Europa League: Decoding the four semi-finalists in numbers
The UEFA Europa League 2021-22 season finally has its four semi-finalists. The likes of West Ham United, RB Leipzig, Rangers, and Frankfurt have reached the semis. Frankfurt stunned Barcelona 3-2 to win 4-3 on aggregate. West Ham blanked Lyon 3-0 to reach the last four (4-1 aggregate). Leipzig downed Atalanta 2-0 to seal a 3-1 overall score. Rangers edged past Sporting Braga.
- Four solid teams have entered the semi-finals in the ongoing edition of the Europa League.
- West Ham have been terrific defensively all season, keeping six clean sheets.
- Rangers have shown enough pedigree at key moments.
- Credit should go to Frankfurt for showing consistency.
- In Leipzig, there is another big side who can make their presence felt.
West Ham are set to face Frankfurt at home on April 28. The same night sees Leipzig take on Rangers. The return legs are scheduled for May 5. Rangers welcome Leipzig to Scotland on May 5. Frankfurt welcome West Ham to Germany as well.
West Ham topped Group H, winning four, drawing one, and losing one match. They collected 13 points from six games, scoring 11 and conceding three. In the round of 16, the Hammers lost 1-0 against Sevilla in the first leg before sealing a 2-0 win to progress. Versus Lyon in the quarters, a 1-1 draw was followed by a 3-0 win in France.
Frankfurt topped Group D, collecting 12 points (W3 D3 L0). They scored 10 goals and allowed six. In the round of 16, the German side edged past Real Betis 2-1 in the first leg before drawing the second 1-1. And now versus Barcelona, who were earlier demoted from the Champions League, Frankfurt enjoyed a 4-3 win over to legs. They won at Camp Nou.
Rangers finished second in Group A. They collected eight points (W2 D2 L2), scoring six and allowing five. Rangers had to play in the playoff stage next, beating Borussia Dortmund 6-4 on aggregate. In the round of 16, they beat FK Crvena Zvezda 3-0 at home before losing the second leg 2-1. And now versus Braga, they had to eke out a narrow win.
Leipzig were demoted to the UEL after finishing third in Group A of the Champions League 2021-22 season. In the playoffs, they overcame Real Sociedad 5-3 on aggregate. This saw them reach the round of 16 where they were promoted to the next round after Russian clubs were banned by FIFA. In the quarters, they downed Atalanta 3-1 on aggregate to progress.
James Tavernier of Rangers is the joint-highest scorer this season in the UEL. He has six goals, besides contributing with two assists. Filip Kostic of Frankfurt has scored three goals, besides making three assists as well. His team-mate Daichi Kamada has four goals and an assist. Jarrod Bowen has three goals and an assist for West Ham.
West Ham have enjoyed the most clean sheets this season (6). Frankfurt are unbeaten in this season's Europa League. Rangers have gone on to score the most goals this season. Meanwhile, RB Leipzig are unbeaten in their last seven European games.