Having beaten RC Deportivo La Coruña 3-0 in the first leg in Denmark, AaB put the contest beyond their hosts before the break tonight as Luton Shelton swiftly replied to Sergio González’s 38th-minute opener, and then Andreas Johansson and Thomas Enevoldsen scored in first-half added time. AaB will now attempt to do what Danish rivals FC Midtjylland and FC København could not achieve in this season’s UEFA Cup, and oust City over two legs on 12 and 18/19 March.
Deportivo were responsible for some of the most memorable European comebacks of recent years, most famously against AC Milan in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League, yet it seemed their task would get even harder when Shelton broke through but after he rounded home goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia, Diego Colotto made a saving tackle. After that warning, Depor moved forward and Omar Bravo, a ninth-minute substitute for Rodolfo Bodipo, had a goal disallowed for offside although Sergio did break the deadlock with a long-range shot.
However, Deportivo’s joy soon turned to despair. Three minutes later Anders Due’s cross was flicked on and headed in by Shelton. Due, scorer of two first-leg goals, also created AaB’s second, setting up Johansson in similar style, and moments after that Enevoldsen volleyed in after Shelton’s effort was parried by Aranzubia. Deportivo’s hope was gone and despite pushing forward in the second half, their campaign ended with substitute Pablo Álvarez receiving an injury-time red card after two bookings.