Football action is really hotting up as the season draws to a close in Europe`s top leagues. This weekend saw some really unexpected cup shocks and twists at both ends of the relative tables.
Both Christian Eriksen and Dennis Rommedahl made substitute appearances as Ajax crushed VVV Venlo 7-0 at the Amsterdam Arena. The win sees Martin Jol`s men remain four points behind Eredivisie leaders Fc Twente with three games remaining. The win also cements Ajax`s formidable home form this season, they remain unbeaten as they have won fifteen matches and drawn one.
Brian Jensen must have thought that Burnley were done for after going one goal behind, after only three minutes, in a crucial relegation six pointer away to Hull City. Fortunately for the Dane, the Clarets rallied back to earn a 4-1 win, scoring two penalties along the way. However they still remain in the relegation zone and deserve to slide back to the Championship.
Fellow compatriot Peter Lovenkrands is a man heading in the opposite direction as his Newcastle United side, relegated from the Premiership last term, bounced straight back at the first time of asking. The Geordies acquired a 4-1 win over Blackpool to inch them ever closer to the title. Jonas Olsson and West Brom will also be back in the top flight after securing a 3-2 win away to Doncaster Rovers, however the Swede and his team mates are still pushing the Geordies for the title. They wont be expected to catch them
“We’re relieved we got there in the end.
“We wanted to go straight up, and we achieved that.
“Now we’re focused on the second thing, which is to win the league.
“That’ll be another great achievement.”
Jonas Olsson and West Brom will also be back in the top flight after securing a 3-2 win away to Doncaster Rovers, however the Swede and his team mates are still pushing the Geordies for the title. They wont be expected to catch them
Two Danes got on the scoresheet as Fc Groningen walloped Willem 4-0 at home. Both Thomas Enevoldsen and Nicklas Pedersen scored within the first 22 minutes as Ron Jans men cruised to a comfortable victory. They were handed an ideal start as Enevoldsen scored within the first minute against a side that may well slip out of the Eredivisie.
Morten Rasmussen was given five minutes to spare Celtic`s blushes in the Scottish Cup semi final with Ross County. However agonisingly for the Dane, the ball found it`s way into the Celtic net for a second time as the minnows achieved a tremendous 2-0 win over the Hoops. As a result of this both Rasmussen and Thomas Rogne must now wait until next season to have any chance at winning a trophy as the Glasgow club have had a shocking year.
John Arne Riise`s Roma side took advantage of a rare slip by Inter Milan to climb to the top of Serie A, by beating Atalanta 2-1. The Giallorossi are now top with five games remaining and Claudio Ranieri has done a tremendous job to get them that far. They owe a great deal of thanks to Dane Per Kroldrup and his Fiorentina team mates after the latter secured a late 2-2 draw for the Florence side over Roma`s title rivals.
Elsewhere in another crucial match that would affect the title chase , Morten Gamst Pedersen played his part as Blackburn Rovers held title chasing Manchester United to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Ewood Park. The draw for the Norwegian`s side has further compounded United`s recent run of misery which has seen them lose top spot in the Premiership and crash out of the Champions League.
Herman Hreidarsson will be somewhat smiling as his Portsmouth side overcame all the odds to beat Tottenham 2-0 in the FA Cup semi final. The win sets up a final date with Chelsea as Portsmouth seek to win their second FA Cup in three years. Unfortunately for Hreidarsson and team mates, their relegation from the Premiership was also confirmed this weekend.
Heidar Helguson is one other Icelander who can afford to smile this weekend. He scored the only goal of the game as Watford beat relegation rivals Plymouth Argyle 1-0 at Vicarage Road to enhance their hopes of survival.