The race for the Bundesliga scoring title will most likely come down to the final matchday as Mario Mandžukić scored his 18th Bundesliga goal of the season in a 2-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig on Saturday to tie Robert Lewandowski atop the Bundesliga scoring chart. The former Dinamo Zagreb striker came off the bench in the 73rd minute and scored 12 minutes later after beating a Eintracht Braunschweig offside trap and racing past the defense to smash in the second and final goal of the match. Mario should get the start against Real Madrid in Champions League on Wednesday.
Photo: REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen
If Super Mario and Lewandowski go dry in the next four weeks, Ivica Olić might be right up there with them as the former Dinamo Zagreb striker scored his 13th Bundesliga goal of the season on Saturday in a 3-1 win over Hamburger SV. Ivica started and played 82 minutes in the win. The 34-year-old striker was once again in the right place at the right time in front of the goal to get a foot on Naldo’s shot and rediect it in to the back of the net. His goals might not be pretty or outside the box, but the former HSV striker just knows where to position himself and has quick reflexes to get the job done.
Ivica Olić goal
PHOTO:REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen
Ivan Perišić is also starting to turn it up with just 50 or so days before the World Cup. The Croatian international started and played the full 90 minutes for Wofsburg in the win. Ivan opened up the scoring in only the second minute of play after sprinting down the center to get past the HSV defense and beat the goalie to smash the ball into the back of the net. With the win, Wolfsburg still find themselves one point back of Bayer Leverkusen in a fight for the final Bundesliga Champions League spot.
Ivan Perišić goal
PHOTO:REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen
Ivo Iličević started and played 86 minutes in the Hamburg loss. The German born Croatian scored his second goal of the season in the 58th minute of play but it was little too late as Hamburg will need to snap out of their funk if they are to remain in the Bundesliga next season. The only side never to have been relegated from the Bundesliga are now closer to breaking that proud record than ever before. Milan Badelj remains sidelined for Hamburg because of injury.
Ivo Iličević goal
Ivan Rakitic and his Sevilla side gained three critical points in the hunt for Champions League on Sunday, as they finished on top of Granada by a score of 4-0. Rakitic started and was brought off in the 78th minute with his side comfortably ahead. He completed 43 passes and created one chance in the match. With Athletic Bilbao falling to Barcelona, Sevilla are now just three points out of fourth place in La Liga. Sevilla’s next three games will be season defining. Sandwiched between their Europa League semifinal matches against Valencia is a chance to move into fourth place against Bilbao next weekend. Sevilla have taken 27 out of a possible 30 points in their last ten matches to make an improbable run at Champions League.
After their Copa Del Rey triumph midweek, Real Madrid and Luka Modric were not in action over the weekend. The first leg of their Champions League semifinal tie against Bayern Munich is on Wednesday.
Photo: Southampton FC
Dejan Lovren played the full match Saturday as Southampton couldn’t find the back of the net in a scoreless draw with Aston Villa. Southampton maintained ball possession for 68% of the match and only allowed Villa one shot on goal. Lovren received a ‘7’ grade from SkySports.com as he put on a “superb display.” Another week, another solid game from Lovren. This is his first season in England. Could he possibly be moving to a top 4 club next season if the price is right?
Dejan Lovren (#5) wows teammates with nutmeg this week in training
Nikica Jelavić got the start and played 70 minutes for Hull City as they lost to a much better Arsenal side 3-0 Sunday afternoon. Jelavić was a threat up top for Hull but only managed one shot on goal in his time on the pitch. Hull are still safe with the loss as they remain six points away from the relegation zone.
Niko Kranjčar returned to the QPR lineup Saturday after nearly missing a month due to injury. Kranjčar played 83 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Leicester City, who will be playing in the Premiership next season. He picked up a yellow card just before halftime, and although he should be making the trip to Brazil, is not expected to see much of the pitch.
Darijo Srna and Shakhtar dodged a huge bullet on Saturday as they came back to defeat city rivals Metalurh 2-1 from the Donbass Arena. After Shakhtar bombarded Metalurh with shot after shot in the first half to no avail, the visitors found the back of the net in the 49th minute to break the scoreless deadlock. Shakhtar, knowing they would need a victory to keep their title shot in sight, fought back with a goal from Krivtsov in the 56th minute to tie the game. Srna would supply the assist on the match’s winning goal six minutes later, whipping in a free kick from the right side which was headed in by Luiz Adriano. Eduardo came into the match in the 72nd with little to do his his 20 minutes. As of right now, he should be considered Croatia’s #3 striker, behind Mandžukić and Olić. Shakhtar have control of top spot in Ukraine once again as Dnipro lost on Sunday.
Both Domagoj Vida and Ognjen Vukojević played the full match for Dynamo Kiev in their 2-1 win over Vorskla Sunday. Vorskla led 1-0 the entire match but Denys Dedechko was sent off in the 73rd minute with his second yellow card. That’s when Dynamo turned it up, scoring twice inside the last 10 minutes to take all three points. Dynamo remain seven points behind leaders Shakhtar with the win.
Ivan Strinić and Dnipro missed a golden chance to press for the Ukrainian title and a Champions League berth as they lost to Chornomorets 1-0 Sunday. They now sit three points behind Shakhtar with a game in hand. Ivan Strinić got the start but only played 68 minutes as Nikola Kalinić came of the bench in the 35th minute. It will be a dog race down the final four matches of the season in Ukraine.
Danijel Subasic and AS Monaco were victorious in a 1-0 match against Nice on Sunday. Subasic made three very impressive saves in the game as he earned clean sheet #13 on the season. The match was won in the fifth minute with an incredibly smooth Dimitar Berbatov chip. Monaco remain second in Ligue 1, all but eliminated from title contention.
