The Europa League has reached the quarter-finals, with two English sides facing West Ham and Rangers, just two of the eight teams in Seville in May. West Ham faces Lyon in this season’s Europa League quarter-finals. In contrast, La Liga giants Barcelona face Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers face Braga in the Europa League quarter-finals after avoiding their most formidable opponents in Friday’s draw.
Rangers avoided the European heavyweights in the quarter-final draw as they faced Portuguese Braga. If the Rangers manage to overtake Braga, Rangers will face either RB Leipzig or Atalanta in the Europa League semi-finals. With Giovanni van Bronckhorst Rangers facing Sporting Braga for a spot in the Europa League semi-final, Martin Keown says they will be under pressure.
Tomas Soucek and Andriy Yarmolenko scored on Thursday as West Ham pulled back a first leg disadvantage against Thursday’s record six wins at Sevilla, a memorable extra-time win and a move to a further stage, marking the first European quarter-final since 1981. West Ham United will play the French side, Lyon, who qualified for the quarterfinal after overcoming FC Porto; Lyon took a critical 1-0 lead in the first leg and played very carefully in the second leg. It ended 1-1 and 2-1 on aggregate. Rangers manager Jo van Bronckhorst believes he got a ‘good draw’ against Braga in the Europa League quarter-finals and insists he needs to be the best of the Rangers if they want to reach the semi-finals and the final. Braga defeated Monaco on an aggregate score of 3-1 to make it to the quarterfinal; they won the home game 2-0 very comfortably.
Scottish champions Rangers thrashed Red Star (aka Crvena Zvezda, Belgrade) 4-2 to advance to the round of 16, while league giants Barcelona beat Turkey’s Galatasaray in two games tie. In 1992, Rangers became the first Scottish club to appear in the Champions League when they beat Danish club Libby in the first round. Rangers reached the 2008 UEFA Cup final, more than 25 years after their first appearance in the UEFA Cup.
Former European champions Barcelona drew against German side Eintracht in Frankfurt on Friday in the quarter-finals of the second division of the European League. Frankfurt played with the other Spanish side, Real Betis, in the RO 16; the German side had a 2-1 lead in the first leg. A late goal in the second leg from Real Betis’ Iglesias in the 90th minute forced the tie to extra time, but an own goal in the dying minutes of the spare time from Guido Rodriguez put the link in favour of Frankfurt. However, beating this Spanish (Barcelona) side will be difficult, given their recent form.