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Season review: Denmark

Published: Thursday 30 May 2013, 9.45CET
FC København wrested back the title from FC Nordsjælland in a season where newcomers Randers FC and Esbjerg fB both claimed top-four finishes and reached the cup final.
by Peter Bruun
from Copenhagen
Season review: Denmark
København were once again the best team in Denmark ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 30 May 2013, 9.45CET

Season review: Denmark

FC København wrested back the title from FC Nordsjælland in a season where newcomers Randers FC and Esbjerg fB both claimed top-four finishes and reached the cup final.

With FC København having lost the title to FC Nordsjælland on the final day of last season, normal service was resumed as the capital club won their tenth Danish championship. Newcomers Randers FC and Esbjerg fB impressed in both league and cup while Brøndby IF, courtesy of a 1-0 victory at AC Horsens in their 33rd and last game of the campaign, escaped what would have been a first relegation since entering the league in 1982.

Champions: FC København
With three matches to spare, København reclaimed the crown they surrendered to Nordsjælland last term. A goalless draw with 'New Firm' rivals Brøndby before 21,031 fans at the Brøndby Stadion was enough for FCK to seal their tenth Super League title – at the same venue where they won their first in 1993.

Cup final: Esbjerg fB 1-0 Randers FC
A Youssef Toutouh header nine minutes into the second half of an otherwise even contest at Parken Stadium decided the Danish Cup final between the Superliga newcomers. The trophy was the first for the west-coast club since 1978 and the perfect send-off for coach Jess Thorup, who takes over the Denmark Under-21 side this summer.

European places*
FC København – UEFA Champions League group stage
FC Nordsjælland – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
Esbjerg fB – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
Randers FC – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round
Aalborg BK – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round

*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year: Nicklas Helenius (Aalborg BK)
The powerful 1.96m-tall striker was instrumental in AaB finishing fifth and qualifying for Europe, his tally of 16 league goals second only to FCK's Andreas Cornelius. Dangerous in the penalty box, the 22-year-old is also adept at creating space for team-mates to exploit.

One to watch: Martin Braithwaite (Esbjerg fB)
The fast and skilful winger-cum-attacking midfielder gave a glimpse of his enormous potential in 2011/12 when helping Esbjerg gain promotion to the top flight. This term, under greater scrutiny from opposition defences, the 21-year-old continued his ascent with nine league strikes in a fine first season back in the elite with Esbjerg.

Surprise package: Randers FC
Ideally, this award would be shared between Randers and Esbjerg, who both exceeded expectations on their returns to Denmark's top table. Not only did they come third and fourth respectively, they also met in the cup final and qualified for Europe.

Leading scorer: Andreas Cornelius, FC København (18)

Relegated: AC Horsens and Silkeborg IF

Promoted: Viborg FF and FC Vestsjælland

Number: 33,215
The attendance for FCK's final match of the campaign, a 1-1 draw with SønderjyskE, after which the Lions received the championship trophy.

Quote
"Winning championships is something you never get tired of, something you never grow too old for."
København captain Lars Jacobsen after his team wrapped up the title on 5 May

Last updated: 30/05/13 9.45CET

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