Leicester Tigers fell short, 17-20, on the final day of the regular league season to Harlequins at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
A man down for the entire second half following a red card to Chris Ashton in the 38th minute, Leicester fought their way back into the contest after trailing by ten points, 7-17, at the break but couldn't complete the comeback to make it seven straight victories in the Gallagher Premiership ahead of the semi-finals.
Harlequins were the first to register points, eleven minutes into the match, when a driving maul from the visitors was ruled to have been brought down by Cameron Henderson and a penalty try gave them a seven-point lead.
The Tigers lock was shown a yellow card by Referee Ian Tempest following the infringement.
Despite being a man down, the home side rallied to get across for a try in the 14th minute when Julián Montoya crashed over at the back of a maul and Handré Pollard converted to make it 7-7.
However, just four minutes later, Harlequins took advantage of their overlap in attack and crossed out wide through Cadan Murley.
Marcus Smith converted the score to see them out to a seven-point lead once again just two minutes before Henderson returned from the sin bin.
Both sides traded blows in a fiery encounter in front of a sold-out Mattioli Woods Welford Road and, just two minutes before the break, Ashton was ruled to have made a high tackle and sent off.
Smith added three points, extending the Harlequins lead to ten points prior to half-time.
A penalty goal in the opening minutes of the second half for Pollard cut the deficit to seven, 10-17, where it remained until a 70th minute penalty goal from Smith made it 10-20.
Leicester refused to lay down and got across the chalk with just three minutes left on the clock through Tommy Reffell, which Jimmy Gopperth converted, to mean just three points separated the sides.
Tigers fought their way into within inches of the visitor's line in the dying stages on the back of successive infringements from the London club but couldn't find a way through the Harlequins defence and had to settle for a losing bonus-point, 17-20, to confirm third place on the Premiership ladder and book an away trip to Sale Sharks in the semi-finals.