Leverkusen have winning Europa League start, 2-1 over Ferencvaros

Ex-champions Bayer Leverkusen came from behind to beat Ferencvaros 2-1 on Thursday for a winning start into their Europa League group campaign.

The Hungarian visitors, coached by Peter Stoeger who was once in charge of Leverkusen’s neighbours Cologne, drew first blood from Ryan Mmaee’s eighth-minute tap-in.

Leverkusen levelled from Exequziel Palacios’ shot into the top corner in the 37th, and teenager Florian Wirtz grabbed the winner completely unmarked into the right corner with just over 20 minutes left – with Jeremie Frimpong setting up both goals.

“We had a hard time getting into the game but settled in at some stage. And from then on we played a good game,” Wirtz said.

Germany’s Leverkusen, who won the second-tier event in 1988 under its former name UEFA Cup, are level on three points atop Group G with Spain’s Real Betis who rallied from two goals down to beat Celtic 4-3.

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