Europa League Qualifying - 1st Leg
LinfieldLinfield0ZürichZürich2

Europa League: Linfield beaten 2-0 by Zurich in third qualifying round first leg at home

By Niall KeenanBBC Sport NI
Tosin Aiyegun put FC Zurich ahead after eight minutes at Windsor Park

Linfield fell to a 2-0 first-leg defeat at the hands of FC Zurich in the Europa League third qualifying round at Windsor Park.

Tosin Aiyegun put the Swiss visitors in front on eight minutes with a neat finish from inside the area.

Robbie McDaid and Eetu Vertainen came close to levelling for the Belfast team either side of half time.

But teenage Italy forward Wilfried Gnonto doubled Zurich's lead in the 64th minute.

David Healy's side will travel to face the Swiss Super League champions for the return leg next Thursday, where defeat will see them drop into the Europa Conference League play-off round.

Linfield's defeat came a week after they were knocked out of Champions League qualifying with an 8-0 aggregate defeat by Norway's Bodo/Glimt, and the Swiss champions provided another stern test.

Zurich made their presence felt as Aiyegun played a clever one-two with Antonio Marchesano and a clever backheel sent the Benin striker through to coolly slot past Chris Johns.

The Blues hadn't faced a Swiss side since taking on Servette in 1985, when they lost 4-3 on aggregate, but they almost fashioned a response.

The ball sat up kindly for McDaid from a corner, but with an outstretched leg he couldn't find get enough power to stab the ball home.

Jonathan Okita's drive from the edge of the box then had Johns' attention, but whistled past the post.

In the second period, Vertainen spurned a gilt-edged chance to restore parity from close range, before Linfield substitute Joel Cooper had a shout for a penalty.

But despite their efforts, the hosts were soon two goals behind as the highly-rated Gnonto got on the end of a clipped through-lob and poked past Johns with a composed finish off the outside of his right foot.

Stephen Fallon had the best chance to reduce Linfield's arrears after a sublime run and cutback from Cooper, but couldn't keep his shot down.

The Irish Premiership champions are now up against it in the return, but even defeat will still leave them with a chance of qualifying for the Europa Conference League.

Line-ups

Linfield

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Johns
  • 5Shields
  • 15HallBooked at 14mins
  • 2Roscoe-ByrneBooked at 84mins
  • 18Finlayson
  • 20FallonBooked at 90mins
  • 8McCleanSubstituted forStewartat 68'minutes
  • 22MulgrewSubstituted forPalmerat 68'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 16ClarkeSubstituted forDevineat 87'minutes
  • 23VertainenSubstituted forMcKeeat 68'minutes
  • 14McDaidSubstituted forCooperat 53'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Newberry
  • 9Cooper
  • 10Stewart
  • 17McKee
  • 19Devine
  • 25Pepper
  • 31Quinn
  • 34Clarke
  • 35Palmer
  • 51Walsh
  • 52Williamson
  • 53Archer

Zürich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 25Brecher
  • 19Boranijasevic
  • 2KamberiBooked at 41mins
  • 31Kryeziu
  • 6Aliti
  • 8SelnæsSubstituted forHornschuhat 62'minutes
  • 17Conde
  • 22GnontoSubstituted forKrasniqiat 85'minutes
  • 10MarchesanoSubstituted forAvdijajat 72'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 11OkitaSubstituted forMetsat 62'minutes
  • 15TosinSubstituted forRohnerat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Kostadinovic
  • 4Omeragic
  • 7Krasniqi
  • 16Hornschuh
  • 18Avdijaj
  • 23Rohner
  • 27Hodza
  • 28Mets
  • 33Seiler
  • 34De Nitti
  • 35Sauter
  • 39Gogia
Referee:
Marco Di Bello
Attendance:
3,044

Match Stats

Home TeamLinfieldAway TeamZürich
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home4
Away9
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away0
Fouls
Home11
Away17

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 4th August 2022

  • LinfieldLinfield0ZürichZürich2
  • AEK LarnacaAEK Larnaca2Partizan BelgradePartizan Belgrade1
  • FenerbahçeFenerbahçe3SlováckoSlovácko0
  • Malmö FFMalmö FF3F91 DudelangeF91 Dudelange0
  • NK MariborNK Maribor0HJK HelsinkiHJK Helsinki2
  • OlympiakosOlympiakos1Slovan BratislavaSlovan Bratislava1
  • Shamrock RoversShamrock Rovers3ShkupiShkupi1

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lyon65101651116
2Rangers62226518
3Sparta Prague621369-37
4Brøndby IF6024211-92

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Monaco633074312
2Real Sociedad62319639
3PSV Eindhoven62229818
4SK Sturm Graz6024310-72

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spartak Moscow6312109110
2Napoli63121510510
3Leicester6222121118
4Legia Warsaw6204411-76

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Frankfurt6330106412
2Olympiakos63038719
3Fenerbahçe613278-16
4Royal Antwerp6123610-45

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Galatasaray633073412
2Lazio62317349
3Marseille614167-17
4Lokomotiv Moscow602429-72

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Red Star Belgrade632164211
2Sporting Braga6312129310
3FC Midtjylland62317709
4Ludogorets602438-52

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Leverkusen6411145913
2Real Betis63121212010
3Celtic63031315-29
4Ferencvárosi TC6105512-73

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1West Ham6411113813
2Dinamo Zagreb631296310
3Rapid Vienna620449-56
4KRC Genk6123410-65
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