Wednesday, July 18, 2018

What You Might Have Missed: Balotelli´s Nice beaten, freak injury for Van Persie

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 7 Nov 2016


Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool battered Watford to go top of the Premier League table ahead of Chelsea, with title rivals Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham all dropping points.

In LaLiga, Real Madrid and Barcelona were victorious to gain ground on rivals Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, who both lost.

Miralem Pjanic helped champions Juventus to a narrow 2-1 win over Chievo in Serie A, while Bayern Munich spilled two points against Hoffenheim in the race for the Bundesliga title.

But away from Europe’s major players, here are some stories you may not have noticed…


Nice’s sublime start to the season has been arguably one of the best stories of the 2016-17 campaign, with the revitalised Mario Balotelli and his team-mates outperforming Ligue 1’s big hitters including champions Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco.

Lucien Favre’s men wilted for the first time, though, as lowly Caen ended their unbeaten status.

PSG and Monaco, meanwhile, recorded comfortable wins and have narrowed the gap to Nice to three points heading into the international break.

Elsewhere, Feyenoord saw their unbeaten start in the Eredivisie come to an abrupt end as they were beaten 1-0 by minnows Go Ahead Eagles.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men have collected just two points from their last three fixtures after winning their opening nine allowing Ajax and PSV to gain ground in the title race.

Zenit were also beaten for the first time this season in the Russian Premier League, with Terek Grozny recording a 2-1 win. New leaders Spartak Moscow made the most of Zenit’s mistake and went three points clear following a narrow 1-0 win over Tom Tomsk. 


RB Leipzig are not exactly the most popular team in Germany with many supporters of rival teams believing the Red Bull-founded club have bent rules on fan ownership.

But Leipzig, promoted last season, have not been unduly affected by the hostile atmosphere towards them and a 3-1 win over Mainz on Sunday made it five wins from five and saw them move level at the top of the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

Leipzig might face a tough task to keep up with Bayern throughout the season, but there is no denying they have plenty of potential to become a force to be reckoned with in Germany.

The support of Red Bull gives them the financial resources to compete and the presence of Ralf Rangnick as sporting director gives them the much-needed football knowledge to accompany their wealth.

Rangnick has already helped bring in highly-rated youngsters such as Davie Selke, Timo Werner, Naby Keita and Oliver Burke, and Leipzig have a solid long-term plan in place to challenge for major honours in Germany.


It has not been an easy season for Robin van Persie – who has made just six starts in all competitions for Fenerbahce this term – and, just as things were starting to improve, the Dutchman was struck by misfortune again as he suffered a freak injury in his side’s 3-1 win over Akhisarspor.

Van Persie opened the scoring after 26 minutes with his fourth league goal of the season, but was forced off shortly before the interval with what seemed like a serious eye injury.

The forward left the field on a stretcher with a bandage over his eye and was then loaded into an ambulance.

Fortunately, it has since been confirmed the former Arsenal and Manchester United striker sustained a torn eyelid with no impairment to the Dutchman’s vision.

Team doctor Burak Kunduracioglu told FB TV: “After the examinations we learned that nothing serious happened. The situation is good.”


Whereas Nice, Feyenoord and Zenit all conceded their first league defeat of the season, Benfica managed to avoid a first loss, although it was a close call for the reigning Primeira Liga champions.

Rivals Porto went 1-0 up early in the second half when promising youngster Diogo Jota found the net after being set up by Jesus Corona and Benfica initially had little luck getting back in the game.

Until substitute Lisandro Lopez had his say, that is.

The defender came on to replace Luisao after just 17 minutes and became his side’s hero when he levelled the scoring well into stoppage time to salvage a hard-fought draw.

The 27-year-old’s goal not only helped Benfica maintain their unbeaten record, but also means the Lisbon giants are still five points clear of both Sporting CP and Porto after 10 games.


A penalty taker is always expected to have the beating of the goalkeeper from 12 yards, but often it is the man wearing the gloves that comes out on top.

This weekend, though, all 19 of the penalties awarded in Europe’s top five leagues hit the back of the net.

In LaLiga, five out of five attempts from 12 yards found the net, with Atletico Madrid conceding twice from the spot as they were beaten 2-0 by Real Sociedad.

There were five successful penalties from as many attempts in Ligue 1 as well, while all four spot-kicks in the Premier League resulted in a goal.

Finally, no goalkeeper succeeded in denying one of the three penalty takers in Serie A, with two spot-kicks hitting the net in the Bundesliga.


SoccerNews is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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