AEK Athens will reach the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in 12 years if they can extend their unbeaten home European record to seven games when Hungary’s Vidi visit for the play-off second leg.
• In an eventful first game in Budapest, Vidi lost Szabolcs Huszti to a 23rd-minute red card and were up against it when Viktor Klonaridis and Tasos Bakasetas found the net for AEK either side of half-time. Bakasetas was sent off shortly after scoring, however, and Danko Lazović halved the deficit to keep Vidi in contention to become only the third Hungarian club to reach the group stage.
• While AEK have not reached the group stage since 2006/07, only two Hungarian clubs have ever got that far. Debrecen were the last, in 2009/10, following in the footsteps of Ferencváros in 1995/96. In their bid to emulate them, Vidi have come through three rounds already this season while AEK overcame the European pedigree of Celtic in the third qualifying round.
• AEK won the Greek league title for the 12th time in 2017/18 – their first championship success since 1994.
• The Athens club have participated in four previous UEFA Champions League group stage campaigns, most recently in 2006/07. Their two subsequent forays into the competition, in 2007/08 and 2017/18, both ended in the third qualifying round, where they entered this season’s competition and defeated Celtic 3-2 on aggregate (1-1 away, 2-1 home) to reach the play-offs. The home win against the Scottish champions ended AEK’s run of eight successive draws in European competition.
• Last season AEK lost to CSKA Moskva in the UEFA Champions League and moved into the UEFA Europa League, where they were ultimately eliminated by Dynamo Kyiv in the round of 32 despite avoiding defeat in all ten of their matches in the competition (W2 D8).
• The first-leg win made it 13 European games unbeaten for AEK (W4 D9).
• The Greek side are unbeaten in six European home fixtures (W2 D4) having lost the preceding five.
• AEK beat Club Brugge 3-0 on aggregate in last season’s UEFA Europa League play-offs – their fourth win in four attempts at that stage of the competition.
• The Yellow and Blacks have won all five home games against Hungarian visitors – most recently a 2-0 defeat of Vasas in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup first round – conceding only one goal while scoring 12.
• AEK Athens were also victorious in their sole UEFA penalty shoot-out:
7-6 v Queens Park Rangers, 1976/77 UEFA Cup quarter-final
• Known as Videoton until earlier this year, Vidi beat Luxembourg’s Dudelange in the first qualifying round (1-1 away, 2-1 home) before aggregate victories against Ludogorets (0-0 away, 1-0 home) and Malmö (1-1 away, 0-0 home).
• The first-leg loss was only the Hungarian club’s second in their last ten European games (W3 D5), the other a 4-0 home defeat against Partizan in last season’s UEFA Europa League play-off second leg to confirm aggregate elimination by the same scoreline.
• Vidi have drawn their last four European away games, and seven of the last nine – losing only once in that sequence. Their only victory was a 3-0 success at Estonian side Nõmme Kalju in last season’s UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
• This is Vidi’s third UEFA Champions League campaign, and the first time they have made the play-offs; their 2011/12 debut ended in the second qualifying round, while they progressed a stage further in their most recent effort, in 2015/16.
• UEFA Cup finalists in 1984/85 – losing to Real Madrid – Vidi’s play-off record in the UEFA Europa League is W1 L2, their lone success coming on penalties against Trabzonspor in 2012/13 after two goalless draws.
• Vidi had never played a Greek club in UEFA competition before this tie.
• Vidi have won both their UEFA penalty shoot-outs:
4-2 v Trabzonspor, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League play-offs
5-4 v Manchester United, 1984/85 UEFA Cup quarter-final
Links and trivia
• Vidi forward Marko Šćepović made 13 league appearances for Olympiacos in 2013/14, scoring four goals in the club’s Greek Super League triumph.