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Rosenberg inspires Malmö to Sparta success

Malmö FF 2-0 AC Sparta Praha (agg: 4-4, Malmö win on away goals)
Markus Rosenberg's goals either side of half-time were enough to see Malmö through.

Markus Rosenberg is mobbed after scoring the winner
Markus Rosenberg is mobbed after scoring the winner ©Martin Grahn Media & Productions

Swedish champions Malmö FF advanced to the UEFA Champions League play-offs, two Markus Rosenberg goals spelling the end for AC Sparta Praha.

David Lafata's first-leg hat-trick was not enough for Sparta to progress as Malmö's captain struck either side of the interval. Malmö conceded four goals in Prague but held firm at home to eliminate the Czech champions on away goals, the visitors finishing with ten men.

Sparta's star man from the first leg had the first goalscoring opportunity, but Lafata shot over the bar after 23 minutes from inside the box. A minute later, Isaac Kiese Thelin came close to connecting with an Emil Forsberg pass in the Sparta box, but he had better luck as a provider, with his flick on 35 minutes setting up Rosenberg to elegantly chip over David Bičík.

Radoslav Kováč came close to equalising moments before the break when he connected with a Bořek Dočkal corner, but the defender's header cannoned off the bar.

Ten minutes after the interval, Rosenberg struck again with a well-placed free-kick to give his side an away-goals advantage. Sparta's best chances of regaining the upper hand came from corners, as they struggled to muster any incisive attacks through open play. Malmö stayed resolute, with Lukáš Vácha's late dismissal a measure of Sparta's frustration.

The Swedish champions progress to the UEFA Champions League play-offs while Sparta are bound for the same phase of the UEFA Europa League.

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