Sun, 01/10/23, 09:30
Copenhagen: Bayern’s next Champions League opponent
After kicking off the 2023/24 Champions League campaign with victory over Manchester United (4-3), Bayern now make the visit to Copenhagen for Matchday 2 on Tuesday. fcbayern.com reveals more about the Danish side ahead of Bayern’s first-ever meeting with the capital club.
Copenhagen are the benchmark when it comes to football in Denmark, dominating the domestic Superliga in recent years and lifting the title 15 times since the club was founded in 1992. Nine Danish Cups and two crowns in the former Royal League (an annual competition between teams from Denmark, Sweden and Norway) complete the Lions’ collection of major silverware.
The creation of the club we know now goes back to a merger between Kjøbenhavns Boldklub and Boldklubben 1903 (B1903). The latter once faced Bayern in European competition and claimed a shock victory in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup, winning 6-2 in Copenhagen before a 1-0 loss in Munich. Copenhagen themselves have never met Bayern in a competitive fixture before.
Copenhagen’s route into the Champions League
As champions of Denmark, Copenhagen had to come through qualifying to make it into the Champions League proper. Coach Jacob Neestrup’s team started in the second round back in July, sweeping aside Iceland’s Breidablik with a 2-0 away win and then 6-3 victory back in Denmark. Things were far tighter in the third round against Sparta Prague. After a goalless draw at the Parken Stadium, the Danes had to battle hard in the Czech Republic. With the game level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, Copenhagen twice went behind in extra time but levelled each time to take the tie to penalties, where the visitors prevailed 4-2 in the shootout.
Poland’s Rakow Czestochowa were the final hurdle in the play-off round. After a 1-0 away win in the first leg, Copenhagen ensured qualification to the Champions League group stage with a 1-1 draw back on Danish soil. It’s the second year in a row and sixth time over all (a Danish record) that Copenhagen have reached the main stage of Europe’s top club competition. Last season they bowed out after the groups, finishing fourth in Group G behind Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla.
Best campaign in 2011
Copenhagen’s best European campaign to date came back in 2010/11 when Stale Solbakken guided them into the Champions League round of 16 by finishing second to Barcelona and ahead of Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos in the group stage. The Lions were then narrowly beaten by Chelsea, losing 2-0 at home before a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.
Following the summer departures of Hakon Arnar Haraldsson (Lille) and Mikkel Kaufmann, who joined Union Berlin after loans at Hamburg and Karlsruhe, Copenhagen have strengthened up front. They signed 24-year-old Tunisian Elias Achouri from league rivals Viborg and Norway’s Mohamed Elyounoussi (Southampton), but their top scorers so far with seven competitive goals apiece are Portuguese striker Diogo Goncalves, Sweden’s Roony Bardghji and Orri Oskarsson of Iceland. The Danish champions have a strong spine with Polish goalkeeper Kamil Grabara (who will join Wolfsburg next season), Slovakian centre-back Denis Vavro and experienced Swedish midfielder Viktor Claesson.
Copenhagen started the Champions League group stage with a 2-2 draw away at Galatasaray a fortnight ago. The Danes found themselves a man down after 73 minutes but still 2-0 up until the 86th minute, after which they conceded two late goals. In their domestic Superliga, the champions are currently top with 22 points after 10 games but lost 2-0 at home to Midtylland on Saturday afternoon. They now welcome Germany’s record champions to Parken on Tuesday.
Read up on the stats and facts ahead of Bayern’s visit to Copenhagen: