Category: Football

Aguirre sees out storm with Leganés and finds La Liga survival in sight

“This is that the game,” Pablo Machín said but things weren’t going as planned, his weekend beginning badly and ending worse. Storm Fabien hit Spain, blowing through at 100km an hour, and east of Madrid an overhead cable decreased, leaving him and his team trapped inside a train. Meanwhile, about an equivalent time Espanyol were stuck in Guadalajara, pleading vainly for the league to delay the subsequent morning’s begin, Machín’s opponent was sitting together with his feet up ahead of the telly reception, the day’s problems slipping away. Which wasn’t the way Leganés manager Javier Aguirre planned it either but, like almost everything he’s doing, it worked.

“Chance,” he called it, which it wasn’t. Virtually none of it’s, however much he likes to portray it that way. “The weather was worse yesterday, it had been raining, horrible,” Aguirre explained on Sunday as he looked back on the last session before the most important match of the season – bottom against second-bottom. “A final for the dethroned,” AS called it, while Marca went for “Hunger Games” and El Mundo Deportivo declared it “life or death”. “We trained awfully: awful, awful, awful,” Aguirre continued, “so I had two options: let it go, or really lam into them. I held off for a touch. I went home, watched Valladolid, made myself a gin and tonic, nice and cosy, and that i completely forgot to get into them. And look: it clothed nice.”

Very nice. during a game that began as planned in wind that turned plastic bags into kites and had balls deciding they didn’t want to travel that way in any case, Leganés had just beaten Espanyol 2-0 with two wonderful goals. Martin Braithwaite scored the primary with an excellent flick, turn and finish; Youssef En-Nesyri the second, finishing of a pointy move built by Kévin Rodrigues and Braithwaite. At the ultimate whistle, Butarque rose to applaud before breaking into a chant: “Yes, we can!” they will too. That a minimum of is that the belief now – and belief is that the word. agen sbobet 888 online

“We’re still within the hole,” Aguirre said afterwards, but it might be worse: they might be where they were the day he came. At his presentation as Leganés manager, the club’s technical secretary Txema Indias said they found themselves during a “very, very, very complicated situation” and he could say that again. In fact, he did, about 30 seconds later. it had been early November and Leganés had won just one occasion in 12, scored only six goals, kept a solitary clean sheet, sat bottom, and were six points from safety having picked up five points all season. Oh, and their next three games were Real Sociedad, Barcelona and Sevilla. They’d sacked Mauricio Pellegrino but coaches had turned them down, convinced they were relegated already. Hope had gone a 3rd of the way through the season.

No Christmas gift for Schalke against Freiburg but happy holidays await

Die Breisgauer still hold that underdog mentality, despite pushing towards Europe and preparing to maneuver to a replacement €80m, 35,000-capacity stadium next season. “Internally, we’re totally ambitious,” sporting director Jochen Saier told Sky. “We want to urge the foremost out of this season, but we are still looking down. you recognize how tight it’s, but it’s our DNA anyway.” The sense of breaking new ground was reinforced by Petersen’s goal, equalling Joachim Löw’s club record goalscoring mark.

Schalke’s position, enhanced by teenage substitute Ahmed Kutucu’s well-struck late equaliser, should take the sting off other concerns, led by the club’s confirmation that Nübel will leave when his contract expires at the top of the season, a well-known scenario that would become even more so if he took the well-trodden path to Bayern Munich. “We respect his decision,” said sporting director Jochen Schneider on Nübel during a handout, “but we don’t need to know it.”

Their got to feel within the mix are going to be satisfied straight after the vacations, mentioning the curtain to the Rückrunde a la mode when the Bundesliga resumes, against high-flying Borussia Mönchengladbach. Freiburg will fly back to action, as always, under the radar, but have earned the proper to dream this Christmas. agen sbobet international

• it’d be an unofficial title, but they’ll take it. Leipzig were crowned Herbstmeister – autumn champions – for the primary time and that they had to figure for it. They trailed in-form Augsburg at half-time via Florian Niederlechner but stuck to their guns, and goals from Konrad Lainer, Patrik Schick and Yussuf Poulsen did the work after the break. the flexibility Julian Nagelsmann is giving them is clearer at every turn; here, they showed patience. “I’m glad the boys have kept pulling together and we’ve done an honest job altogether three competitions,” said the coach of his side, who even have a desirable two-legged tie with Tottenham to seem forward to.

• There’s little question about Bayern’s man of the week within the closing days of the Hinrunde. Eighteen-year-old Joshua Zirkzee, three days after saving the Rekordmeister’s bacon together with his first touch at Freiburg to attain and snatch a win, did an equivalent again after approaching against a superb Wolfsburg on Saturday at Allianz Arena, with an emphatic finish from Thomas Müller’s pass. As within the Black Forest, Serge Gnabry then applied a touch of gloss to the score in stoppage time.

• Borussia Mönchengladbach’s sensational half of the campaign led to underwhelming fashion with a goalless draw at Hertha, despite a sizeable away following. “If someone had offered us this before the beginning of the season, we definitely would have taken it,” said Matthias Ginter, with some understatement.

• Dortmund remain perhaps the most important conundrum of the Hinrunde. They dominated and looked comfortable in Friday’s game at Hoffenheim after Mario Götze gave them the lead. Then, after letting a series of chances come and go, they conceded two very avoidable goals to Sargis Adamyan and Andrej Kramarić within the last 12 minutes to go away plenty to reflect on. Lucien Favre, who might structure a part of that reflection, bemoaned his side making things “too complicated.” Without change at some level, BVB’s last half of the season promises to be a deflating one.

• Hope springs eternal at rock bottom, though. Köln won a 3rd straight game – albeit a touch fortunately – against Werder Bremen to exit the relegation zone and leave Florian Kohfeldt’s team in it. Fortuna Düsseldorf bought themselves some breathing space because of Erik Thommy’s late rocket against Union, and bottom side Paderborn are back in-tuned after a deserved 2-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, who are being dragged into a scrap themselves.