The official website for European football

1987/88: Resurgent Leverkusen hold their nerve

Published: Wednesday 1 June 1988, 10.30CET

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Final result

The final - Second leg - 18/05/1988
West GermanyWest Germany
  • Aggregate: 3-3
    Leverkusen win 3-2 on penalties
  • Stadium: BayArena
  • Place: Leverkusen (GER)
The final - First leg - 04/05/1988
West GermanyWest Germany
  • Stadium: Sarriá
  • Place: Barcelona (ESP)
BremenWest GermanyWest Germany
Club BruggeBelgiumBelgium



Knockout phase


Published: Wednesday 1 June 1988, 10.30CET

1987/88: Resurgent Leverkusen hold their nerve

RCD Espanyol 3-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
(Losada 45 56, Soler 49)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-0 RCD Espanyol
(Tita 57, Götz 63, Cha 81)
(agg: 3-3 aet, Leverkusen win 3-2 on penalties)

There would be a new name on the UEFA Cup in 1987/88 - regardless of the outcome between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and RCD Espanyol. Both were first-time European finalists. Both had future national team coaches as managers in Erich Ribbeck and Javier Clemente. Not surprisingly, then, it took penalties to separate them.

The final first leg ended 3-0 to Espanyol at Sarrià, courtesy of Roberto Losada and Miguel Soler. That was how it stayed until the second half in Leverkusen, where Periquitos goalkeeper Thomas Nkono conceded three goals in 24 minutes to Milton Tita, Falko Götz and Cha Bum-kun. Extra time segued into a shootout, which the German side won 3-2. Espanyol duly returned to the shadow of their city rivals FC Barcelona, which was scant reward for a remarkable campaign.

They had knocked out the Milan giants, Milan AC and Internazionale FC, in consecutive rounds, then edged past Club Brugge KV in the semi-finals. Yet Leverkusen, too, were impressive qualifiers. They lost just once on the way to becoming the third Bundesliga team to lift the trophy. FK Austria Wien, Toulouse FC, Feyenoord, Barcelona and West German champions-elect SV Werder Bremen were among their scalps. Although their greatest triumph was arguably the 1-0 victory at Barcelona in the last eight - not even Espanyol fans would dispute that.

Last updated: 17/07/14 17.22CET

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE word, the UEFA Europa League logo and the UEFA Europa League trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.