Ferran Torres put the finishing touches on a neat passing move to deny Frankfurt a first-leg advantage in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final opener.
Frankfurt and Barcelona conjured up a spectacular goal apiece to leave their UEFA Europa League quarter-final all square after an engaging contest in Germany.
48′ Ansgar Knauff’s dipping half-volley breaks deadlock
66′ Ferran Torres caps neat passing move for equaliser
78′ Tuta dismissed for second bookable offence
Match in brief: Ferran Torres clinches draw in style
Both sides started brightly, with Kevin Trapp pulling off a smart fingertip save to deny Ferran Torres with just three minutes gone. The hosts cut through the Barcelona defence just moments later, with Djibril Sow slicing wide from close range following Jesper Lindstrøm’s cutback.
The Bundesliga outfit deservedly took the lead just after the break, when Ansgar Knauff sent a dipping half-volley out of Marc-André ter Stegen’s reach after the visitors had only half-cleared a corner. Oliver Glasner’s men almost doubled their advantage straight away, but Lindstrøm blasted wide from Filip Kostić’s low centre.
However, Xavi Hernández’s introduction of Ousmane Dembélé and Frenkie de Jong just after the hour mark paid dividends, with both combining in the neat passing move that Ferran Torres capped with a crisp finish. The hosts were reduced to ten men in the closing stages when Tuta was shown a second yellow card, but the Bundesliga club held firm.
Steffen Potter, Frankfurt reporter
Frankfurt demonstrated that they relish these European nights and can raise their performances when compared to the Bundesliga. Tonight, they again proved capable of being resilient and uncomfortable opposition for almost any team and, had they been a bit more clinical with their chances and counterattacks, could even have clinched a historic win. Going to Barcelona next week they are very much in this tie.
Graham Hunter, Barcelona reporter
The ‘Xavi’ effect at Barça, since November, has been both impressive and unrelentingly positive. But this match in Frankfurt showed an unwanted side effect. The Catalan coach has raised the level of Dembélé and Frenkie de Jong so significantly that, without them, the Blaugrana looked much less effective. Neither Gavi nor Adama Traoré were poor, but the impact of the Frenchman and Dutchman was palpable. This was the latest in a series of matches in which Barcelona have matched quality with character.