journey and that journey should not end in Seville but when we come home with the trophy.”