Table Toppers and Table Proppers
Atsuto Uchida had a good game on Friday night as Schalke recorded only their second Bundesliga win of the season, beating St Pauli 3-0. Uchida provided the cross for the first goal for Raul, and continually linked up well with his fellow right-sided player Jefferson Farfan.
Schalke still sit on the bottom three though, which shows what a vital win this was.
At the other end of the scale, the table toppers are Borussia Dortmund, now 4 points clear at the top. They handed out a 4-0 tonking away at Hannover and are now being touted as serious title prospects.
Shinji Kagawa impressed again, and scored an excellent first goal after just 11 minutes, and came close again a few minutes later. They had to wait for the other three goals though, all coming late on, and they could even afford a missed penalty. Good times for Kagawa and Borussia.
Freiburg continued their good form, beating 2nd placed Mainz 1-0, but Kisho Yano was not involved. Same story for Makoto Hasebe in Wolfsburg’s 3-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Keisuke Honda came off the bench at half-time in CSKA Moscow’s dramatic 4-3 win over Samara Kryliya Sovetov, a match they would have hoped to have won comfortably.
I’m presuming Honda was initially being rested ahead of the table top clash with Zenit St Petersburg coming up on Wednesday. But with only 4 matches to go, Zenit have a 9 point advantage so it would take a miracle of epic proportions for CSKA to steal the title. They just edged ahead of Rubin Kazan for the second automatic Champions League place however, and will hope to secure that position.
Meanwhile Seiichiro Maki was an unused sub in Amkar Perm’s 2-0 win over Terek Grozny, as was Dasiuke Matsui in Tom Tomsk’s defeat at Anzhi Makhachkala.
Catania took a very good point from a 0-0 draw in Sampdoria, again no sign of Morimoto-san.
But Cesena are sinking faster than the Titanic, despite having topped the table briefly a couple of months ago. A 3-1 defeat at Juventus, with Yuto Nagatomo at right back, sees them languishing just one place off the bottom.
Another week, another point for SC Lierse down in the depths of the Belgian Jupiler League in a 2-2 draw with Lokeren – Eiji Kawashima is still currently out of action however.
Across the border in Holland, defender Maya Yoshida came on for the last few minutes of VVV Venlo’s magnificnet 4-1 win away at Willem II Tilburg. It’s slightly less magnificent when you realise that Willem II are the only team below Venlo in the table and are the only winless team in the league.
More progress in England too, as Leicester City continue their Sven lead revival, with Yuki Abe playing in a 2-0 win at Barnsley whom Leicester now move above.
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