Nuremberg, Wolfsburg win
Nuremberg eked out a 1-0 win at Augsburg to climb out of the relegation zone on Sunday, as VfL Wolfsburg won 2-1 at Hertha BSC to go fifth. Swiss striker Josip Drmic’s headed goal in the 64th minute was enough for Nuremberg to end Augsburg’s eight-game unbeaten run. Augsburg pressed for an equalizer, but were foiled by wayward shooting, breakdowns in combination play and stubborn defending. Nuremberg climbed to 14th in the league with their third win from four games since the winter break, to the relief of coach Gertjan Verbeek. “If we continue like this I believe we’ll avoid relegation. We only depend on ourselves,” he said. Wolfsburg were propelled above Borussia Moenchengladbach in the table by Daniel Caligiuri’s 78th-minute strike. Hertha could have overtaken Wolfsburg, but instead slipped to eighth.
Wenger hits back at Mou
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger continued his war of words with Jose Mourinho on Sunday, calling the criticism the Chelsea coach leveled at him 48 hours earlier “silly disrespectful remarks.” On Friday, Mourinho dubbed the Frenchman “a specialist in failure” for going almost nine years without winning a trophy. Wenger was then on solid ground to retort after Arsenal won their FA Cup fifth-round tie against Liverpool. “I never spoke about him in my press conference and I will not start that. The only thing I know, it’s more embarrassing for Chelsea than for me. I am embarrassed for him... honestly,” Wenger told BT Sport. Twenty-four hours after Mourinho’s verbal attack on Wenger, his Chelsea side lost 2-0 at Manchester City in their fifth-round encounter. “I am more disappointed for Chelsea than for me,” Wenger said of Mourinho’s attack. “I am not interested in the subject at all and that is really genuine,” he told reporters. “I love football and I am sorry to disappoint you, but what is interesting for me is what happens on the pitch.”
Slomka to head Hamburg
SV Hamburg are to turn to experienced coach Mirko Slomka to help them avoid relegation following Bert van Marwijk’s dismissal on Saturday. Former Netherlands coach Van Marwijk, 61, was sacked after Hamburg were drubbed 4-2 by bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig, with their seventh straight league defeat setting an unwelcome club record. There was more bad news on Sunday when it was confirmed that Netherlands midfielder and club captain Rafael Van der Vaart will be out for the next three weeks with an ankle injury after going off injured at Braunschweig. Slomka is set to step in after spells at Schalke 04 and Hannover 96, who sacked him in December last year after a string of away defeats. Reports confirm Hamburg’s board are in agreement to take on Slomka, with only details of the contract to be finalized.
Giroud says sorry for affair
Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud on Sunday issued an apology after British tabloid the Sun said that he had an extra-marital fling. The paper claimed Giroud spent a night in a hotel with lingerie model Celia Kay prior to Arsenal’s 2-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace earlier this month. The article was accompanied by a photograph, reportedly taken by Kay, which apparently showed Giroud in his underpants in a hotel. “I apologise to my wife, family and friends and my manager, team-mates and Arsenal fans,” Giroud wrote on Twitter. “I now have to fight for my family and for my club and obtain their forgiveness. Nothing else matters at the moment.”