Liga Sagres: Benfica 2 Olhanense 0

25 November 2012 01:00

Benfica reclaimed top spot on the Liga Sagres table for at least 24 hours after a 2-0 win over Olhanense on Saturday.

The Eagles went into the game knowing a win would see them overtake Porto on the league table and they did not disappoint, with an Oscar Cardozo penalty on 25 minutes and a Luisao strike after 71 minutes sealing the win.

The result continues Benfica’s unbeaten record in the league this season and Jorge Jesus’ men will now be hoping Porto drop points to third-placed Sporting Braga on Sunday to ensure they enjoy an outright lead on top of the table after ten matches.

La Liga wrap: Betis stun Real, Malaga end drought

25 November 2012 00:49

Real Madrid have suffered yet another setback to their La Liga title defence after a shock 1-0 loss to Real Betis on Saturday.

Betis midfielder Benat put the home side ahead after 17 minutes and from there Pepe Mel’s team held on against a lucklustre Real outfit, who saw a Karim Benzema strike wrongly ruled out for offside.

The result sees Jose Mourinho’s men remain eight points behind leaders Barcelona but that gap could extend to as many as eleven as Tito Vilanova’s side prepare to face Levante on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Malaga ended a five-game winless streak in all competitions by thumping Valencia 4-0 at Estadio La Rosaleda.

Francisco Portillo got the home side off to the perfect start after eight minutes before Javier Saviola, Roque Santa Cruz and Isco all scored in the final 15 minutes to seal the emphatic win.

Malaga now move into fourth place with 22 points while Valencia are stuck in ninth as their indifferent form in La Liga continues.

Rayo Vallecano left it late as they overcame Mallorca 2-0.

Leo Baptistao gave his side the lead with three minutes remaining and then set up Andrija Delibasic to seal the victory on the stroke of full time.

In the day’s other fixture, Real Valladolid overcame lowly Granada 1-0.

Gomez delighted to net on return

25 November 2012 00:34

Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez was thrilled to make a scoring return to the first team in a 5-0 rout of Hannover on Saturday.

Germany international Gomez had been sidelined for much of the early 2012/13 campaign following ankle surgery, losing his place to Croatian Mario Mandzukic in the process.

The former Stuttgart striker returned to action off the bench at the Allianz Arena, netting in the 67th minute.

“The most important thing is that I am healthy again,” Gomez said.

“For me personally, to come in and score immediately is just great. But just for me and not for the team, because it was already 4-0.

“But the coach has one option more now and that’s good for us and bad for our contenders.

“I am just happy now. I have to thank the medical team which has done a great job and who I annoyed for 14 weeks.

“And they were all there for me. Also thanks to the coach, for putting me in today. It’s just great.”

Gomez’s team-mate Toni Kroos said the dominant performance was a reflection of the positive mood in the Bayern camp.

“We have qualified in the Champions League, we are way ahead in the Bundesliga, so of course we are confident and we showed it today,” he said.

“Also the early goal helped us with that.”

Serie A: Palermo 3 Catania 1

25 November 2012 00:14

Palermo brushed aside Catania 3-1 to move three points clear of the relegation zone in the Serie A on Saturday.

Fabrizio Miccoli opened the scoring after just 10 minutes before Josip Ilicic fired a second-half brace to put the home side 3-0 ahead.

Francesco Lodi gave Catania some hope with a goal on 71 minutes but the away side could not find another way past Gian Piero Gasperini’s men.

The win ensures Palermo move clear of the bottom three while Catania miss the chance to climb to sixth on the table with the rest of the league due to play on Sunday.

Eredivisie wrap: NEC respond as Willem II snatch draw

25 November 2012 00:07

NEC Nijmegen bounced back from their heavy defeat to Vitesse last weekend with a 2-0 win over FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie on Saturday.

Ricky ten Voorde brought the home fans to their feet after 16 minutes as he opened the scoring, before Melvin Platje doubled NEC’s advantage six minutes before the interval to seal the win.

The result sees Alex Pastoor’s men move level with Utrecht on 22 points, who are now winless in their last three league games.

Bottom side Willem II scored a late equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Heracles.

Two Samuel Armenteros goals either side of the half appeared to have handed Heracles the victory before Willem II rallied late to snatch an unlikely point.

Niek Vossebelt gave his side hope on 77 minutes and defender Jordens Peters scored his first league goal of the season in the 90th minute to complete the comeback.

Elsewhere, RKC Waalwijk played out a 1-1 with Groningen, while VVV Venlo and Heerenveen also drawing 1-1.