European Lower League Week In Football – Week Two
Cesena got off to the worst possible start with a 3-0 home defeat to Sassuolo last week & things got no better this week as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Vicenza. The scorer of two Vicenza goals was a certain Dominique Malonga, a former Monaco trainee who signed the day before the game on loan from…Cesena. The phase “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” doesn’t cut much ice in the Malonga household!
It was a weekend of fine goals throughout Serie B, none more so than the double by Empoli’s Riccardo Saponara in their 2-2 draw at Novara. Both sides have begun the season with two draws coupled with Coppa Italia exits, Novara in particular will be unhappy with that start.
Livorno beat Padova on Monday night to complete two wins from two league games & join Sassuolo as the only teams with maximum points. Coach David Nicola made the inspired decision to bring Brazilian Emerson into the starting 11, he fired home a 30 yard half volley for the opening goal. Sassuolo beat Crotone 2-1 with striker Leonardo Pavoletti notching his second goal of the season.
Varese have won both their league fixtures but a one point deduction leaves them on five points. Star man Guiseppe De Luca left to join Serie A side Atalanta on loan but a man that came the other way grabbed the winner to give them the points in a 2-1 win at new boys Virtus Lanciano. Moussa Kone, who spent last season in Serie B with Pescara, struck with five minutes remaining in a game that saw both sides reduced to 10 men late on.
Alongside Cesena, three other teams have lost both their opening fixtures. Ascoli went down again this time 3-1 at home to Bari, who like Varese have won both games but also had a point deduction which puts them down in 14th place. Ternana went down 1-0 at home to Modena & Juve Stabia were defeated 2-0 in Brescia although the six points taken from Grosseto & four deducted from Novara mean those teams currently occupy the bottom two places.
Despite €10 million signing Lucas Ocampos making a 65th minute substitute appearance, Monaco went down to a first defeat at improving Le Havre in front of over 12000 fans at the brand new Stade Oceane. Dijon left it late against a Gazelec Ajaccio side still looking for their first win of the season. It looked like they might get it after Nicolas Verdier gave them a first half lead but two goals in the last ten minutes from Ben Corgnet & Gregory Thil shot Dijon to the top of the table.
One defeat in the opening six games has seen Caen jump to third place although they needed a last minute strike from Molla Wague to earn a 2-2 draw at Sedan. Nantes drop to fourth after suffering their first reverse of the season as they went down 2-1 at Arles who move up to sixth. Summer signing from Reims Lucas Deaux’s 10th minute sending off certainly didn’t help matters for Les Canaries. Istres left it late to grab their second win on the trot & move into fifth, Florian Tardieu breaking Niort hearts with just two minutes left on the clock.
Gazelec Ajaccio are the only team without a win after Tours beat Auxerre courtesy of a late Jeremy Blayac penalty & Clermont remain in the bottom three after a 3-1 loss at Le Mans, their third straight defeat.
Hertha are kings of Berlin for the time being at least after they made the short trip to City rivals Union & triumphed by two goals to one. Hertha who have made what can only be described as a slow start have now won their last two games & move into sixth place.
Eintracht Braunschweig continue to surprise the pundits as they continue their winning start to the season with an impressive 3-0 success at Aalen. The hosts looked to miss the inspirational Kevin Kampl, a €175,000 signing from Osnabruck in the summer was sold to Red Bull Salzburg on Friday for a highly profitable €3 million. Cottbus & FSV Frankfurt stay on Braunschweig’s coat tails on 10 points as both enjoyed 1-0 victories at the weekend. Cottbus won in Koln with Boubacar Sanogo hitting the winner with his fourth goal of the season & FSV Frankfurt won for the third game on the trot thanks to Edmond Kapllani’s late winner over Aue. ]
Kaiserslautern & 1860 Munich both won on Friday stay in touch on eight points, Kaiserslautern had a fine 3-1 win in Dresden whilst 1860 Munich easily disposed of bottom side Duisburg leaving the Zebras looking for their first points of the season, although new coach Kosta Runjaic will hope to rectify that after joining from 3.Liga side Darmstadt. FC Koln & Union Berlin remain in the bottom with just one point from their opening four games.
Ingolstadt & St Pauli both won their first games of the season, St Pauli beat Sandhausen by 2-1 & Ingolstadt overcame a tough trip to Paderborn, Biliskov, Eigler & Cauiby on target in a 3-1 win.
Helmond Sport are now the only Eerste Divisie side with maximum points after four rounds of fixtures. Emrullah Guvenc grabbed his sixth of the season as Sport beat Den Bosch 2-0 at the weekend & are clear after the top after MVV Maastricht lost their 100% record following a 0-0 home draw with Telstar. Volendam made it three successive wins after crushing FC Eindhoven 4-1, Jack Tuyp continuing from last season with four goals in his last three games. Go Ahead Eagles & Sparta Rotterdam both remain unbeaten & have eight points after they were held at the weekend. Go Ahead drew 1-1 with Cambuur & Sparta’s game at Emmen ended goal less.
At the bottom, Den Bosch have yet to find a point after the loss at Helmond and neither have Almere City who went down 3-2 at home to FC Oss. Another concern for Almere will be the upcoming suspensions they face after having THREE players dismissed as temperatures rose at the Mitsubishi Forklift Stadion. Excelsior had a good 3-0 win over a stuttering Fortuna Sittard whilst the other team relegated from the Eredivisie, De Graafschap went down to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at AGOVV Apeldoorn.
Relegated duo Racing Santander & Sporting Gijon picked up their first points of the season following a dour 0-0 draw at El Sardinero. Before the game, the whole crowd stood for a minute’s applause for the late Manolo Preciado.
Elche & Almeria still have 100% records intact whilst Elche’s Alicantino rivals Hercules remain bottom after their third straight defeat after a 1-0 loss at Alcorcon. Elche saw off the challenge of Las Palmas with Fran Escriba’s men running out 3-1 winners. Marcus Tebar’s early goal was enough to give Girona a 1-0 win over Ponferradina and they are joined on seven points by Real Murcia who beat Huesca 2-1 & Villarreal, who relied on new signing Walter Pandiani to come from the bench to score the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Guadalajara. Barcelona B picked up their first win with a 2-0 success over local rivals Sabadell in front of a larger than normal crowd of 4535 at the Mini Estadi.
Mirandes are off the mark in style after two defeats as they crushed Xerez 4-0 away from home with last season’s cup hero Pablo Infante scoring twice & fellow newcomers Lugo remain unbeaten after a 1-1 draw with Cordoba.
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