Division 4 Round 4 Review
Hey Guys, welcome to the latest rumblings of going on’s in Division 4.
Before I get cracking just a few comments on the World Cup, It’s been a strange tournament so far. Goals in every game but I feel the last few days of action has been hard viewing. I enjoyed last nights Serbia/Switzerland game and The 2nd half of Argentina’s calamitous game against Croatia but in general the 2nd round of games have been poor imo. VAR is proving to be controversial to say the least, some good decisions have been made, but the ones missed have left many people wondering about the uses of it. Last night Mitrovic was wrestled to the ground by 2 defenders yet VAR wasn’t even considered, much the same as the ones in the England game. The old Ronaldo/Messi debate rearing it’s head again,both are unbelievable players, Ronaldo clearly in this tournament has carried Portugal better than Messi’s attempts at the same which mirrors the 2014 world cup when it was role reversal, Messi taking Argentina to the final whilst Portugal went out in the group stages. For me I still prefer Messi to Ronaldo in terms of individual ability.
Anyway back to the reason for the post and Division 4’s latest round of games.
DNIPRO 3 ESPANYOL 1
Defeat for the first time for Lee Reynolds at Espanyol as Dnipro secured a fine win. Falque was the star for the home side helping himself to a brace. The first coming on 10 minutes Latza swinging in a deep free kick which was hammered home by Falque giving Handanovic little chance. The two players again combined for Dnipro’s second, Latza again putting an inch perfect ball on the money for Falque to drill home. 2-0 lead for Dnipro at HT and Espanyol were in trouble. Lee obviously got into his side a bit at HT as they came out firing and within 8 minutes of the restart they had one back, Alcacer played through by Pizzi and he rounded Ghore in goal to roll the ball into the empty net. However the task became a whole lot harder just a few minutes later when Ndombele lunged into Falque and was given a straight red. Lapadula almost got them level on 61 minutes but his snap shot clipped the outside of the post. That was as good as it got and on 89 Dnipro wrapped up the points when MOTM Latza got the goal of the game when he curled a delicious free kick around the wall and into the top corner. A great first win of the season for Son of Pluto.
LEVANTE 2 ATALANTA 0
Dario Saviano’s Levante gained their 3rd win on the bounce at home to a dispirited Atalanta side. Just 8 minutes were on the clock when Fred whipped in a glorious free kick into the area and Milik found the top corner to give the Spanish side the lead. Atalanta briefly battled and twice before HT they had clipped the woodwork, first through Nani and then Guerrero. The second half was drifting away and devoid of any real action until Guarin swiped down Fred from behind, a cynical challenge and a straight red followed. Fred immediately made him pay as just a minute later he had scored the game settling 2nd goal, Milik laying a ball back for him to calmly side foot home past Subasic who despite getting a hand to it couldn’t keep it out. 4 without a win for Atalanta now who are surely destined for another relegation battle.
AZ ALKMAAR 1 CELTA VIGO 1
Celta Vigo dropped to 3rd after this point away to Alkmaar but maintain their fine unbeaten start to the season. Raul Navas scored a goal of the season contender to get Alkmaar up and running, receiving the ball from Acuna their seemed little danger to vigo’s goal, however he strode forward and unleashed an absolute rocket from 35 yards straight into the net leaving Ulreich with no chance. A minute after the break and Vigo were level however, Feghouli crossing into the box and Arnautovic nonchalantly flicking the ball with the outside of his boot past Romero. Smolov was unlucky not to give Alkmaar all 3 points when attempting a carbon copy of Arnautovic’s goal on 67 minutes,however his flick smacked the post and bounced clear. In the end a point shared.
TORINO 1 PARTIZAN 1
Another unbeaten side Torino were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Partizan. The home side started the game well and had already give notice of their intentions before Valeri had them ahead on 10 minutes, Valeri receiving a fine return ball from De Arrascaeta and drilling home from 12 yards into the bottom corner. It was one way traffic and Partizan were left with little option to try and break up play, picking up 3 yellows in a desperate attempt to stem the attacks. Mark Gardiner was happy to get to HT and give his side a chance to find their focus and second half was an improvement. Zieler saving well from Chiesa and Quagliarella. However with just 10 minutes left he was finally beaten, Rosales released Quagliarella and he thundered a shot past the despairing dive of Zieler. A definite tale of two halfs here.
