Rangers lose Europa League final 5-4 on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt

Credit: PA

Rangers have lost the Europa League final on penalties against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.

The Glasgow team lost 5-4 after a 1-1 extra-time draw at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, in the Andalusian capital, on Wednesday evening.

Joe Aribo put the Rangers fans in dreamland when he slotted home the game's first goal following a slip in the German side’s defence in the 57th minute.

Frankfurt levelled 12 minutes later when Rafael Borre knocked the ball home from close range following a low cross.

Gers finished extra-time strongly and Ryan Kent was denied at close range before Steven Davis had a shot cleared off the line, while James Tavernier had a free-kick saved in stoppage-time of the 1-1 draw.

Rangers' Borna Barisic shoots. Credit: PA

Aaron Ramsey, a 117th-minute substitute, saw his spot-kick saved and Borre netted to seal a 5-4 shootout win.

John Lundstram declared himself “absolutely heartbroken” immediately after the shoot-out ended.

The midfielder told BT Sport: “I’m severely disappointed. to lose on penalties, it’s a lottery, anyone could have missed.

“I feel we have let everyone down. Everyone has travelled out here. There’s three-quarters of the stadium Rangers fans and to let everyone down is heart-breaking.

“The boys put the graft in as much as we could but it just wasn’t to be.”

Rangers fans in George Square, Glasgow, after watching Rangers lose the penalty shoot out. Credit: PA

The much-anticipated final saw tens of thousands of Rangers fans making the trip to watch their team's clash with German side.

Fans began gathering early at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium ahead of kick-off.

Only 9,500 tickets were allocated to each side but Rangers fans were evident in all but the Frankfurt end of the 43,000-capacity ground.

Spanish police had estimated that 100,000 Rangers fans and 50,000 from Germany would be making their way to Seville.

Rangers fans in the stands celebrate their opening goal scored by Joe Aribo Credit: PA

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser, who describes himself as a lifelong Rangers fan, is among those who attended the match.

Writing in The Scotsman newspaper, the Mid Scotland and Fife MSP had said: “As a lifelong Rangers fan, I could not miss out on the chance of seeing them play in a European final.

“If any team deserves to win this trophy, it is this Rangers side.

“There have been some fabulous performances in Europe this season, knocking out higher rated opponents such as Borussia Dortmund and Leipzig, with the latter victory being achieved without a recognised striker in the team.

“Whatever the result tonight, it has been a remarkable run for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team.”

Before the match kicked off, the team received well-wishes from several of the most senior politicians in the UK.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted a good luck message to the Glasgow team ahead of Wednesday evening’s match against German side Eintracht Frankfurt.

Meanwhile, the prime minister told MPs in the House of Commons: “I know members across the House will want to join me in offering our best wishes to Rangers for this evening’s match in Seville.”

Mr Johnson’s sentiments were echoed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who also offered his best wishes, adding it has been “quite an extraordinary story in the last few years” for Rangers.

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