Live updates

Advertisement

Southampton vs Norwich teams confirmed

Southampton boss blames ref for Europe exit

Southampton fell foul of poor refereeing decisions as their European adventure ended prematurely, according to their manager Ronald Koeman.

The Dutchman saw his side lose 1-0 to FC Midtjylland in Denmark on Thursday night and, having only managed a draw at St Mary's seven days earlier, Saints crashed out of the Europa League at the play-off stage.

Ronald Koeman has pointed the finger at the referees. Credit: PA

"I have to say, and it's critical to both referees in both games, if you analyse both games, we had more chances," he said.

"We scored a normal goal last week and if you watch television and you see the free kick of Ward-Prowse - it's a penalty. So easy. But if you don't see it that still makes it more complex, more difficult.

"Then the final result, the final result of last week, is totally different (if the decisions are correct). Congratulations to Midtjylland. They play well, they play out of a good organisation and they scored today and we didn't.

"It's two mistakes. It's one penalty and one goal and it's a big influence on the result. It's different reasons. One of the reasons was the referee of today because it's a penalty. Last week it's a normal goal but we did a mistake and they scored for 1-1."

Advertisement

Rodriguez fires first Southampton goal since return

Jay Rodriguez scored his first goal in almost 17 months as Southampton were held to a draw by FC Midtjylland in their Europa League play-off tie.

The England international had been out with a serious knee injury for much of that time and the relief was there for all to see as he emphatically thumped home an equaliser from the penalty spot to secure a 1-1 draw.

Jay Rodriguez netted from 12 yards. Credit: PA

It was a returning Saints player who opened the scoring as Tim Sparv put Midtjylland ahead just before half-time, giving his side the advantage ahead of the return leg in Herning next week.

Finland international Sparv was part of the same youth side as Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Adam Lallana but never made it into the Saints' first team and although he did not celebrate he would have enjoyed his moment.

Saints hit back with an early second-half penalty, with Rodriguez slotting home his first goal since he struck twice in a 4-0 win over Newcastle on March 29 2014 - leaving the tie finely poised ahead of the return fixture.

Load more updates