Rangers were beaten in the Europa League final in a penalty shootout with sub Aaron Ramsey's spot-kick crucially saved; Joe Aribo had given the Scottish side the lead before Rafael Borre pulled Eintracht Frankfurt level
Thursday 19 May 2022 06:52, UK
A painful night for the veteran goalkeeper, whose emotion was plain to see at the end. He was close to a couple of penalties in the shoot-out, getting his hand to one, but it wasn't to be. Earlier in the game, he had been sharp to keep out Ansgar Knauff's early strike and could do nothing with Rafael Borre's equaliser.
The captain led the way in the shootout and did his bit but, after his heroics on the road to Seville, he hadn't quite been at his best during the game. Uncharacteristically gave the ball away on a few occasions in the first half and, while he did grow into the game, he wasn't able to come up with a moment of magic like he has done in previous rounds.
A yard or two out of position when Frankfurt's cross came in for the equaliser and that gave Borre the opening he needed. Goldson was among the Rangers players who looked a little nervy during a frantic start and had his side's supporters worried on a couple of occasions, nibbling at Borre in the box before his poor first touch led to Daichi Kamada lifting the ball onto the roof of the net. But did limit Frankfurt to few real openings.
Just beaten to the ball for Frankfurt's equaliser but Bassey was Rangers' standout performer in Seville. At just 22, Bassey produced a brilliant display, despite the pressure of the occasion. Clearances, one-on-one defending, recovery tackles, blocks… he did it all in a manner which suggests he will have more big nights like this in his career.
Looked devastated to make way deep into extra-time with an injury. Frankfurt had limited his attacking output to a couple of encouraging crosses in the first half and a shot at goal in extra-time and Barisic had allowed a couple of their attackers too much space early on. But otherwise a solid performance.
Gave Rangers supporters an early scare when his high foot just five minutes in drew blood from Frankfurt captain Sebastian Rode but he escaped punishment. Went on to test Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp with a first-half header and was all over the pitch playing his part. It was no surprise to see him struggling with cramp late on given the work he'd gone through.
Put his foot in and picked up the loose balls for Rangers in midfield but had his hands on his head when he shot over from the edge of the box when he was unmarked on the stroke of half-time. Replaced with 15 minutes to go and Frankfurt beginning to take control.
What could have been. With extra-time almost up, Rangers' big chance came his way but Kent, who had surged ahead of his marker, couldn't divert Roofe's cross past goalkeeper Trapp. A chance which came and went in a flash - but one he will feel he had to score. He'd been persistent throughout the contest, offering an outlet early on and slashing another good opening wide in the second half. But his night will be remembered for that moment.
Stepped up to the challenge in midfield with an exhausting effort in the Spanish heat. Cleverly drew fouls in the first half and for a second looked like he might repeat his semi-final goalscoring feat when he linked up with Aribo but had his effort well blocked. Subbed off at the end of normal time.
A good early turn almost got Aribo in and repeatedly helped Rangers move up the pitch - but didn't overly trouble the Frankfurt defence. At the other end, he had to do better to stop the cross for the equaliser. Subbed off with 16 minutes of normal time remaining.
It looked like he might be the surprise hero. Unexpectedly continuing as the false nine, despite Kemar Roofe's return from injury, Aribo pounced on Tuta's slip to superbly convert a goal which will go down in Rangers' history books. But not as a final-winning goal. It was his first strike in the competition this season. Talk about seizing your chance. Didn't have it easy up against a physical Frankfurt backline for the rest of the game.
Rangers turned to his experience with 15 minutes to play of normal time and he was in the thick of the action, seeing a shot blocked and another fly over the bar in extra-time before converting a brilliant penalty.
Went on with Davis and brought pace and direct running to Rangers' frontline and looked like the ideal sub with Frankfurt's defenders tiring. But didn't cut through as hoped and was subbed off himself late in extra-time for Ramsey to take a penalty…
Fair to say playing as a false nine is unfamiliar territory for Arfield but that's where he ended up for the final stages after Aribo came off. Sent a powerful drive over the bar and scored an excellent pen.
Didn't make too much of a mark after coming on in extra-time until his ball over the top put Roofe through to set up the big Kent chance.
Battled to be fit to play a part and looked like he might have set up a dramatic winner with his first touch, crossing for Kent, who was denied by an incredible stop from Trapp. Scored his penalty too. But his heavily strapped right leg suggested calls for him to come on earlier were not realistic.
Subbing players on to take penalties has not worked out well for a lot of teams over the past year or so. And here was another example. Should Giovanni van Bronckhorst have used Ramsey's talents earlier in the contest? Perhaps. But his contribution was three minutes of extra-time and then the decisive miss in the shoot-out.