FC Midtjylland have a mountain to climb after they were defeated by RSC Anderlecht in the first leg of their UEFA Cup second-round tie at the Constant Vanden Stock stadium.
However, there was not much to indicate this outcome in the opening stages of the match as the Danish side pressed forward in search of an all-important away goal that could have settled their early nerves.
With Aruna Dinadane, Nenad Jestrovic and Aleksandar Ilic coming back from injury, Anderlecht were struggling to settle into their usual stylish passing game as Midtjylland put plenty of pressure on the ball carrier in the opening 30 minutes.
Razek Pimpong, Christian Magleby and Frank Kristensen showed plenty of potential in Midtjylland's build-up play but they rarely managed to create any clear-cut chances against an experienced Belgian side.
Anderlecht came out much more determined after the break with Jestrovic and Dindane slowly settling into gear and, on 55 minutes, the Brussels crowd got what they were hoping for when Jestrovic dived well to meet a low cross from Ky-Hyeun Seol to edge Anderlecht ahead.
Bad then turned to worse for the visitors when Jestrovic doubled his tally of the night with a penalty six minutes later after Kristensen had brought down Seol.
Midtjylland looked below par as they conceded their third goal within 15 minutes as Dindane took possession around the midfield line and was allowed to race unmarked to the edge of the box. He then gave Peter Skov-Jensen no chance with a clinical finish.
Hope for Midtjylland
However, the visitors did manage to cut the deficit ten minutes before the end when a superb free-kick from Kristensen thundered past the Anderlecht goalkeeper Daniel Zitka to give Midtjylland a glimmer of hope before the second leg.
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