Wins for Dortmund and Monaco, Atlético stuck at draw
Away wins for Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco, while Atlético Madrid was the only European opponent unable to win, albeit that a 1-1 against Barcelona can hardly be called a bad result.
FSV Mainz 05 – BVB Dortmund 1-2
Borussia Dortmund is on a roll in the Bundesliga, this time beating Mains 1-2. The international break didn't exactly work wonders for the two teams, resulting in a hapless first half. One fine chance for either side, duly saved by the goalkeeper. After the break, the two sides showed better intentions. Even though Mainz' game deserved the lead by now, the opener fell on the other side of the pitch. Alcácer - who else? - was given too much space after a Reus assist, and the striker did not falter: 0-1. Mainz seemed taken aback, but minutes later, central defender Hack pushed on towards Dortmund territory. His deflected shot ended up with Quaison, putting the equaliser through the visiting goalie's legs. Mainz now tried going for the win, but with fifteen minutes to go, visiting defender Piszczek scored the winning goal with a fine shot in the upper right hand corner. (FDC)
Dortmund: Bürki, Piszczek, Akanji, Hakimi (83’ Diallo), Zagadou, Witsel, Delaney, Götze (64’ Alcácer), Sancho, Reus, Bruun Larsen.
Goals: 66’ Alcácer (0-1), 70’ Quaison (1-1), 76’ Piszczek (1-2).
SM Caen – AS Monaco 0-1
For the first time since the opening day, AS Monaco managed to win a game in the French Ligue Un, coach Thierry Henry's troops claming a 0-1 win visiting Caen. Red Devils Tielemans and Chadli both started from kick-off, just like Russian international Golovin. The international break had clearly done Monaco some good, dominating the home team. Ten minutes into the second half, Radamel Falcao put Monaco in the lead with a fine free kick. The visitors stood their ground, and even saw a double lead cancelled out due to off-side. The win now brings Monaco to ten points, putting three points between them and red lanterns Guingamp. For Thierry Henry, this was the first win as a coach after having taken over from Leonardo Jardim. On Wednesday, Monaco pays Atlético Madrid in the Champions League. (SF)
Monaco: Benaglio, Pierre-Gabriel, Badiashile, Jemerson, Henrichs, Golovin, Tielemans, Diop (59’ Pelé), Aït Bennasser, Chadli (76’ Grandsir), Falcao (81’ Sylla).
Goal: 55’ Falcao (0-1).
Atlético Madrid – FC Barcelona 1-1
An excellent chance for Atlético Madrid this weekend to grab the top position in the Primera Division, hosting the game against leaders Barcelona. Injuries forced Simeone to miss out on his two strongholds in defense, Godin and Juanfran. Nonetheless, the Argentinian coach managed to build on solid foundations. In the first half, Lionel Messi was uncapable of creating any danger. After the break, the two top teams did not allow the other team any headway. After sixty minutes, Griezmann found an opening, but Diego Costa was unable to make the most of his pass. With fifteen minutes to go, the opener finally arrived: Costa heading in a corner kick by the far post. First place seemed for Atlético, but that was not taking into account Ousmane Dembélé, equalising in the final minute of the game, thwarting defeat for the league leaders. A win for Sevill a Real Valladolid later today means it will overtake Barcelona for first place. (SF)
Atlético: Oblak, Arias, Savic, Hernandez, Filipe Luis, Koke, Rodri, Saul, Lemar (64’ Vitolo), Griezmann, Costa (80’ Correa).
Goals: 77’ Costa (1-0), 90’ Dembélé (1-1).