European Lower League Week In Football
Sassuolo are now the standalone leaders at top of Serie B after five rounds of fixtures following yet another impressive result, this time away at Spezia as they kept up their 100% record. Livorno lost their 100% record after they went down 1-0 at Modena with Luca Siligardi failing to hit the target for the first time in the league this season. Livorno are level on points with Varese who remain unbeaten after recording a 2-1 victory against Juve Stabia, who drop into the bottom three. Hellas Verona are also unbeaten but they conceded a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw at home to fellow unbeaten side Novara.
Crotone & Bari were both deducted two points for financial issues in midweek (taking Bari’s point loss to seven). They met at the weekend & Bari continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 0-0 draw. After losing their opening three games & firing Nicola Campedelli, Cesena have now acquired four points from two games under Pierpaolo Bisoli, their first victory came in a 1-0 home win over Cittadella.
At the bottom, Grosseto are finally out of the minus points scale, a 1-1 draw at Virtus Lanciano means they are now on zero points. Empoli are one point above after they went down to a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Ternana who claimed their first win of the season, Padova won for the first time this season in a thrilling encounter with a Reggina side who sit fourth bottom & Pro Vercelli ended a run of three successive defeats by beating Ascoli 3-1 with new signing from Atalanta Simone Tiribocchi scoring his first for the club.
Monaco are back on the summit of Ligue 2 following a fine 4-0 win at Lens, Ibrahima Toure notching a hat trick & taking his season’s tally to nine in eight games. It has been a poor start for Lens, whose loyal fan base has had to endure a run of five games without a victory. Dijon drop to second place after a disappointing 1-1 draw with a Clermont side who were bottom coming into the game. An impressive crowd of 9017 were present to see summer signing Julio Taveres score his first league goal for DFCO but Damien Perrinelle equalised shortly after. Istres are up to third after they won the local derby with Nimes 2-0 & Angers stay fifth after their third win on the trot, this time a 1-0 success over Gazelec Ajaccio.
Tours moved off the bottom following a draw with fellow strugglers Sedan on Friday but Clermont’s point at Dijon means that Tours will spend their fifth week out of the last six at the foot of Ligue 2. Former Chateauroux forward Jerome Lafourcade scored his first goal for Niort in a 2-2 draw at Le Mans in a game that saw three penalties & a last minute equaliser for the visitors.
Nantes have now only lost one of the last eight after they picked up a useful point in a 1-1 draw at Le Havre while Guingamp are now unbeaten in four games after they beat Auxerre in a seven goal thriller with Mustapha Yatabare on target, taking his tally to six for the season.
Eintracht Braunschweig finally dropped points but remain unbeaten after a hard fought 1-1 at fellow unbeaten side 1860 Munich & now just two points separate the top three after both Cottbus & FSV Frankfurt enjoyed wins. Cottbus came away from Jahn Regensburg with a 1-0 win, inflicting the fourth straight defeat on last season’s 3.Liga play off winners. FSV Frankfurt welcomed St Pauli & their biggest crowd of the season, coming away with a narrow 2-1 victory with Edmond Kaplliani’s fourth in four games proving to be the winner. Hertha Berlin made the trip to unbeaten Kaiserslautern on the back of three straight wins & although that run is now over, they won’t be too unhappy with a creditable 1-1 draw. Ingolstadt are turning into one of the form teams as they won for the third time on the trot to go up to sixth with a 1-0 victory at Dynamo Dresden. Paderborn also are in fine form as they comfortably beat Sandhausen to go seventh.
At the bottom, Duisburg finally got off the mark with a 0-0 draw at home to local rivals Bochum in front of over 15000 fans. New boss Kosta Runjaic has now been in charge for two games & has seen an improvement in the team with their first point & a narrow loss at high flying Kaiserslautern. Union Berlin collected their first win of the season at the hands of crisis club Koln, for whom Thomas Broker opened the scoring but goals from Silvio and a clever finish from Mattuschka kept the points in Berlin & sent Koln to second bottom.
The last Eerste Divisie 100% record has gone as Helmond Sport failed to overcome Fortuna Sittard, but they are still unbeaten following a 1-1 draw. MVV Maastricht closed the gap at the top to two points with a 3-2 success at AGOVV while Cambuur moved into third spot after inflicting a first defeat of the season on Sparta Rotterdam with a fine 3-0 win. Volendam returned to winning ways to record their fourth win in five games, with perennial poacher Jack Tuyp on target in the 3-1 win over FC Oss. Go Ahead Eagles warmed up for a cup date with Eredivisie strugglers VVV Venlo by easily disposing of Den Bosch 3-0 as they move up to fifth.
Almere City picked up their first points of the season at home to a seriously out of form De Graafschap at the Mitsubishi Forklift Stadion who have now gone five games since their last victory, an opening day success against fellow relegated side Excelsior. Tempers were raised at the end of the game as coach Peter Huistra & fans held heated discussions over the team’s failings, and a shock defeat in the midweek KNVB cup tie at fourth tier side Sparta Nijkerk could well re-ignite the flames. Emmen gained bragging rights in the local derby by coming from behind to beat Veendam with a 2-1 home victory. Both sides are in cup action this week at the opposite ends of the scale as Veendam travel to AZ Alkmaar whilst Emmen visit Hoofdklasse outfit ONS Sneek.
Elche have equalled a record of five straight wins to a season that has stood for over 50 years, however they failed to beat it this weekend after being held to a 0-0 draw at Huesca. They stay at the top of the table as their two closest challengers were also held to draws. Villarreal travelled to Las Palmas & needed two penalties from former Spain international Marcos Senna to earn a 2-2 draw & Almeria had last season’s Liga Adelante top scorer Leonardo Ulloa on target as they drew 2-2 at struggling Ponferradina.
Barcelona B recorded a comfortable 3-0 win at a woeful Hercules who now sit second from bottom whilst Barca B ride high in fourth following their fourth straight win. Sabadell are yet to concede a goal at home & they move up to fifth after a 3-0 win over Xerez, it was their second 3-0 home success on the spin & comes sandwiched in between a fine 3-2 victory at Real Madrid Castilla. Alcorcon drop to seventh after becoming the first to fall to Sporting Gijon, new signing David Rodriguez scoring the winner for the Asturians.
Guadalajara remain bottom with just one point after they lost 4-3 at home to Real Madrid Castilla & are joined in the relegation zone by Hercules, Ponferradina & Las Palmas. Murcia’s poor discipline continued in a 1-0 reverse at Numancia which saw full back Molinero pick up his fifth yellow card in six games & Tagliafico become the fifth Murcia player to be red carded this season.