Frankfurt eyes a clash with United after securing spot in Europa League 


Frankfurt Axel Hellmann

Bundesliga club, Eintracht Frankfurt have secured a spot for this season’s Europa League group stage and board member Axel Hellmann is hoping to have the last campaign semi-finalists drawn against Manchester United.

Eintracht booked their spot in the group stage for the second successive season after defeating Strasbourg 3-0 win at home.

They lost the first leg 1-0 but the German outfit rallied to complete a 3-1 aggregate triumph in Frankfurt, where both teams were reduced to 10 men.

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Led by Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller – who have since left for Real Madrid and West Ham – Eintracht reached the semi-finals last season before losing to Chelsea on penalties.

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The Premier League giants and 2017 Europa League champions are in pot one for Friday’s draw, while Eintracht are in pot two.

“We saw a drama-filled spectacle today,” Hellmann said. “The atmosphere here is something special and it gives the players a second wind. It’s hard to compare it to the Bundesliga.

“I’d like us to be drawn against Manchester United in the group stage. That would be a dream, just like playing Chelsea last season was.”

An own goal from Strasbourg’s Stefan Mitrovic in the 26th minute levelled the play-off tie on aggregate at Commerzbank-Arena.

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Eintracht were dealt a blow on the stroke of half-time when star Ante Rebic was sent off, but the hosts still managed to prevail thanks to Filip Kostic’s stunning free-kick and Danny da Costa after Dimitri Lienard saw red for Strasbourg.

“It’s important for Eintracht Frankfurt to be in the draw,” Eintracht head coach Adi Hutter. “The sense of unity between the fans, the coaching staff and the players is what got us through.

“Filip [Kostic] played brilliantly and showed just how valuable he is. Ante also had a very good game. Daichi [Kamada] deserves praise too.”

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