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1978/79: Simonsen settles Gladbach nerves

1978/79: Simonsen settles Gladbach nerves
1978/79: Simonsen settles Gladbach nerves ©UEFA.com

FK Crvena Zvezda 1-1 VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach
(Šestić 21; Jurišić (og) 60)
VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0 FK Crvena Zvezda
(Simonsen 15p)
(agg: 2-1 to Mönchengladbach)

The competition's new seeding system achieved its goal, in 1978/79, with a final featuring two of the continent's marquee teams: VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach and FK Crvena Zvezda. The pair had emerged from a quarter-final draw dominated by northern European sides to beat MSV Duisburg and Hertha BSC Berlin, respectively, in the last four.

For Mönchengladbach this was a familiar route, taking them to a third final in seven years, and the stop-offs here included SK Sturm Graz, SL Benfica, Slask Wroclaw and Manchester City FC. By contrast, Crvena Zvezda claimed the distinction of being Yugoslavia's first UEFA Cup finalist. And deservedly so. In the first round, they had recovered a 5-2 deficit against Dynamo Berlin to go through on away goals with a 4-1 victory in Belgrade. And having seen off Sporting Gijón, they then fought hard for 2-1 aggregate wins over Arsenal FC and West Bromwich Albion FC.

Yet their hopes effectively ended when Ivan Jurisic put through his own goal an hour into the final first leg at the Red Star stadium. Crvena Zvezda had led through Milos Sestic, but Jurisic's slip signalled a decisive shift in momentum in the tie. Now ahead on away goals, Mönchengladbach made sure of a second UEFA Cup success with Allan Simonsen's strike in Düsseldorf.