• Thursday, 22 March 2012

    That was the (mid)week that was #3

    It's now a fully blown crisis at Marseille as they were dumped out of the Coupe de France by third-tier Quevilly. The game was played in Caen rather than at the tiny, 2,500 capacity Stade Amable Lozai and Marseille needed a late Loic Remy equaliser to take it into extra-time. He scored again in the extra half-hour, but only in between two strikes from John Ayina, the last a couple of minutes from the end of the 120 minutes. An upset too on Corsica where 3rd division Gamélec Ajaccio beat Montpellier. PSG are also out, beaten by Lyon, and Rennes progressed against Valenciennes.

    No such cup joy for Greuther Fürth of 2.Bundesliga, but they did give Borussia Dortmund a real fright. They dragged their semi-final through to extra time, but a last-miute goal from Ilkay Gundogan denied them at least a penalty shoot-out. A shoot-out was what we had in the other semi, Bayern edging out Gladbach.

    The semi-final of the Coppa Italia between Milan and Juventus also went to extra-time having ended 2-1 to Milan after the 90 minutes which left it all square on aggregate. Six minutes into the additional period, Mirko Vucinic blasted in a stunner and Juve held firm for the remaining time in a heated game. Napoli join the Old Lady there after beating Siena.

    PSV eased past Heerenveen for the second time in a matter of days to reach the KNVB Beker final. PSV are joined in the final by Heracles who beat AZ in extra-time. The little club with the plastic pitch are almost certainly in the Europa League next year. Twente struggled past ten-man De Graafschap in a delayed league game from the cold snap in January. Graafschap were extremely unlucky not to grab a point. Luuk de Jong was carried off after turning his ankle and that could be key to Twente's fortunes for the remainder of the season.

    The NextGen series sees Ajax joined in Sunday's final by Internazionale after a 2-0 win over Marseille at Brentford's Griffin Park. The final is also in London, at Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road ground.

    Finally, Spain. Lionel Messi. He's now scored three or more in a game on nine occasions this season. It's difficult to think of anything else to say about him. El Real finished with nine on the field and Aitor Karanka and Jose Mourinho sent from the bench at El Madrigal where Marcos Senna's wonderful free-kick denied Los Blancos a win. The gap is down to six points at the top. Game on? Levante continue to stake a claim for fourth place, but Málaga have kept it to one goal difference.

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