PFC Levski Sofia 4-1 Brøndby IF
Experienced European campaigners Brøndby IF are on the brink of elimination from the UEFA Cup after they were comprehensively beaten by PFC Levski Sofia in their first round first-leg match.
Michael Laudrup’s side never got to groups with their Bulgarian hosts, with Dimitar Telkiyski and Sasa Simonovic both scoring twice for the home side. Brøndby's defeat was compounded when their goalscorer Peter Madsen was sent off in the final minute of the game after tangling with a Levski defender.
Levski are unbeaten in the Bulgarian league this season and they bristled with confidence in an energetic opening. Indeed, they opened the scoring after only six minutes when Simonovic finished confidently from Gueorgui Chilikov’s inviting pass. However, Brøndby bounced back and were back on terms after 19 minutes when Madsen headed past the Levski goalkeeper from a right-wing cross.
However, despite that equaliser, Levski continued to dominate proceedings and they restored their advantage after 35 minutes. Simonovic again did the damage, putting the finishing touch to a quick counterattack with Telkiyski providing the final pass.
The Levski did not let up after the restart, and they opened up a two-goal lead after 51 minutes with Telkiyski curling a superbly executed free-kick over the wall and into the net with his right foot. He added his second goal after 67 minutes, with a firm header from Stanislav Angelov’s cross.
The Danish side's frustration spilled over in the final minute when Madsen was sent off after retaliating following a Georgi Markov tackle. While Levski can reflect on a job well done and look forward to the return trip to Copenhagen with confidence, Brøndby reflect on a disappointing performances, in which the absent Ruben Bagger, Mads Jørgensen and Thomas Lindrup were sorely missed.