Florian Wirtz cheered his goal to 2: 1
Photo: Martin Meissner / AP
Bayer Leverkusen ist erfolgreich in die Gruppenphase der Europa League gestartet. Gegen Ferencváros feierten die Leverkusener einen 2:1 (1:1)-Heimerfolg. Ryan Mmaee hatte den ungarischen Meister noch überraschend in Führung gebracht (8. Minute), Exequiel Palacios (37.) und Florian Wirtz (69.) drehten das Spiel zugunsten der letztlich deutlich überlegenen Mannschaft von Trainer Gerardo Seoane.
Bayer started as expected active and game-defining, but also showed similar weaknesses against the individually weaker opponents as they did in the league against Borussia Dortmund, when Leverkusen conceded four goals. With a ball on the left wing, the Hungarians levered the Bayer defense. Odil Kossounou was not given Tokmac Chol Nguen, who found the bullet-ready Mmaee in the center (8th).
Bayer reacted to the early deficit in view of a Hungarian majority in the penalty area with shots from medium distance: Kerem Demirbay set his attempt a little too high from 20 meters (17th), Palacios' attempt from a similar position was headed over the bar falsified (19.).
Demirbay with a free kick (25th) and Lucas Alario with a remarkable volley (31st) then also challenged keeper Dénes Dibusz seriously for the first time.
Ferencváros' second goal doesn't count
From the penalty area, Leverkusen became even more dangerous, from 13 meters Palacios sank the ball in the top left (37th). The equalizer almost became history after three minutes, but when Bálint Vécsei scored from a corner, the Hungarian touched the ball with his arm (40th). As a defending player, Vécsei would probably not have committed a criminal handball, but Bayer was lucky and the hit did not count because all hits are categorically annulled that are directly preceded by contact with the attacker's arm or hand.
After surviving a moment of shock, the Bundesliga team continued to play consistently forward, Moussa Diaby (45th) and Amine Adli (59th), who was in the starting line-up after his move from Toulouse, gave away good opportunities.
Wirtz then used one that had been initiated by right-back Jeremie Frimpong: The Dutchman picked up a bad pass from the Ferencváros defense and played to Wirtz in the penalty area, which finished coolly in front of Dibusz (69th).
Nadiem Amiri could have made the result even clearer, but shot over the goal from a good position (86th).
All results and tables of the Europa League can be found in the SPIEGEL sports center.