Debut victory for Laudrup as Brøndby take narrow advantage into home leg
Former Swansea player Roland Lamah netted a brace but it wasn't enough to stop Brian Laudrup's Brøndby from securing a win in his first outing as manager.
Brian Laudrup's Brøndby travelled to Hungary to take on Thomas Doll's Ferencváros in the Europa League 1st Qualifying Round, just five days after the Danish legend was appointed manager.
Brøndby took the lead twice, only to be pegged back by five-time Belgium international Roland Lamah on both occasions. A strike from debutant Magnus Eriksson was enough to see Brøndby take a slender lead into the second leg which will be played in front of their fans back in Denmark.
Speaking before the game, Laudrup discussed his appointment and the club's ambitions for the upcoming season.
"It's wonderful to be back here at Brøndby with these amazing fans backing me. This is a fantastic opportunity and I really want to get the club back to the top of Danish football again. When we've achieved that, only then will we turn our attention to bigger things.
It's important to me that we focus on the league. That's not to say we're going to completely ignore these sorts of competitions, because they will be incredible experiences for myself and the team.
But for now, the priority is the league. When we come out on top in our own country and can consistently compete then I think we will be able to balance out our interests in these sorts of competitions."
Brøndby were without captain Daniel Agger and vice-captain Thomas Kahlenberg who are sidelined with a calf strain and hip injury respectively.
Ferencváros XI vs Brøndby
(4-2-2-2)Kalmár; Bognár, Kottán, Prisztai, Máté; Varga, Gera (C); Polgár, Dancsecs; Sejben, Lamah.
Subs: Priskin, Ágoston, Gosztonyi, Bakos, Kiralyvari, Fedor.
Brøndby XI vs Ferencváros
(4-2-4)Rønnow; Larsson, Dumic, Albrechtsen (C), Juelsgård; Nørgaard, Austin; Eriksson, Durmisi, Schwartz, Pukki.
Subs: Toppel, Holst, Hjulsager, Elmander, Ørnskov, Phiri, Jakobsen.
Italian referee Paolo Valeri took charge of this Europa League clash between two fairly well matched sides, with Brøndby kicking off in their yellow and blue strip and it didn't take long for Brian Laudrup's team to take the lead.
A Ferencváros attack broke down and the ball found its way out to the left flank where Danish winger Riza Durmisi was waiting. The 21-year-old beat his man just inside the Hungarian side's half before launching a long ball forward for Finnish striker Teemu Pukki to chase.
The former Celtic player tried to whip a cross in towards Ronnie Schwartz but a block from former West Bromwich Albion midfielder Zoltán Gera took the ball to Christian Nørgaard on the edge of the area.
The midfielder picked out a lovely first time ball to find the run of fullback Johann Larsson on the right flank, who cut into the area with the ball before squaring it brilliantly to Durmisi who scored a simple tap in from a couple of yards out to give his side the lead.
It didn't take long for Ferencváros to find themselves an equalizer, Brøndby failing to clear a free-kick delivered into the area by Levente Polgár. The ball found its way back to Polgár out wide and he delivered an inch-perfect cross for former Swansea man Roland Lamah, who was playing at a somewhat unfamiliar position of striker, with the Belgian normally operating on the left flank for his side.
Brøndby took the lead again before the half time break when Ronnie Schwartz, on loan from French side EA Guingamp, fired past Kalmár from close range. Brøndby were putting the pressure on Ferencváros and had forced a corner.
Larsson drilled it in but the Hungarian outfit managed to scramble it out of their penalty area as far as Jamaican midfielder Rodolph Austin who played a brilliant ball out to debutant Magnus Eriksson on the right flank. The Swedish winger put a good ball into Schwartz's feet but the striker was allowed too much time to control the ball, turn and fire off the shot which put the Danish side back in front.
Pukki was replaced by ex-Bolton Wanderers striker Johan Elmander at the half time break but it was Ferencváros that started the second half brighter, Lamah netting his second of the game just twenty one seconds after the interval. The Hungarian side kicked off and quickly found themselves deep inside Brøndby's half, the Danish side taking their foot off the pedal and looking complacent early on.
Máté put an average looking cross in from the left flank but it wasn't dealt with by the defence and Lamah ghosted in to snatch up the loose ball. Still the defenders failed to quell the threat and the Belgian fired in from a tight angle to bring his side level for the second time.
Threat: Former Swansea winger Lamah was in good form in front of goal and was named Man of the Match by pundits watching the tie.
Lamah came very close to giving his team the lead later on in the second half. More weak defending from Laudrup's side allowed substitute Ágoston to pick out Lamah with a cross, but the 27-year-old could only rattle the bar from close range.
It would prove to be a crucial miss for the Belgian as Brøndby sealed the win with a goal from Magnus Eriksson in the 79th minute. Brøndby had looked dangerous from crosses for most of the game and it was to be another cross that won them the game. Jesper Juelsgård was the man who put the ball in from the left flank for provider turned scorer Eriksson who stretched his leg out to meet the cross and bury the shot into the roof of the net.
Rodolph Austin's second yellow card put his side's position under question but Laudrup's side held out for a victory in his maiden outing and will host Ferencváros with a one goal advantage and three away goals.
Roland Lamah will be gutted that his brilliant performance wasn't enough to get his team a result but Brian Laudrup will no doubt be thrilled at a win in his first game in charge at Brøndby.