Valerenga completely outplayed the underdogs from Brann in the last round of the Eliteserien when they recorded a convincing 5:1 home victory.
Everything was settled in the first forty-five minutes of the match when the home side scored as many as five goals while conceding only one, including three from Kjartansson. Surprisingly, goals were absent in the continuation, despite the very aggressive play that was imposed by the home side.
With this victory, Valerenga finds themselves in the 5th place, having only two points less than European placed Odd.
After their convincing victory in the first round, Lyon had difficulties in the next two, as they come with a 0:0 away draw against Bordeaux and suffered a 2:1 loss to Montpellier in the last one, playing away from home.
The visitors were a better team by far in the first part of the match, but they, unfortunately, conceded from the penalty in the 38th minute. Things to be worse, they were left with a player less on the pitch in the 44th, when Aouar received a direct red card. In the continuation, the hosts used the numerical advantage that they had and scored another one over Savanier in the 59th.
In the 81st minute, the number of players on the field was equalised, and the guests were able to reduce the deficit from the penalty in the 82nd, Depay was effective. The visitors had a little more than ten minutes to level up, but they failed in doing so and suffered a loss in this encounter, maybe a bit undeservedly.
Osijek was finally able to break their three matches winless streak in 1. NHL, as they recorded their first victory this season against Rijeka with a 3:0 result, playing back at their home.
They scored their first goal very early, already in the 5th minute over Jugovic. From the 37th minute, the home side had a numerical advantage on the field, and only one minute later they doubled their lead over Bockaj. In the continuation, the home team was effective once more in the 75th minute over Mierez and took a morale-boosting victory in this one.
Osijek is coming to this Europa League qualification match with their confidence back in their offensive capabilities, and we can expect an aggressive approach in this clash.
Midtjylland made a set back in the first round of Denmark SuperLiga when they suffered an away loss to Sonderjyske with a 2:0 result.
The visitor had mostly the ball to their feet in this one, but the hosts were more creative and used their chances more effectively, as they were able to score two goals in the 57th and the 90th minute of the match, taking the three points at the start of the season – surely a reflection of the importance of this game.
In their last qualification match for the Champions League, Midtjylland defeated Ludogorets from Bulgaria with a minimal result, playing away from home. They were a more aggressive team in this one, it took them a while, but they were able to score in the 77th minute over Junior Brumado and progressed further.
PAOK did their job in the first round of the Super League, as they justified the role of a strong favorite and recorded a 1:0 home win against AEL Larissa.
The hosts scored their only goal in the 16th minute over Tzolis, and even though the result isn’t saying so, this match was a pretty much one-sided one, as the hosts dominated in every segment of the game, and deserved a more convincing victory in this one.
The Greeks performed very well in their last qualification match for the Champions League against Besiktas from Turkey, as they recorded a 3:1 home victory, showing a great transition game in that match.
Overly looking PAOK was quite an effective team in the last few matches that they played, and it would be really hard for Benfica to keep their sheet clean in this one.
Kalmar is having some difficulties with their performances, as they were unable to record a positive result in the last five matches. In the last round, they come with a 1:1 draw against Helsingborg, playing away from home.
The hosts were a better team during the first part, as they were able to take the lead first in the 14th minute, and generally being more dangerous. In the continuation, the balance shifted to the visitor’s side, as they were now looking better on the field. They were able to level up in the 72nd minute over Crona and took a point in this encounter.
Kalmar is at relegation leading 15th place, but they have a chance to step into a safe zone, which is only three points ahead.
Kristiansund is coming to this one well-motivated, as they were able to record a 0:2 victory in the last round against Sandefjord, playing away from home.
The first part went by in a very aggressive approach by the visitors, who crowned their good appearance with a goal from the penalty in the 37th minute, which was executed by Pellegrino. In the continuation, the home side was in the control of the ball but lacked the ideas on how to score an equalizer. The guests haven’t those problems, as they were able to score one more time, again over Pellegrino, and set the final result in this one.
Kristiansund currently occupies 5th place in the standings, having four points less than third-placed Odd and exit for Europa.
Bohemians Dublin is approaching this match after a loss in the previous round against Shamrock Rovers with a 1:0 result, playing as a visiting team.
They conceded very early, already in the 5th minute over Lafferty, not being able to level up during the rest of the encounter. The visitors had the initiative in the second part of the match, created some nice opportunities, but the credit has to be given to the goalkeeper of the home team, as he saved his goal on several occasions.
With this defeat, Bohemians found themselves in European 2nd place, having five points less than first-placed Shamrock Rovers, and a ticket for the Champions League.
Slovakia was competitive in the Euro qualifying bid last year, but unfortunately, they failed to grab that second place, as they finished in the 3rd spot, only one point behind Wales. Slovakia was in the group with Croatia, previously mentioned Wales, Hungary, and Azerbaijan.
They were able to record a victory against every team, both home and away, except Croatia and Wales, and that obviously cost them, as these two were able to qualify. Overall they looked good on the pitch, surely regretting that 1:1 result against Wales back at home in round seven, when they had a chance to win, in case of which, they would take that 2nd place.
Slovenia was competitive for some time in the Euro qualifying bid last year, however, being drawn in the group together with Poland and Austria was simply too much for them.
In the end, they ended up as the fourth team with the same number of points as Northern Macedonia. Quite a poor finishing of the qualifying path also, as they suffered three defeats in the last four rounds.
It were losses against North Macedonia, Austria, and Poland, only winning at home against rock bottom-placed Latvia.