Union Berlin surprised more than well in a 0:2 victory away from home against Werder Bremen last Saturday afternoon. They actually opted for a defensive approach, but it was fine working counter attacks that paid off to them in a great manner this time.
The first halftime was spent in the ball control of Werder but in a quite uninteresting way. A goal from Bulter in the 52nd minute made all the difference, as Bremen had to risk and had even more of the ball possession, while the visitors from Berlin continued to threaten via counters.
Neither of the teams is going into this match in any way close to a decent form. Or a decent form that is required for the standards of the reputation of their clubs.
After being excluded from the Copa del Rey competition away to Granada when they paid the price for uncreative performance despite having control over the ball, Valencia suffered 3:0 loss away to in-form Getafe too last weekend.
They simply couldn’t cope with the fast-ball transition of the home team, that looked deadly serious every time they had the ball to their possession. They now stand only sixth at the table, but luckily for them, they can get back to the Champions League positions in case of a victory here.
Even if their defeats away to Feyenoord and against AZ Alkmaar were expected at the re-start of Eredivisie, players of Heerenveen didn’t show much in their next two matches either. It was a loss away to Sittard and a 1:1 game against Venlo last time out.
This time they completely deserved the victory, however, efficiency was nowhere close to the standards of Eredivisie. They simply missed too much, even if the result alone, could have been a big margin victory on some other day. They now remain five points behind the playoff zone and it’s difficult to imagine them missing again that much soon.
Lyon couldn’t do much more in a 4:2 loss away to PSG but will neither be disappointed with it. Their whole season is going in the wrong direction and it wasn’t realistic for them to walk away with something against individually the strongest team in the country.
They are not having a proper season for now and Coupe de France remains as one of the ways to improve the atmosphere and bring some joy to their fans – also to get the Europa League exit – so rotation isn’t that likely.
Barnsley took a point in a 1:1 game at home against Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday afternoon. They have conceded after sixteenth minute thanks to a goal from Windass, but luckily for them – managed to reply in the next minute with a goal from Woodrow.
The team actually continued being better in the first halftime and missed a couple of good chances, while the game looked less and less interesting during the second halftime with neither of the teams actually creating enough in order to change the scoreline.
Salernitana continued their positive streak with a point taken away to Benevento last weekend. The even had the lead thanks to a goal from Djuric in the 53rd minute but weren’t able to keep up with the opponent till the end.
They have conceded a goal sixteen minutes later, in an overall not that interesting match with very little real offensive phases. Overall, it was a decently fair outcome for the teams, as neither of them really looked fired up to attack – still, it should be said that the hosts were a bit more agile side.
Nottingham Forest suffered 2:1 loss on the road to Birmingham City last weekend, but are the only ones to be blamed for it.
They had the lead thanks to a goal from Silva in the 18th minute and even missed the penalty kick towards the end of the first halftime, being way better during it. However, they conceded a goal in the next attack and it generally looked like their gameplay has collapsed from that moment on.
They maintained with more of the possession, but in a generally uncreative way. The home side was the one that reached the winning goal with a goal from Pedersen in the 74th minute, with the guests failing to respond later on.
Bristol City did what was needed to get the victory away to QPR last weekend with a narrow 1:0 result. However, it must be said that the guests were quite passive for most of the game and didn’t try to present themselves as a more authoritative opponent.
They didn’t also have the need to do it. The goal came early, back in the 16th minute thanks to Diedhiou. It was the hosts who tried and controlled the ball more, but the guests continued threatening via counters.
Mirandes defeated all the odds to celebrate progress in the previous Copa del Rey round, just a few days ago when they managed to exclude Sevilla in a 3:1 victory at home.
They made a strong start with a great atmosphere, taking the lead in the seventh minute via Aias already, while the same player doubled up their lead in the 30th minute.
It was the guests who had much more of the ball possession, but Mirandes threatened better, especially in the first halftime. They remained very concrete with the ball to their feet and with fastball transition, missing a penalty early in the second, while both nets scored a goal each in the last ten minutes of the game.
Lille stood behind in the scoreline very early against Strasbourg last Saturday night, conceding a goal already in the 12th minute via Thomasson. The guests tried to respond right away and had much more of the ball possession, however, wasn’t that concrete in the final effort till the halftime whistle.
They didn’t need much of the possession in the continuation but appeared far sharper in attack scoring goals easier and not needing much of chances created.