Copenhagen and İstanbul Başakşehir return to action in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League tie with the Turkish club holding a narrow 1-0 advantage as both clubs seek a first ever appearance in a European quarter-final.
• Copenhagen were 4-2 aggregate winners against Celtic in the round of 32, triumphing 3-1 in Glasgow after drawing the first leg 1-1 in the Danish capital. They had finished second in Group B during the autumn, qualifying with nine points behind Malmö.
• İstanbul Başakşehir recovered from a 3-1 first-leg defeat at Sporting CP in the round of 32 to go through 5-4 on aggregate thanks to Edin Višća’s late extra-time penalty in Istanbul. It was also a last-minute winner in their final group fixture away to Borussia Mönchengladbach that enabled them to top their section and ensure a first taste of springtime UEFA competition.
• İstanbul Başakşehir’s first UEFA meeting with a team from Denmark ended in victory thanks to another late Višća penalty, his coolly converted 88th-minute strike settling a tightly contested encounter in Istanbul.
• Copenhagen have been paired with Turkish opposition just once previously, losing 3-1 away to Galatasaray and beating them 1-0 at home – both games with current head coach Ståle Solbakken in charge – in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage. Additionally, B1903, one of the clubs that merged to formed Copenhagen in 1992, were 2-1 aggregate winners against Trabzonspor in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup third round.
• Copenhagen regained the Superliga crown last term, becoming Danish champions for the third time in four seasons – and 13th in all. They lost on penalties to Crvena zvezda in this season’s UEFA Champions League third qualifying round but were 3-2 aggregate winners over Latvian champions Riga in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• The Danish club’s seventh UEFA Europa League group stage participation brought a third qualification, though they managed just five goals in their six games, scoring once in each of the first five – including two 1-0 wins against Lugano and three 1-1 draws – before going down 0-1 on Matchday 6 at home to Malmö.
• The 4-2 aggregate win against Celtic means Copenhagen are competing in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for only the second time. They lost their previous tie at this stage, falling to Ajax in 2016/17 (2-1 h, 0-2 a), and have never gone past the round of 16 in any major European competition.
• Copenhagen’s 3-1 home win against Riga in August is the only one of their last 11 European matches at Parken in which they have scored more than one goal, the other ten having yielded just six in total for the home side. Their European record in the Danish capital this season is W3 D3 L1, while their overall home figures for the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, are W9 D7 L10.
• Copenhagen have won three of the nine UEFA competition ties in which they have lost the first away leg, although they lost the most recent, against Qarabağ in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League play-off (0-1 a, 2-1 h). That tie was one of three in which the first-leg score was 0-1, the Danish club’s only success in that instance having come one round earlier in the same season, against Vardar (4-1 h).
• This is İstanbul Başakşehir’s fifth successive European campaign, their UEFA competition bow having been made in 2015/16. They ensured a return this term by finishing second to Galatasaray in a closely fought 2018/19 Süper Lig title race.
• Two defeats by Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round put İstanbul Başakşehir into the UEFA Europa League group stage for the second time. Their previous campaign, in 2017/18, ended after six matches as their tally of eight points left them in third place behind Braga and Ludogorets.
• This season they finished first in their group despite two heavy defeats to second-placed Roma (0-4 a, 0-3 h). However, they won twice against Wolfsberg and drew 1-1 at home to Mönchengladbach before leapfrogging their German hosts to the Group J summit in a momentous 2-1 win on Matchday 6. Last month’s thrilling victory over Sporting has put them into the round of 16 for the first time, making this the club’s longest European campaign.
• The Istanbul club have won just three of their 14 European away fixtures (D3 L8) but two of those victories have come this season – at Wolfsberg and Mönchengladbach. They had lost their three previous continental fixtures without scoring – at Burnley, Olympiacos and Roma.
• İstanbul Başakşehir have never previously won the home first leg of a UEFA competition tie.
Links and trivia
• Dame N’Doye, Copenhagen’s all-time leading goalscorer who found the net in both games against Celtic, spent two and a half seasons in Turkey with Trabzonspor before rejoining Copenhagen in 2018. He scored ten goals in 63 Süper Lig appearances for the Black Sea club.
• N’Doye is a former Senegal team-mate of İstanbul Başakşehir’s Demba Ba; they were both in Senegal’s 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations squad.
• Copenhagen defender Ragnar Sigurdsson has played six times for Iceland against Turkey, heading both goals in his country’s 2-1 home win in a June 2019 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier.
• İstanbul Başakşehir coach Okan Buruk and his Copenhagen opposite number Solbakken played against each other, both as second-half substitutes, in Norway’s 2-0 friendly victory against Turkey in Istanbul on 23 February 2000.
• This is Solbakken’s 42nd UEFA Europa League game, group stage to final, in charge of Copenhagen – the most in the competition by any head coach with a single club, three more than Unai Emery (Sevilla).
• Višća’s winning goal in the first leg was the İstanbul Başakşehir skipper’s sixth in the competition, making him the joint leading scorer in this season’s UEFA Europa League, group stage to final. It was also his fourth goal in the knockout phase and third from the penalty spot in successive matches.
• Copenhagen’s record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L1:
3-2 v Ferencváros, 2003/04 UEFA Cup first round
4-3 v Atalanta, 2018/19 UEFA Europa League play-off
6-7 v Crvena zvezda, 2019/20 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
• İstanbul Başakşehirspor have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.
• Solbakken’s second coaching tenure at Copenhagen began in 2013. He has won eight Danish titles in charge of the club – five of those in his first spell from 2006 to 2011 – plus four domestic cups. The former Norway midfielder won 58 caps and scored nine goals for his country, appearing at both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000, before being forced to retire following a heart attack. He also had short spells coaching in Germany (Köln) and England (Wolves) between two lengthy stints in the Danish capital.
• A former midfielder who spent most of his playing career at Galatasaray, with whom he won seven Turkish league titles plus the UEFA Cup/UEFA Super Cup double in 2000, Okan Buruk also helped Turkey to third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. İstanbul Başakşehir became his seventh club in as many seasons as a coach when he succeeded Beşiktaş-bound Abdullah Avcı in the summer of 2019. His profile had risen considerably a year earlier when he led unheralded Akhisar Belediyespor to Turkish Cup success with a 3-2 final victory against Fenerbahçe.