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Season review: Denmark

Published: Thursday 2 June 2011, 16.26CET
FC København won their third straight Danish Superliga with a record points tally on top of their fine season in Europe, while FC Nordsjælland again beat FC Midtjylland in the cup final.
by Peter Bruun
from Copenhagen
Season review: Denmark
Ståle Solbakken said goodbye to København with a third consecutive championship win ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 2 June 2011, 16.26CET

Season review: Denmark

FC København won their third straight Danish Superliga with a record points tally on top of their fine season in Europe, while FC Nordsjælland again beat FC Midtjylland in the cup final.

FC København won the Danish Superliga for for the third time in succession and ninth overall – clinching the title a record seven games from the end. A distant 26 points behind were Odense BK, who will compete to earn a UEFA Champions League debut next season after the Superliga earned a second qualifying slot. FC Nordsjælland, meanwhile, beat FC Midtjylland in the Danish Cup final for the second year running.

Champions FC København
København were the clearest Danish champions in the 20-year history of the Superliga. They were unbeaten after 19 of their 33 fixtures, and had the league's scorers in Dame N'Doye and César Santin. On top of that, they became the first Danish side to progress past the UEFA Champions League group stage, drawing with FC Barcelona and finishing above FC Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos FC before losing to Chelsea FC in the round of 16.

Cup final: FC Nordsjælland 3-2 FC Midtjylland
In 2010, Nordsjælland needed extra time to see off Midtjylland 2-0 in their first final, but this time victory was secure in the 90 minutes. Or more precisely just beyond it, as although Midtjylland's Mikkel Thygesen twice replied to Rawez Lawan goals, Søren Christensen struck the winner two minutes into added time. Whereas Nordsjælland maintained their perfect record from two cup finals, Midtjylland have now lost all four appearances in the showpiece, though will still compete in the UEFA Europa League next season after finishing fourth.

European places*
FC København – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
Odense BK – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
FC Midtjylland – UEFA Europa League play-offs
Brøndby IF – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
FC Nordsjælland – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year: Dame N'Doye (FC København)**
Not only did the forward from Senegal score a Superliga best 25 goals, but with his elegance, excellently controlled physical strength and a refined ability to read the game, he added some rare skills to the Danish top flight. It was no coincidence that he was named the best player of the spring by Denmark's leading football magazine, Tipsbladet.

**Official award made at end of calendar year

One to watch: Lucas Andersen (Aalborg BK)
Not many 16-year-olds would be thrown into a relegation fight by their club. Not only did AaB do just that with this extraordinary talent, but he aided their survival by a single point. With his speed, skills, never-ending will to challenge and his constant refusal to be impressed by any opposition, this young midfielder impressed again and again in the spring. He did so again in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Serbia, where Denmark were worthy semi-finalists, qualifying for this month's FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

Surprise package: Silkeborg IF
Having been seen as candidates for relegation by many, charismatic coach Troels Bech's side stunned most people in Danish football by finishing fifth. Such an achievement was made even more notable by the fact the football team has to compete for the attention from sponsors and fans with the successful local handball club, who reached the finals of the Danish championship for the first time ever this year.

Number: 81
København's record tally of Superliga points.

Leading scorer: Dame N'Doye, FC København (25 goals)

Relegated: Randers FC, Esbjerg fB

Promoted: AGF Aarhus, HB Køge

"There is a time for everything, and ever since November 2009 I have known that this day would come – but still it is sad to say goodbye to a club which has meant this much to me." 1. FC Köln-bound Ståle Solbakken, stepping down as København coach after a five-year job well done.

Last updated: 09/12/12 22.32CET

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