Standard ease past poor Copenhagen
Standard Liege posted a workmanlike 1-0 victory over a toothless FC Copenhagen side in tonight's UEFA Europa League Group B dead-rubber at Parken Stadium.
Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal of the game as Standard underlined their status as top dogs in the group with their fourth win from six unbeaten games, while for the hosts the defeat was typical of a campaign in which they have consistently failed to deliver.
Both sides came into the match with their fates sealed, Standard as winners of Group B and Copenhagen cemented in third place and heading out of the tournament.
Standard looked far more purposeful in the opening exchanges, and Franck Berrier had the first chance of the night, forcing Johan Wiland into a save on nine minutes, while on 15 minutes Nacho Gonzalez let fly from distance but the ball sailed harmlessly over the Copenhagen bar.
Batshuayi breaks the deadlock
The breakthrough came after 31 minutes when Gonzalez chipped the ball up for Batshuayi, who turned his man smartly before smashing the ball low into the left corner from 18 yards.
With Copenhagen appearing impotent in attack, Standard easily saw out the half with their lead intact and could have added a second after 51 minutes, Batshuayi again the danger man with a shot that Wiland tipped athletically away from danger.
So listless was the Copenhagen display that coach Roland Nilsson felt moved to make two changes at the break, with Morten Nordstrand and Martin Vingaard brought on for Cesar Santin and Pape Diouf respectively.
The changes slowly breathed life into the hosts' performance and after 64 minutes the Danes finally managed a meaningful chance on goal, Dame N'Doye directing a header towards the target that was held by Anthony Moris.
Standard gained the upper hand again, however, and might have added to the scoring at the end when Pape Camara unleashed a fine effort from outside the area that Wiland clawed away.