• Tuesday, 3 April 2012

    TW3 #5

    Rounding up last weekend into a neat little package.

    What a game in Dortmund on Friday night. Leading 2-0 early in the second half, BvB were looking good for win number 17 from their last 18 games. But Stuttgart turned the game on it's head with a Julian Schieber double helping them into the lead. Back came Dortmund only for a defensive mix-up deep in stoppage time to allow Christian Gentner to snatch a dramatic 4-4 draw. Bayern's fourth win in a row sees them close within three points. Dropped points for both Schalke and Gladbach leave it a two-horse race. Leverkusen, on the fringes of the European places, sacked Robin Dutt after their fourth successive league defeat. Sami Hyypia takes temporary charge. Down in Regionalliga Nord, the Magdeburg fans arrows clearly worked and backed up their goal from last week with two more this week, and it was enough for a win which lifts them off the bottom.

    More goalfests in Italy where Inter won their first game under Andrea Stramaccioni by the odd goal in nine in a game that featured four successful penalties and two red cards. Genoa scored three of the penalties - two by Alberto Gilardino - but still came up short. Diego Milito bagged a hat-trick for the Nerazzuri. Genoa responded by sacking coach Pasquale Merino and replacing him with Alberto Malesani who previously coached the club as long ago as last December before being replaced by Merino. There were seven more goals in Roma's game against Novara, Luis Enrique's side running out 5-2 winners. Milan were held by the quietly effective Catania and Juventus were comfortable winners over Napoli. The gap at the top is down to two.
    All of that was rather overshadowed by events elsewhere as nine former Bari players were arrested as part of match-fixing investigations, Andrea Masiello admitting to scoring a deliberate own goal after being offered €50,000 to lose a game against Lecce. This one will run and run.

    As you were at the top of La Liga as Real Madrid came away from Pamplona big winners. Barcelona beat Athletic shortly afterwards to retain the status quo. El Real's five goals against Osasuna took them to the 100 mark for the season. Valencia dropped more points with a draw at home to Levante who are still right on their heels. Málaga couldn't take advantage with a home defeat to Real Betis where a win would have sent them third. A third straight win for Zaragoza pulls them within four points of safety. The greatest of escapes is still on. Defeats for Sporting and Racing make them look doomed.

    In the Eredivisie AZ were held at home by Vitesse which allowed Ajax, who stuck six past Heracles, to go top by a point. FC Twente are two points further back from the Alkmaarders, one point ahead of the next three - PSV, Feyenoord and Heerenveen - who all won.

    Benfica beat Braga, bringing the latter's brief leadership of the Liga Zon Sagres to an end. However, it's Porto who now lead the way after a comfortable 2-0 win over Olhanense. Benfica are a point behind, Braga one point further back. Marítimo and Sporting CP look certain to finish fourth and fifth - the Europa League spots - one way round or t'other.

    Montpellier weren't in Ligue 1 action, but stay top after PSG were beaten by Nancy. Lille laboured to beat Toulouse to close within four points and give themselves breathing space back to the chasing pack.

    Celtic have to wait a week for the Scottish title. Rivals Rangers won as did the hooped half of Glasgow, but one more point will do it for Neil Lennon's men. Olympiakos did seal the deal in Greece, beating Panaitolikos 1-0. Despite Panathiaikos beating Aris by the same score, Olympiakos are ten points clear with three games to go. Manchester United put one hand on their 20th English championship by beating Blackburn as rivals City were held by Sunderland. The gap is five, but it feels like 50 such is the difference in momentum between the two sides.

    Midweek sees the intra-continental competitions take over with Champions League and Europa League quarter-final second legs and the Copa Libertadores centre stage - Godoy Cruz v U de Chile looks a cracker - before a packed Easter schedule.

    No comments: