Liga Sagres wrap: Wins for Estoril, Pacos de Ferreira

17 December 2012 01:35

Braga have thrashed Estoril 3-0 in Liga Sagres, while Pacos de Ferreira moved into fourth after extending their unbeaten run to 12 games.

A cracking strike from Hugo Viana got Braga going against Estoril before Marcio Mossoro and Eder both scored in three second-half minutes to complete the victory.

Despite just three positions separating Braga and Estoril on the Liga Sagres table on Sunday, the former were clearly the better side and took the lead in just the fourth minute through Viana.

The 29-year-old midfielder ran onto a lay-off from Ruben Amorim at the top of the box and struck a first-time left-footed strike into the top corner of the net past Estoril goalkeeper Vagner Silva.

Braga had 58 percent possession for the match and 14 shots compared to Estoril’s five but the home team not extend their lead until the 58th minute when Mossoro produced a scorching header from Ismaily’s cross.

Mossoro and Amorim then linked in the 61st minute with the former crossing to Eder, who slid in at the back post to score.

Braga’s victory takes them to 23 points, six points behind second-placed Porto, who have a game in hand.

Pacos de Ferreira are just behind Braga on 19 points after a 2-1 win over Vitoria Guimaraes.

Bissau-Guinean striker Cicero scored in both halves to ensure Pacos de Ferreira remain unbeaten in all competitions since September.

Jean-Pierre Barrientos scored in the 76th minute for Guimaraes but it proved to be little more than a consolation goal as the home side held on to win.

In the other Liga Sagres clash on Sunday, Academica claimed a 2-2 draw away to Moreirense thanks to Salim Cisse’s 93rd-minute equaliser.

Ancelotti delighted with return to form

17 December 2012 01:34

Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti was delighted with side after their 1-0 victory over Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday.

The capital club had endured a poor run of form, leading the Italian to criticise his squad following a surprise loss in Nice, but he has been encouraged by the response they have offered since.

“Football is strange,” he told reporters after the match. “In difficult moments, you have to show your solidity.

“The players did very well – things have changed. At the moment, we have a good balance because the attackers do some good work at the back.

“The first half was difficult because Lyon changed their system, but, defensively the second half was perfect.

“Lyon showed their quality, they’re a solid team with plenty of character.”

Ancelotti also went on to say that he had no plans to make any further January signings.

“We do not need to recruit,” he said bluntly.

Goetze happy in Dortmund

16 December 2012 10:02

Mario Goetze has rejected any suggestion he is looking to leave Borussia Dortmund in the near future.

Many have praised the talents of the 20-year-old midfielder, including Bayern Munich great Franz Beckenbauer, who recently referred to Goetze’s partnership with Marco Reus as one of the best in the world.

However, speaking to Bild am Sonntag, Goetze stressed he is happy to continue with the Bundesliga champions.

“Quite honestly, I see no reason for me to deal with a change,” the young Germany international replied when asked if he would consider a move to Bayern Munich.

“Since I came into the Dortmund youth set-up, I’ve never really dealt with it. I have everything I need and I even want to build a house in Dortmund, because I feel so comfortable in the city.”

Goetze has scored five times in Dortmund’s 14 league games so far this season and said he is unfazed by the attention his performances have received and the list of clubs reported to be interested in signing him.

“I’ve always been good at measuring myself against my own expectations. The expectations of outsiders were always relatively unimportant,” he said.

“If you have a game every three days, you need to be aware of what you can afford. I think more after my poorer games, but always with a view to improve.”

Dortmund are in action against Hoffenheim on Sunday as Juergen Klopp’s men look to close the gap on third-placed Frankfurt.

Stevens sacked by Schalke

16 December 2012 10:35

Huub Stevens has paid the price for Schalke’s recent slump in results and has been sacked as head coach of the club.

Schalke have picked up only two points in their previous six Bundesliga fixtures and have fallen to seventh in the table after the surprise 3-1 home defeat to Freiburg.

Before this run, Schalke had made their best start to a domestic campaign in 14 years but the club nevertheless has decided to remove the 59-year-old Dutch coach before the winter break.

Schalke’s U17 coach Jens Keller is set to take over on an interim basis and a press conference has been organised for later on Sunday.

Stevens began his tenure in September 2011 and guided Schalke to third in the league last campaign as well as into last-16 of this season’s Champions League after topping Group B.

A-League: Adelaide United 3 Wellington Phoenix 1

16 December 2012 09:20

A dazzling display from Argentine sensation Marcelo Carrusca has helped Adelaide United to a 3-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

Carrusca’s purple patch of form continued as the 29-year-old midfield star had a hand in each of his team’s goals, scoring two and assisting for the third.

The creative genius could not be contained and scored a five-minute brace in the opening half with the first coming courtesy of a 25-yard free-kick.

The former Galatasaray attacker doubled his account with another scorching finish before dinking a ball over the top of Wellington’s back four to set up Fabio Ferreira for his third goal of the season.

Dani Sanchez scored a consolation for Wellington, but the visitors were left to rue a disallowed goal at 2-0 down, which replays suggested should have stood and a missed penalty deep in added time that saw United captain Eugene Galekovic make an incredible double save to deny Tyler Boyd a certain goal.

Adelaide’s eighth win of the season maintains the pressure on Central Coast at the top who sit just one point above United on the table.