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Saints' Europa League dreams dashed in Denmark

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Toothless Southampton succumb to a 2-1 aggregate loss to Danish Superliga champions FC Midtjylland

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Southampton were knocked out of Europa League contention after being beaten by Danish champions FC Midtjylland. <!-- ######## START FLOATED VIDEO SNIPPET ######## -->

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Ronald Koeman's men needed to score an away goal to at least match their opponents. However, the Danes took the lead in the first half through a goal from striker Morten Rasmussen which ultimately ended all dreams of Southampton earning their first ever group stage berth in European football.

Rasmussen's goal arose from two uncharacteristic defensive errors. Striker Jay Rodriguez got caught in possession on the left. Saints captain Jose Fonte then failed to get goalside of Rasmussen, who coolly finished low, across Maarten Stekelenburg's goal.

Fonte had a goal-bound header cleared off the line early in the first half. But, other than that, there were no real chances for a Saints side which looked blunt in attack.

Southampton's attack reeked of desperation as long ball after long ball were soundly defended against by the Danes, leaving a frustrated-looking Graziano Pelle.

A James Ward-Prowse free-kick should have led to a penalty for the Saints following on from a blatant handball in the Midtjylland wall. However, the referee did not award the spot kick Southampton so clearly desired.

This result means former Saints man Tim Sparv's Midtjylland have earned their spot in the Europa League group stage for the first time.