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Season review: Denmark

Published: Tuesday 3 June 2014, 9.20CET
It was a campaign to remember for Aalborg BK, who did the double for the first time, and one of disappointment for FC Midtjylland, beaten to second place on the final day.
by Peter Bruun
from Copenhagen
Season review: Denmark
The Aalborg Stadion will be staging UEFA Champions League football next season ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 3 June 2014, 9.20CET

Season review: Denmark

It was a campaign to remember for Aalborg BK, who did the double for the first time, and one of disappointment for FC Midtjylland, beaten to second place on the final day.

Aalborg BK won the Superligaen for the fourth time, finishing six points clear of 2013 title winners FC København, who pipped FC Midtjylland to second place and a UEFA Champions League qualifying berth at the last. AaB doubled up four days later, beating FCK 4-2 in the Danish Cup final at the capital club's own Parken Stadium.

Champions: Aalborg BK
AaB secured the championship with a game to spare. A goalless away draw against newcomers FC Vestsjælland proved enough for the team from North Jutland, as Midtjylland, their main rivals for most of the season, lost 3-2 at home to København. "All the time we took small steps, yet we weren't sure in which direction we were heading," said AaB coach Kent Nielsen. "However, we constantly made small adjustments that have led us to where we are now."

Cup final: Aalborg BK 4-2 FC København
Two headers from central defender Rasmus Thelander turned the match in AaB's favour after Andreas Cornelius had given the Lions an early lead. Left- back Jacob Ahlmann and substitute Søren Frederiksen made it 4-1 in the second half, rendering Rurik Gislason's effort mere consolation. "I am so proud of this team," said AaB captain Rasmus Würtz after the club's first cup triumph in 44 years. "The boys have really grown into men this season and developed a lot."

European places*
Aalborg BK – UEFA Champions League qualifying
FC København – UEFA Champions League qualifying
FC Midtjylland – UEFA Europa League qualifying
Brøndby IF – UEFA Europa League qualifying
Esbjerg fB – UEFA Europa League qualifying
*Subject to final confirmation by UEFA

Player of the year: Kasper Kusk (Aalborg BK)
Like his team, the left-footed winger developed and improved over the course of the campaign, top-scoring with 12 league goals. His skills and approach to the game have made the 22-year-old a crucial asset to Aalborg and earned him six caps for Denmark.

One to watch: Andrew Hjulsager (Brøndby IF)
The 19-year-old midfielder has already played 38 times for Denmark, ranging from Under-16s to U20s. Belying his youth, Hjulsager has an impressive ability to read the play, which – coupled with his technique, pace and direct running – makes him a danger going forward.

Surprise package: FC Midtjylland
It was a surprise to most people in Danish football that Midtjylland led the way for the majority of the campaign. A relatively young side under the tutelage of coach Glen Riddersholm performed extremely well until defeats in their last three matches cost them not only the championship but also second place.

Leading scorer: Thomas Dalgaard, Viborg FF (18)

Relegated: Viborg FF, AGF Aarhus

Promoted: Silkeborg IF, Hobro IK

Number: 93
The minute in which Christián Bolaños scored København's winning goal away to Midtjylland on the penultimate day. The strike not only clinched the title for AaB but also put FCK in a position where they could snatch the runners-up spot in the 33rd and final round.

Quote
"I only score goals valued at 100m kroner [approximately €13.5m]. Now it may be easier for me to negotiate an extension to my contract."
København midfielder Thomas Kristensen drops a none-too-subtle hint after his decisive goal in the 3-2 last-day triumph over Odense BK gave Ståle Solbakken's men a shot at UEFA Champions League qualifying.

Last updated: 03/06/14 9.21CET

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