CSKA go into second spot
Three-time Russian champions CSKA Moscow moved into second spot in the Russian Premier League table following a confident 2-0 home win over Alania Vladikavkaz in the capital on Sunday. The Red Army side have 18 points from eight matches, just one point behind the leaders Terek Grozny. Anzhi Makhachkala, who beat Krasnodar 5-2, lie third on 17 points. CSKA dominated the play in the first half, but failed to turn their dominance into goals. Then in the 49th minute, the Red Army side’s Japanese playmaker Keisuke Honda put his team ahead, firing home a low shot after Nigerian teammate Ahmed Musa played him in. Honda scored again with five minutes to go from another precise Musa pass. “The matches after the breaks for the national sides’ [World Cup] qualifiers are always ‘high risk’ games for the clubs, who have many international players in their roster, and we spent the first half trying to restore the level of coordination between our players which we reached before this break, but after we did it we gained the advantage and scored,” CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky said. “We won deservedly today and should have scored more goals.”
Nine-man Utrecht stun PSV
Utrecht made light of having two players sent off on Sunday to inflict a shock 1-0 defeat on PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch league. The home side had Anouar Kali sent off after 69 minutes, but grabbed the lead three minutes later when Dave Bulthuis scored following a corner. Utrecht were reduced to nine men when Alexander Gerndt was dismissed with 10 minutes left, but PSV could not capitalize. On a bad day for the Eindhoven side, midfielder Mark van Bommel picked up a fifth successive yellow card and he will be suspended for next week’s clash against Feyenoord. US international Jozy Altidore’s hat-trick inspired AZ to a 4-0 home win over Roda JC Kerkrade. Altidore opened the scoring after 13 minutes with a fierce finish and sealed the win five minutes before the interval with his second after he had set up Kevin Falkenburg to double the lead. The 22-year-old completed his hat-trick after the break, taking his tally for the season to seven. Twente, 6-2 winners over Willem II Tilburg on Saturday, are top with 15 points after five matches, two ahead of SBV Vitesse, who registered their fourth straight win by beating Groningen 3-0.
Palermo fire coach Sannino
US Citta di Palermo set Italy’s coaching merry-go-round in motion for the season on Sunday when they fired Giuseppe Sannino after only three league games in charge. The Sicilian club said in a statement that Sannino, the first Serie A coach to fall this term, would be replaced by Gian Piero Gasperini, who has been out of work since he was fired after five games by Inter at the start of last season. Palermo took their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw at home to Cagliari on Saturday, but the writing was on the wall for Sannino when famously volatile Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini said he was worried. “I prefer to get drunk than answer that,” he told reporters when asked if Sannino was at risk. “I will watch the game again, but I am worried ... I am worried we’re going to get relegated.” Palermo employed three coaches last season, included Devis Mangia, who was hired on an interim basis, given a long-term contract after some good early results and fired six weeks later. “I thank Zamparini for the chance he has given me,” Sannino told local media. “I hoped to have more time to work, but that’s football.”