Monday 26 September 2016

Spot-on Rodriguez gives Saints lifeline

Southampton 1 FC Midtjylland 1

Published 21/08/2015 | 02:30

Jay Rodriguez of Southampton scores his first goal in months to equalise with FC Midtjylland in their Europa League play-off tie
Jay Rodriguez of Southampton scores his first goal in months to equalise with FC Midtjylland in their Europa League play-off tie

Jay Rodriguez scored his first goal in almost 17 months as Southampton were held to a draw by FC Midtjylland at St Mary’s in the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie.

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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 draw.

Former Saints player Tim Sparv put Midtjylland ahead just before half-time. 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.

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.

Meanwhille, Borussia Dortmund fought back from 3-0 down to beat Odds 4-3 – conquerors of Shamrock Rovers – in the first leg of their tie.

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