European Lower League Week In Football – The Period Champions Edition
After losing their 100% record last week in a 0-0 draw with Vicenza, Sassuolo returned to winning ways with a narrow 1-0 success over lowly Ascoli. They remain three points clear of Livorno in second place after the Amaranto inflicted a first home defeat on Crotone. Luca Siligardi was once more on target taking his season’s tally to six and going to the top of the scorers chart. Two unbeaten sides clashed at the Bentigodi as Hellas Verona welcomed Bari. In a tightly contested game the first goal was always going to be crucial & so it proved when former Manchester City & Parma striker Valeri Bojinov struck the winner two minutes from time.
Cesena made it one defeat in four under new Coach Bisoli as they beat fourth placed Varese on Monday night, who are now seven points behind Sassuolo. Cittadella also won on Monday as they brushed aside Pro Vercelli to move up to fifth place, The potent Di Carmine & Di Roberto strike force were both on target & after opening the season with three defeats, Ternana are now in sixth place after their third win on trot, a fine 2-1 success at previously unbeaten Novara.
Grosseto sit at the foot of Serie B (after beginning the season with a six point penalty) & have dispensed with the services of Coach Francesco Moriero following a 2-1 loss at Vicenza. Sforzini had given Grosseto the lead which they held until the 88th minute before Vicenza struck twice to win the game. Mario Somma has been announced as the new Coach. Ex-Middlesbrough striker Massimo Maccarone was on target as Empoli held high flying Brescia but the Tuscans remain second bottom. Also in the drop zone are Reggina who lost for the fourth time in five games to a Marco Sansovini goal at Spezia.
Monaco regained top spot despite being held 2-2 at home to third bottom Gazelec Ajaccio on Sunday, although with 14 minutes remaining Monaco were trailing 2-0, staring at their first home defeat of the season. An injury time leveller from defender Andreas Wolf lifted Monaco above Angers in the table who had gone top on Friday courtesy of a fine 4-0 home win over local rivals Le Mans, all four goals coming from Romanian striker Claudio Keseru, taking his season’s tally to nine where he joins Monaco’s Ibrahima Toure at the top of the scorers chart. Dijon tasted defeat for the first time this season as they went down 4-2 at Niort, dropping to fifth in the table behind Istres who climb to third following a 2-0 win at Sedan & Nantes who crushed 10 man Lens by four goals to nil.
Sedan slip to the foot of the table with six points from nine games, while Gazelec Ajaccio & Clermont complete the bottom three. Clermont are now six games without a win following a dour 0-0 draw with Laval & with a public fallout between main striker Jean Francois Riviere & new Coach Regis Brouard meaning Riviere is not part of the first team squad, it is been a tough start for Brouard who was brought in on the back of huge success at National outfit Quevilly.
Tours climb out of the bottom three after their fourth game unbeaten with a fine 1-0 win at high flying Caen & Auxerre followed up a Coupe de la Ligue win over Angers by beating Arles 2-1 putting them just three points behind Nantes in fourth place.
Eintracht Braunschweig increase their lead at the top of 2.Bundesliga to three points after a 1-1 draw at Kaiserslautern, while Cottbus remain in second spot despite losing their first game the season when they went down 3-1 at Union Berlin. Daniel Adlung scored the Cottbus goal but was then sent off in a fiery game which also saw Union Berlin reduced to ten men with the dismissal of Fabian Schonheim. 1860 Munich climb into third place ahead of Kaiserslautern on goal difference after they continued their unbeaten start to the season by putting four goals past Sandhausen without reply & Aalen move into fifth after inflicting a second straight defeat on FSV Frankfurt who drop to seventh.
Hertha Berlin had a Sandro Wagner goal 12 minutes from time to thank for earning a 2-2 draw at Duisburg who are still searching for their first win of the season, it was an out of sorts performance from Hertha who will need to improve greatly before 1860 Munich come to town today.
St Pauli produced another below par performance in going down 3-0 at Jahn Regensburg but they will hope the appointment of former Borussia Monchengladbach Coach Michael Frontzeck will change their fortunes. Frontzeck was sacked at Borussia following a Bundesliga defeat to St Pauli in February 2011 & his first task will be lifting St Pauli away from the drop zone starting on Friday with a home game against improving Union Berlin.
Kirsten Baumann is a man under pressure, the Aue Coach has seen his team lose four of the last five games with a 3-1 loss at fellow strugglers Dynamo Dresden the latest setback for Baumann, who is fast losing the patience of the clubs supporters. With some difficult fixtures in the pipeline, he needs to see an big improvement if he doesn’t want to be the third casualty of the season so far.
After winning five of the opening six fixtures Helmond Sport finally tasted defeat & were promptly knocked off the top of Eerste Divisie. A 3-0 reverse at home to fellow high flyers FC Dordrecht coupled with MVV beating Excelsior 4-2 puts the Maastricht based side on top of the table with one game remaining in the first period. A win for MVV on Friday at mid table Emmen will crown them Period Champions & guarantee a spot in the complicated end of season play offs. Should MVV lose on Friday then Helmond, Volendam, Sparta Rotterdam, Cambuur or Dordrecht (who meet tonight) could take advantage & claim a play off place.
Volendam move into third after a fine 3-0 win at Telstar, Cambuur drop to fourth as they were held at Veendam & Dordrecht’s win at Helmond lifts them to fifth. Sparta Rotterdam were involved in a thrilling 4-3 win over an Almere City side who showed far more promise than their lowly position suggests, City twice coming from behind before Deekman’s 84th minute winner.
Den Bosch supporters vented their frustration after the 3-0 home defeat to Emmen, the summer appointment of former Southampton Coach Jan Poortvliet not proving to be a popular one & they sit second bottom after reaching the play off finals last season before losing out to Willem II. Another side who have excelled in the last few seasons but are flattering to deceive at present are FC Eindhoven, they were beaten again this time at home to De Graafschap.
Elche kept up their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable 3-0 win over Recreativo Huelva & they stay two points ahead of Villarreal who scored twice in the last ten minutes to beat Cordoba 2-0. Sabadell continue their fine start to the season move into third place after a 2-1 win over Guadalajara who are three points adrift at the bottom.
Almeria are in fourth place after they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to second bottom Hercules. Girona are in fifth place on 13 points after they got revenge on Sporting Gijon for a recent Copa Del Rey defeat, Girona were 3-0 up after 22 minutes & ran out 3-1 winners. Also on 13 points are Barcelona B who were held by Las Palmas & Alcorcon who returned to winning ways thanks to a Fernando Sales goal against Huesca. Murcia won 3-0 at Xerez but received their sixth red card in seven games & Ponferradina climbed away from the drop zone after coming from behind to beat Real Madrid Castilla.
As well as Guadalajara & Hercules the drop zone also consists of Sporting Gijon who have picked up just five points from seven games as have Mirandes who are struggling to adjust to life in the League above they went down 2-0 to fellow promoted side Lugo at the weekend.