Bundesliga wrap: Nuremberg salvage point

17 February 2013 20:56

A 92nd-minute equaliser secured Nuremberg a share of the points in a 2-2 Bundesliga draw with Hannover 96 on Sunday.

Substitute Sebastian Polter delighted the home fans when he buried Timothy Chandler’s cross as Nuremberg twice came from behind seal a share of the spoils.

Hungarian midfielder Szabolcs Huszti snatched the lead for Hannover on 41 minutes as he sweetly struck into the corner of the goal from Sergio da Silva Pinto’s pass.

The lead lasted until eight minutes after the restart when Nuremberg’s Timm Klose headed home Hiroshi Kiyotake’s delivery.

Didier Ya Konan re-established the advantage for Hannover in the 68th minute before Polter’s late strike secured a deserved draw for Nuremberg.

The result was a missed opportunity for Hannover, who could have established themselves in the top half of the standings while Nuremberg sit in 14th position, 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

In other Bundesliga action, an early goal was enough for Stuttgart to record a 1-0 win at Hoffenheim.

Martin Harnik’s third-minute header from Ibrahima Traore’s cross ended Stuttgart’s run of five consecutive losses and lifted them to 12th in the standings.

Hoffenheim, who had 63 percent of the possession in the loss, remain in the relegation zone, 10 points from safety.

Terry, Benitez deny rift rumours

17 February 2013 15:47

Chelsea captain John Terry and interim boss Rafa Benitez have denied rumours that they have fallen out with each other.

The Blues manager told reporters on Thursday that the centre-back was no longer a guaranteed starter at the club but reports on Sunday had suggested that a rift had developed between the pair.

“It’s complete rubbish,” Terry told ITV after Sunday’s 4-0 win against Brentford in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.

“There’s stories today in the papers but it is complete lazy journalism. The manager knows me and knows I want to play but I’ve been out for three or four months but the other two (Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill) have been doing well so there’s a lot of competition in the side and we’ll all fight for it.

“There’s no complaints from me.”

Benitez echoed his captain’s words, declaring: “I’m really surprised because I didn’t read the press, they told me.

“It’s rubbish, clearly you can see he is on the pitch and he is training and is working with the rest of the team. So it’s in the end it’s something you have to decide but it’s okay.”

Of the match itself, in which he scored the fourth and final goal, Terry said: “First half, they made it very difficult, with two banks of four sat very deep. But when the first goal came, it was sure to come, the second and third.

“I’ve got a good scoring record in the FA Cup so it’s good to get on the scoresheet. It’s just good to be back playing – every player wants to play.

“We’ve had a couple of wins and, in three competitions, we’ll keep plugging away. We’ve got another tough game on (Thursday against Sparta Prague) which we’ll put ourselves through and we’ll keep trying to progress in every competition.”

Bielsa bemoans ´negative´ season

17 February 2013 15:32

Marcelo Bielsa has admitted that this season has been ‘negative’ for Athletic Bilbao after his side lost to Malaga.

An early goal from Javier Saviola was enough to earn Malaga three points at the expense of their Basque visitors, who now sit in 15th place on the La Liga table after their 12th defeat of the season.

“We did not start the game well,” the 57-year-old Argentine told reporters after the match.

“They scored an early goal, but from the end of the first half to the end of the game we had chances.

“Our campaign has been a negative one, but we can explain all the losses. I’d rather not talk about it.”

Athletic have won only one of their seven games in 2013, a run which includes a comprehensive 4-0 home defeat by Espanyol.

And Bielsa revealed that he opted to drop goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz in an effort to improve his team’s form.

“Iraizoz has been regularly making mistakes,” he said.

“I thought it was time for a change. I recognise that it was a difficult decision to make, but it’s one that I made and thought was right.”

Bilbao currently have 26 points from 24 games keeping them six points away from the relegation zone.