FC Metalist Kharkiv can take a substantial leap toward the UEFA Europa League knockout phase as they host Malmö FF in Group G, having beaten the Swedish side with ten men on matchday three.
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FC Metalist Kharkiv can take a substantial leap toward the UEFA Europa League knockout phase when they host Malmö FF in Group G, having beaten the Swedish side with ten men on matchday three.
• Metalist came back from a goal down to win 4-1 when the clubs met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday three. It was also Metalist's first game against Swedish opponents.
• Jiloan Hamad (22) put Malmö in front, and while Jonathan Cristaldo (32) equalised, his dismissal five minutes later looked to be a big blow. However, Fininho (45+1) put the ten men ahead, before Edmar (57) and substitute Marko Dević (73) completed an emphatic win.
• The result matched Malmö's worst ever European home defeat, a 4-1 loss against Beşiktaş JK in the UEFA Cup on 29 September 2005.
• Malmö took on FC Dynamo Kyiv in the second round of the 1978/79 European Champion Clubs' Cup. The first leg, a 0-0 draw, was staged in Kharkiv, as Dynamo's home stadium was being rebuilt to host the 1980 Olympics. Malmö won the home decider 2-0 and reached the final that season, losing 1-0 against Nottingham Forest FC.
• Metalist's home record in six UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage matches reads W3 D2 L1, with PSV Eindhoven the only team to beat them on home soil in this phase of the competition.
• Malmö have lost their last two European away games by the same 4-1 scoreline: against AZ Alkmaar on 15 September 2011 and GNK Dinamo Zagreb on 17 August 2011.
• Malmö have not progressed beyond the qualifying phase of a UEFA competition since 2005/06, when they won 1-0 at Beşiktaş JK in the UEFA Cup first round but lost the return leg 4-1 at home. This is their first appearance in a UEFA competition group stage.
• Metalist need two more goals to reach 50 in UEFA club competition; this will be their 36th UEFA game. Their first was a 1988 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup meeting at FK Borac Banja Luka. They lost 2-0, but overcame their first leg deficit with a 4-0 victory in the return fixture.
• Malmö have the leakiest defence in the group stage, having conceded ten goals in their first three Group G games. They are four goals shy of allowing their 150th in UEFA club competition; this will be their 113th UEFA game. They made their UEFA competition debut in an 8-3 defeat at PFC Lokomotiv Sofia during the 1964/65 European Champion Clubs' Cup preliminary round.
• Four clubs have yet to pick up a point in the group stage: Malmö, Shamrock Rovers FC, Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC and AEK Athens FC.
• Fininho turns 28 on the day of the game. He has never played in a UEFA competition game on his birthday.
• It is also Malmö midfielder Ivo Pekalski's 21st birthday, and team-mate Ulrich Vinzents will be 35 the following day.
• Metalist coach Myron Markevich is a keen student of coaching – he has made trips to study Fabio Capello, Christoph Daum and Carlo Ancelotti – and is also an able pianist. He was named Ukraine coach on his 59th birthday, but stepped down in August 2010 to focus on Metalist.
• Malmö boss Rikard Norling's midfield career was cut short by injury. He made his name as a coach taking charge of AIK Solna (2004-08) and Assyriska Föreningen (2010-11) before replacing FC København-bound Roland Nilsson as coach of the Swedish champions in May 2011.