Nagatomo nabs a goal (and some other stuff…)
A big win for Inter was also a big day for Yuto Nagatomo, who came off the bench late on in the 5-2 win over Genoa and banged in number 5 for the European champions for his first goal for Inter with a shot from the centre of the box.
Inter still trail Milan at the top by 5 points.
All together now….YUTO…NAGATOMO!
The man himself commented…
“I was so excited, my mind went blank. I had been dying to score. There is so much to learn here — the mental approach, technique, the decision making. I have learned in every aspect of the game, and I can feel myself becoming a better player with each passing day.”
Rather less pleased this week will be Takayuki Morimoto who was an unused sub for Catania in their 3-0 defeat at Fiorentina.
Shinji Okazaki and Atsuto Uchida went head to head as Stuttgart faced Schalke, and Okazaki would be the happier after a 1-0 win, also managing a couple of shots himself.
That win drags Stuttgart to within touching distance of safety, and in touching distance of Makoto Hasebe’s Wolfsburg who went down 3-0 at Leverkusen to deepen their troubles. The sacking of Steve McClaren a few weeks back seems to have done little to impriove the situation at Wolfsburg and if anything things have got worse since McClaren was removed.
Up towards the better end of the table, Kisho Yano came off the bench late on but couldn’t help Freiburg rescue their match with Werder Bremen. Indeed they let in another late on and lost 3-1.
Across the border in Holland, Feyenoord eased their relegation fears with a fortunate 1-0 win at Heerenveen, with Ryo Miyaichi again part of the team.
Also at the wrong end of the table, the other Japanese in Holland all got together as Vitesse Arnhem played and beat VVV Venlo 2-0.
Michihiro Yasuda not only contributed to Arnhem’s clean sheet but played a key role in their first goal early in the second half with his long pass forwards catching out the Venlo defence allowing Arnhem to score. Maya Yoshida is the Venlo defender giving an unsuccessful chase as the ball crosses the goal line.
Robert Cullen came close for Venlo to complete the Japanese trio in that match.
With 8 games to go, Venlo are now 12 points from safety – surely an impossible margin. Sitting in that spot just above the drop are Vitesse Arnhem, so it’s clear what a vital win that was. Feyenoord are only three points better off but can start to look up rather than down a little bit now.
Jupiler League (apparently that’s what it’s called…)
A big relegation battle in Belgium got off to an awful start for Eiji Kawashima and Lierse conceding in only the second minute at home to fellow strugglers Eupen. Lierse fought back to draw 1-1 which is a result that helps neither really.
Lierse remain three point from safety, behind Eupen on goal difference so this was an opportunity missed.
Leicester City travelled to table topping QPR at the weekend but fell to a late goal, Yuki Abe and his colleagues missing out on what would have been a good point.
In Greece, Daisuke Sakata stayed on the bench in Aris’ 1-0 defeat against Iraklis and they slide into the bottom half of the table.
Akihiro Ienaga came off the bench for Mallorca who let a lead slip to lose 2-1 to Valencia in La Liga. However earlier in midweek he’d also been a sub in the 2-1 win at Espanyol. Mallorca currently sit tenth without too much fear of relegation, and without much hope of anything at the top end either.
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