ASTON VILLA 0 CRUZEIRO 1
Cruzeiro continue to defy pre season predictions, and their promising start continued at Villa Park. A stereotypical smash and grab away performance here. It was unlucky 13 for villa as Masuaku give away a needless penalty, sticking out a leg for Silva to topple over. Silva picked himself up and smashed the pen straight down the middle and into the roof of the net. Villa looked stunned and struggled to impose themselves against the well drilled Brazilians. A half time gee up from Nick Justice provided an improved performance and it was a backs to the wall effort for Cruzeiro. The problem for the home side is all their best chances fell to the wrong men, Lascelles(x2), Gnagnon, Semedo and Pepe all had good chances which they failed to put away. A worrying start for Villa who remain without a win.
BASEL 2 OLYMPIAKOS 0
Basel got their first win since the opening day with a comfortable win against Olympiakos, Goals in either half sealed the win. Olympiakos goalkeeper Mandanda twice in the first 4 minutes saved well from Jorgensen and Enrich as Basel set their sites on a fast start. Aspas finally got the goal they deserved in the 34th minute, Arbilla dinked a ball over the greek defence and Aspas hit a sweet left foot volley giving Mandanda no chance this time. Carlos Tevez did his best to get Olympiakos back into the game but was left frustrated, 3 times in 20 second half minutes he found himself in good positions to level the scores but couldn’t find the right connection to beat Sirigu. The one time he did the post came to the rescue of Basel. Kalou wrapped up the win with 6 minutes left, Subotic sending a 60 yard crossfield ball which kalou controlled and beat his man before firing past the keeper from a good 20 yards.
DINAMO ZAGREB 1 MARSEILLE 0
Marseille were left frustrated again and are now 274 minutes without a goal after firing another blank in Croatia. In a match they enjoyed the better possession they found Bizot in fine form in the home goal. Zagreb grabbed the only goal of the game just before the break. Maxi Gomez had seen a couple of efforts fly wide before he finally found the back of the net, Mandi played a great defense splitting ball which left Gomez free one on one with the keeper, he took a touch to compose himself before slotting past Fernandez. Second half was a end to end affair with both sides missing clear cut chances. Zagreb up to 7th after this win.
CRYSTAL PALACE 1 SWANSEA 2
Swansea are up to 8th after a fantastic come from behind win against Palace. The first half was drab affair until the 38th minute when Soldado got on the end of a teasing Andros Townsend cross, a quality ball despatched with a quality finish. Cresswell and Soldado had further chances to extend Palace’s lead before the break and they were ultimately left to rue those misses. Just 3 minutes into the second half and Swansea were level, Adriano linking up with Seferovic and slotting home past Pope. Linetty then tested Pope as Swansea fancied their chances. Seferovic then grabbed the winner on 74, Jimenez played a lovely ball through to him and he finished well off the post for the winner. 2nd home defeat of the season for Mark Deadman as Joe Jordan’s side pick up their first away win.
BOCA JUNIORS 0 STOKE 1
Stoke piled on the pressure for Golden Bear in Argentina with a narrow 1-0 win. Bou got the only goal of the game mid way through the first half, picking up a great pass off Guedes to beat Moya in the home goal. It was an entertaining first half with both sides creating chances. The second half was a different game entirely, Boca just never created a chance of note and Stoke missing 3 golden opportunities to seal the game, or Castillejo missing 3 chances to be precise. However Stoke were never in danger of giving up the points and return to England with their first win of the season. Big test of character for Boca now, firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.
COLOGNE 2 AS MONACO 4
It has been coming and Monaco finally found their goalscoring touch here in Germany. However they were fortunate to leave with all 3 points as Cologne were more than deserving of at least 1. Cologne were 1 up in just 6 minutes, Santini was played in by Juardo who found the bottom corner despite Reina getting a hand to it. All the goal did was get Monaco fired up. Mustafi had them level after 15 minutes, striding out of defense and playing a lovely one two with Sarabia he found the top corner from 20 yards. Just 5 minutes later it was 2-1 to Monaco, Sarabia again the provider and Palomino scored with a delightful lobbed finish past Azzizabalaga. The onslaught from Monaco continued and it was no surprise that the 3rd come before the break, Higuain did all the dirty work before squaring the ball for Benzema to tap into the empty net. 3-1 at the break. Twice in the 2nd half Reina denied Everton before he was beaten by Grillitsch on 72 minutes, left flat footed by the quick snap shot. 60 seconds later and Monaco had their 2 goal lead back and what a beauty of a free kick from Gundogan for his 3rd of the campaign. He drilled it through the wall and give Azzizabalaga no chance. A cruel defeat for Cologne but Monaco’s extra quality finishing was the difference.
|LEAGUE TABLE AFTER ROUND 4|
|TOP GOALSCORER TABLE|
Some good looking fixtures on sunday, Espanyol host Basel looking to hold on to top spot whilst Atalanta and Aston Villa do battle at the bottom.
Thanks for reading. Next update will be Tues/Wed.