Aberdeen fans have expressed pride in how the Dons competed with German giants Eintracht Frankfurt in their Europa Conference League group opener.
Barry Robson’s Dons have had a torrid start to their domestic campaign, and are yet to win in the Premiership – a state of affairs which meant expectations plummited ahead of the trip to meet 2022 Europa League champions Frankfurt in Group G.
However, the Reds battled gamely after losing an early goal at the Deutsche Bank Arena, hauling themselves level in the first half via a slick move finished by Dante Polvara.
Although Aberdeen found themselves 2-1 down after the break, they pushed for and came close to a late leveller which would have secured a famous point.
At the full-time whistle, Dons supporters took to social media, and the general feeling among them was their team had found a much-improved performance from recent showings and had acquitted themselves admirably against their powerhouse Bundesliga rivals.
‘People expected us to lose 4-0… the team did incredibly well’
Dan Watt said: “Considering most people wrote us off and thought we would lose 4-0, the team did incredibly well to be competitive until the very end. Toughest game in the group done. Upwards from here.”
Kieran Connolly was also happy with Aberdeen’s efforts, saying: “Fair shift from the team. Had to be disciplined and take the odd chance but avoided being embarrassed.”
Jim Boyle was pleased with the levels he watched his team set in their Euro opener, and urged them to maintain those standards going forward.
He said: “More of that more often and nothing to worry about this season.”
In a similar vein, another supporter, on X (formerly Twitter), @rrwalker69 said: “Great performance & effort tonight, very unlucky not to come away with anything. Let’s see this in the league please!!!”
@Callum041903 added: “Proud lads. Said before the game not expecting much , just give 100% and yous (sic) did that to a tee.”
Dons conceded ‘soft goals’
Some fans, while similarly enthused with the character and competitiveness of the Reds’ display, expressed disappointment at seeing Frankfurt score both of their goals from two set-plays – a penalty and then a header at a free-kick:
Two very soft goals, but can't be too hard in the team after that shift. Was expecting to get smashed after that lineup was announced. Almost a case of what could have been if we'd prepared for this season…
Let's hope this kicks us on either way!
— 🙏 ⭐⭐ (@xZ3R0H_AFCx) September 21, 2023
@Redtom1903 agreed, saying: “Terrific effort. Disappointing to lose to two set pieces, but they gave everything. Just come up short in quality when we did break.”
@Glen_1903 added: “Shame that the goals we conceded were so preventable. Thought we’d get beat 5-0. Can’t complain too much really. Was never going to judge players or management much on this game.”
A great effort.
It is bitterly disappointing to have lost to two bad goals, but the players gave everything, and Frankfurt were on the back foot in those final moments.
Feeling proud to be a Don. https://t.co/B2Qcbk274F
— The ABZ Football Podcast ⭐⭐ (@AbzPodcast) September 21, 2023
‘Barry got it bang on’
Other supporters were happy to give credit to Aberdeen boss Barry Robson.
The Dons boss had been under-fire for the performances of his team and the tactics employed in earlier matches this season, and following an extensive summer rebuild where he was backed to bring 13 new players to Pittodrie.
Aiden C posted this:
I’ve gave Barry a lot of abuse but he got it bang on tonight lads have it there all lensen and gartemann solid tonight that’s all we ask for lads give 100% people forget Frankfurt are a top team with class players
— aiden c (@Dutchfootball4) September 21, 2023
Aberdeen fans apologise for pyrotechnic incident
One sour note during the competitive continental clash stemmed from a pyrotechnic which was allegedly thrown from the Aberdeen fans’ area into a section housing home supporters in the aftermath of Polvara’s goal.
The Red Army were quick to condemn the action – which resulted in a man being arrested by German police – with this Dons supporter apologising to a follower of the German outfit on behalf of his club:
Sorry about that…sadly it only takes a few idiots.
— diydougie 🏴 🇺🇦 (@diydougie) September 21, 2023
Attention turns to County on Sunday
On Sunday, Aberdeen renew their quest for a first league win of the season when they welcome Ross County to Pittodrie, before heading to Dingwall for a League Cup quarter-final on Wednesday.
Similar to posts above, other fans encouraged the Dons to take their strong showing against Frankfurt into upcoming – and important – domestic fixtures.
Callum Wright said: “Much better than I expected, hopefully we’ll carry that into the domestic games now. Maybe that’s the type of game we needed weirdly.”
Much better performance especially given how poor we’ve been. Huge game on Sunday, must-win
— Grant Heath (@GrantHeath95) September 21, 2023