A weekend full of late comebacks , goals galore and demoralising defeats was played out , amidst the gloomy backdrop of the Icelandic volcano, which is affecting the way football teams travel.
Celtic seemed to be heading for their second home defeat of the season at the hands of Hibernian, but two late goals changed that. Trailing 2-1 , the Hoops struck level through Marc Antoine Fortune before former Brondby striker Morten Rasmussen struck a late winner , three minutes from time. The Danish substitute stabbed home Fortune`s cross from the right to cue wild celebrations as Celtic more or less ensured Champions League football for next season. Caretaker manager Neil Lennon ran 30 yards to join in the celebrations at the death. Rasmussen was delighted with the team`s performance after the final whistle “ we fought for each other very much. You could see that at the end, we were one goal behind but we still fought on and came back to get the victory”.
Leon Andreasen didn’t feature as a dominant Bayern Munich crucified his Hannover side, tearing them to pieces with a 7-0 exhibition of football.
Nicklas Bendnter and Arsenal seemed like they were cruising to a routine 2-0 win at Wigan before Ben Watson pulled a goal back for the Latics, leaving the Gunners in a rather uncomfortable position. Nobody could have predicted that Wigan would rally and bag two late late goals to sink the Danes side 3-2.
Dennis Rommedahl and Chrisitan Eriksen both played a part as Ajax thumped Heracles 4-0 at home to maintain pressure on FC Twente, who earned a 2-0 win over Feyenoord to stay one point clear of the Amsterdam giants at the top of the Eredivisie. The title will be decided next weekend when Twente travel to Nec Breda , while Ajax travel to Nec Nijmegen.
Elsewhere in Holland, fellow Dane Mads Junker struck a brace as Roda Jc enjoyed a 5-2 away win at Vitesse Arnhem. The talented striker now has 20 goals for the season. His compatriot Morten Skoubo, who is currently on loan from FC Utrecht, also got in on the scoring act.
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored two goals , including a penalty , as Reading trounced an already relegated Peterborough United side 6-0 at the Madjeski stadium. The two strikes propel the Icelandic star onto 18 strikes for the season. A host of Premiership clubs will be vying for his signature this summer as he continues to turn in one excellent performance after another . He was also incorrectly booked for diving.
Eggert Jonsson received his marching orders after pushing Steven Naismith in the box as Hearts visited SPL champions to be Rangers. The Icelandic star was not only punished by the dismissal but also by the resulting penalty as the Jambo`s went down 2-0 at Ibrox.
In the battle of Scandinavian goalkeepers at the Britannia stadium, Jussi Jaaskelainen`s Bolton Wanderers grabbed two late goals to reverse a one nil deficit against Thomas Sorensen`s Stoke side. The win should stave off the relegation threat lingering over the Finn`s side.
Shefki Kuqi struck the second of Swansea`s three goals as they recorded a 3-1 home win over Barnsley. The Welsh side will need to continue such form in the playoffs to withstand a chance of reaching the pinnacle of English football, The Premiership. After the match Swans manager Paulo Sousa was full of praise for the Finn, despite him missing a sitter with an open goal to aim for. “He kept working hard and was always looking for a goal. Shefki is a player with a lot of personality and he brings that to the squad. We saw his character once again with the goal he scored”.
John Carew was both the hero and villan as Aston Villa triumphed 2-1 away to already relegated Portsmouth. The Norwegian put the visiting side level after they had fallen behind early on. On the stroke of half time though, the former Rosenborg man missed a penalty, as Villa`s luck seemed out. However a late goal by Nathan Delfouneso ensured a 2-1 win and spared Carew`s blushes.
With four games remaining,John Arne Riise and Roma went back to the top of Serie A in style, beating fierce rivals Lazio 2-1 in the Rome derby. The Giallorossi fell behind early on and were lucky when keeper Julio Sergio saved a Lazio penalty to stop them going further behind. Serbian Mirko Vucinic lead the comeback for Roma, bagging two goals, one penalty and one exquisite free kick. Riise and his team mates are now unbeaten in 23 matches and this crucuial win should prove the catalyst as they aim to take the coveted Scudetto title. The match was dogged by controversy from the very start, as fans of both sides engaged in ugly scenes of violence.
Morten Gamst Pedersen was harshly treated this weekend. Not only did the former Tromso man have to endure Mikel Arteta poking him in the eye, he also got booked for the matter, in which the referee failed to dismiss the Spaniard. A late goal saw Pedersen`s Blackburn Rovers side go down 3-2 at home to Everton.
Andres Oper scored the third goal as ADO Den Haag put four goals past an already relegated RKC Waalwijk.