Shamrock Rovers’ record in Europe – Played 56, Won 12, Drew 10, Lost 34, Scored 48 and Conceded 96.
In the Europa League/UEFA Cup/Fairs Cup – Played 16, Won 3, Drew 3, Lost 10, Scored 16, Conceded 28.
Partizan Belgrade’s record in Europe – Played 191, Won 75, Drew 37, Lost 79, Scored 297, Conceded 271.
In the Europa League/UEFA Cup/Fairs Cup – Played 96, Won 39, Drew 19, Lost 38, Scored 149, Conceded 134.
Rovers & League of Ireland
Liam Tuohy made his debut for Republic of Ireland against Yugoslavia while a Rovers player, a 4-1 friendly defeat at Dalymount Park on October 19th, 1955. He also scored in the aforementioned 5-1 win over Red Star Belgrade five years later, Tony Byrne (2), Paddy Ambrose and Frank O’Neill netting the others for The Hoops.
Rovers are aiming to become the first Irish club to reach the Europa League group stages since they were added in 2004. Although they are only entering now, they are the first LOI side to participate in a European competition in which three rounds have been played. They have outlasted Coppa Italia finalists Palermo, and teams from Germany and Holland in Europe this year.
This is the first time Rovers have played in the same competition (EL) for two consecutive seasons since the 4 in a row years, the European Cup between 1984-87. The other occasion was the Cup Winners’ Cup, four seasons from 1966 to 1969.
It’s the second year in a row that Rovers are Ireland’s sole survivors. They’re looking for their first home win or clean sheet in the Europa League/UEFA Cup since 1982. In 9 EL/UC ties, this is the seventh time Rovers are at home in the first leg and fourth in a row.
By defeating Flora Tallinn, Rovers cleared a round in consecutive years for the first time in their history. Cork City won at least one tie in four straight seasons from 2004-07. Shelbourne did three from 2004-06 and Drogheda did it from 2006-08. Bohemians, in 2000 and 2001, and St. Pat’s, in 2008 and 2009, have also won ties in successive years.
If you were to make a table of League of Ireland clubs’ performances in European competition since 1957, with three points for a win and one for a draw, Drogheda United have the best points per games statistics with 37%. Shamrock Rovers are sixth with 27%, behind Athlone (29%), St. Pat’s (29%), Cork City (29%) and Derry (28%).
Drogheda also have the best win % with 36% but they have only participated in a quarter the amount of games Rovers have. The Hoops place fourth in this table on 21%, the other teams being Drumcondra (25%) and St. Pat’s (24%).
This will be the first time Rovers are playing six European games in one season and only themselves and Shelbourne (2004/05) have played in two UEFA competitions in one campaign. Partizan have dropped into the second cup five times, the latest being 2009/10.
Shelbourne played a total of 8 between the Champions League and UEFA Cup that year. Cork played six games in the 2004 Intertoto Cup and 2005 UEFA Cup, Derry did the same in the UC a year later, Dundalk participated in six matches the 1979-80 European Cup, while Pat’s have achieved it twice in the past couple of years, both in the Europa League.
Rovers and Partizan have only participated in the same UEFA competition on two occasions – this year’s Champions League and the 2002/03 UEFA Cup, in which they eliminated Cristiano Ronaldo’s Sporting Lisbon but lost to Slavia Prague in the second round.
This is Partizan’s 36th year in Europe, more than Manchester United, and fifteenth consecutive, but their rivals Red Star are in their seventeenth year in a row. The second leg of their CL defeat to Genk, a 1-1 draw at home, was their 50th in the competition since it was rebranded in 1992.
As well as their best achievement as runners-up the Serbs have reached the quarter finals of the 1955-56 and 1963-64 European Cup, 1989-90 Cup Winners’ Cup and the last 16 of the UEFA Cup in the 2004-05 campaign.
Crno-beli (The Black & Whites) have lost at the first hurdle of a competition 12 times in the last 50 years, but only twice in the last ten – the 2005/06 and 2007/08 UEFA Cup, the latter due to expulsion after crowd trouble in their comfortable qualifying victory.
Partizan’s 12-0 win over Rhyl in 2009 was the biggest aggregate victory in the Champions League for eleven years, and FC Copenhagen matched it 24 hours later against Mogren. Only Košice (13-1 over Cliftonville in 1998), HJK Helsinki (13-0 against Bangor City last month), Partizan and Copenhagen have scored twelve or more goals in a knockout round since 1992.
Partizan were unbeaten at home in their Champions League proper debut in 2003/04, drawing with Real Madrid, Marseille and eventual winners FC Porto. Managed by Lothar Matthäus, they had recorded an unlikely 1-0 victory against Newcastle at St. James’ Park to take the QR3 tie to penalties.
The legendary former German international had his back turned to the pitch as he couldn’t bear to watch the drama, but his side won the shootout. Matthäus resigned in December of that year to take over Hungary’s national team.
One of the greatest games in the club’s history came in the 1984-85 UEFA Cup Second Round. QPR won the first leg 6-2, but Partizan won on away goals after a 4-0 victory in Belgrade.