Ferencváros managed to beat Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in the last round of Europa League’s group stage, which certainly made the farewell beautiful for the Budapest side. However, Fradi eventually finished last in group G of Europe’s no. 2. international football tournament.
After last year’s success, Ferencváros failed to reach the Champions League’s group stage this time around. In addition, they were drawn in a very strong group in the Europa League, along with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, Spanish Real Betis, and Scottish champion Glasgow Celtic.
After five defeats in a row, it was already decided before the kick-off that FTC would finish last in the group. The Germans, on the other hand, claimed four victories so far, which secured them first place in the group.
Leverkusen, who at the moment stands in third place in the German football’s top flight, arrived to the Hungarian capital in a relaxed mood, and while Kerem Demirbay was suspended on a red card, it was decided that stars like Lukas Hradecky, Florian Wirtz, and Patrick Schick were not to play in the game at all.
FTC appeared, therefore, more motivated, which materialized in Aïssa Laïdouni’s late goal and meant a long-desired victory and three points for the green-whites.
According to head coach, Peter Stöger, the atmosphere among the team was very good after the game. “It is always a great achievement to bag three points against an opponent of this kind. You could feel even before the game that we were ready to fight. Out of this international series, this match clearly stands out. I wasn’t surprised that it wasn’t easy for us to get points, as we were up against CL-level opponents in the group.
In response to a question, he added that FTC had shown that they could beat serious opponents at the European level. “We can talk about whether this one victory is enough in such a strong group. Some say no, others say it is a great achievement. I think it’s a great victory.”
Ferencváros–Bayer Leverkusen 1–0 (0–0)
Budapest, Groupama Aréna, attendance: 12,127. Ref: K. Levnikov (Rus)
Goal: Laïdouni (81)
Final standing in Group G (with the first two qualifying for the next round):
- Leverkusen 13 points
- Betis 10
- Celtic 9
- Ferencváros 3
featured image via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI