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Europa League: Eintracht Frankfurt seize advantage in London with a dream start

Europa League: Eintracht Frankfurt seize advantage in London with a dream start

Goals early in each half, either side of Michael Antonio’s equaliser, saw Eintracht Frankfurt win 2-1 at West Ham United in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final.

Oliver Glasner made two enforced changes to his line-up from Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Hoffenheim, with Almamy Toure and Djibril Sow replacing the suspended Evan Ndicka and Kristijan Jakic.

Early stunner cancelled out

Eintracht got off to a dream start at the London Stadium, taking the lead after just 49 seconds – the fastest goal in the club’s European history. Daichi Kamada carried the ball forward before giving it to Rafael Borré, who whipped in a sublime cross to the far post, where Ansgar Knauff ghosted in and planted a firm header past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

The early goal stunned the home crowd and home team, but they gradually settled and came close to equalising on 14 minutes when Jarrod Bowen raced through and struck the post. Seven minutes later, West Ham were level when Michail Antonio bundled the ball in from a free-kick. The Eagles responded well to the equaliser as the momentum swung back again, although the only notable opportunity before half-time was Knauff’s shot over the bar on the turn (39’).

Kamada scores and hits the post

It remained an even contest after the restart until the 54th minute, when Eintracht regained the lead. Jesper Lindström and Sow played a lovely one-two on the edge of the area, and when the latter’s shot was saved by Areola, Kamada was in the right place to tap in the rebound and net his fifth goal in the competition this season.

The rest of the second half was a story of West Ham having the majority of the possession but the Eagles largely keeping them at bay and posing a threat on the counter. The introduction of Said Benrahma gave the hosts some attacking impetus, and the Algerian hit the outside of the post with a wicked shot from the edge of the area (69’). Ten minutes later, Eintracht also hit the woodwork when Borré played in Kamada, whose finish took a slight deflection and clipped the upright.

The pressure from the Hammers increased in the closing stages, with Bowen having a header deflected over and then smashing the underside of the crossbar with an artistic overhead kick, but Eintracht survived and take a 2-1 lead back to Frankfurt.

Source: Eintracht.de

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