Berbatov Goal: 0:50, Saves: 2:00, 2:35, 2:50
Vedran Corluka played the full match for Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday as they won 2-1 over Terek Grozny. Corluka picked up a yellow card in the 89th minute, his eighth of the season, and was not at fault for Grozny’s goal. Corluka will miss their next match due to yellow card accumulation. Lokomotiv remain one point behind Zenit St. Petersburg at the top of the Russian Premier League.
Stipe Pletikosa and FC Rostov play Volga Nizhny on Monday. A win would move them into seventh in the Russian Premier League.
PHOTO: Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo
Inter Milan are officially out of the Champions League running but could find themselves with one of the two Serie A Europa League spots. The Italian Giants put on a stellar performance against Parma on Saturday and registered a 2-0 win. Former Dinamo Zagreb prospect, Mateo Kovačić, started and played 90 minutes in the win. Mateo played well as a central defensive midfielder and committed only one foul. Hopefully, Mateo gets 90 minutes in the final four matches to prep him for the World Cup.
Croatian bad boy, Marko Livaja, is making headlines once again. The former Inter Milan striker could be in a lot of trouble with his club Atalanta after insulting fans following his substitution in Saturday’s Serie A 2-1 defeat at home to Verona. Livaja was subbed out seven minutes into the second half and was subject to insults and jeers by some sections of the home crowd and the former Hajduk Split prospect reacted angrily. After responding to some of the fans, Livaja took his anger to facebook later in the evening, with Livaja responding to remarks by saying : “Come with me to Croatia, Italian bastards. See you in Zingonia(club’s training complex). ” Atalanta have yet to comment but reports in the Italian media claim the incident could seal the 20-year-old player’s departure from the club at the end of the season.
Igor Bubnjić and Josip Radošević looked on from the bench as Udinese and Napoli split the points in a one all draw. Ivan Kelava was not on the roster sheet for Udinese. Tin Jedvaj failed to see action as Roma clinched a Champions League spot with a 1-0 win over Fiorentina. Ante Rebić missed out for Fiorentina because of injury. Šime Vrsaljko looked on from the bench as Genoa lost 2-1 at home to Cagliari.
Bayern München at Real Madrid(Champions League), Tavriya at Shakhtar Donetsk,
Valencia at Sevilla(Europa League), Dnipro at Hoverla, Dynamo Kyiv at Chornomorets,
Everton at Southampton, Hull City at Fulham, Monaco at Ajaccio, Werder Bremen at Bayern München, Freiburg at Wolfsburg, Fiorentina at Bologna, Napoli at Internazionale, Osasuna at Real Madrid, Lokomotiv Moskva at Krasnodar,
Hamburger SV at Augsburg, Udinese at Torino, Genoa at Atalanta, Sevilla at Athletic Club, Anzhi at Rostov, Dynamo Kyiv at Metalurh Donetsk, Dnipro at Metalist,
~Ante Kvartuč and Denis Svirčić reporting from sunny Southern California, Zach Gilfix reporting from Minneapolis, MN
Not saying they are trouble makers, but people with dirty, dried ink on visible parts of their body are more likely to be trouble makers and have a “look at me attitude”. Look at prisons, most people in prison have dirty, dried ink on visible parts of their body. The only reason for a person to get a dirty, dried ink on a visible part of the body is because they want other people to look at them and take notice.
Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Rakitic and Vedran Corluka all have tats and all are trouble makers!
I pray for the maturing and development of both Livaja and little Istina.Dirty ink on the arms,dirty ink on the brain,no matter who it is ,its good to see someone improve themselves when they need to.
But, i do live my life fully. Don’t you know that I live a “za dom…..spremni” lifestyle?
In many cases it’s better not to go to Church then to go to mass every Sunday of your life and not live your faith fully.
It means you know the truth but don’t care.
Every one of us are a mess! However, some people are too blind to see the truth about themselves.
Jesus said he come to heal the sick, not the righteous.
Every one of us are sick. He came to heal those who know and admit they are sick, not those who blindly think they are righteous.
i agree with you he has no place on the repka right now and his behavior is deplorable. i’m in the camp though where i hope he straightens himself out and maximizes whatever talent he has rather than goes down in flames
I read that article, funny how Livija tries to place the blame on Kovac. This guy will not go away quietly, he and his agent will continue to push for brazil.
Friends, ask yourselves the following question. If your son or daughter or younger sibling acted like Livaja, would you not punish him or her.
This should be a teaching moment for everyone. Don’t allow the young people in today’s society to get dirty, dried ink applied to the visible parts of the human body. it is the first sign of potential trouble.
@jm………..no need to hope or pray for me. I am fine. I just don’t want people like “Look at me” Livaja around the repka.
He is a “me first” type of player and has that type of attitude. It’s not like this is the first time I mentioned this about him. I said this a few years ago. He is a big problem.
I had a good laugh reading this…… http://sportske.jutarnji.hr/livaja—u-atalanti-prave-budalu-od-mene–a-jozak-mi-ne-moze-drzati-prodike-/1185375/
The kid is mental. He really thinks he would be on the World Cup roster if it were not for some of his off the field issues. Oh well, whatever he says to keep his mind right.
i think rather than hoping for livaja’s failure, you should hope for his maturation and development
being the good , church attending catholic that you are, you should know that the Bible provides clear instruction that we are all flawed, but capable of redemption. and that redemption should be celebrated. note parables such as the prodigal son, lost sheep, and lost coin (aka the trilogy of redemption).
in a similar way i hope for livaja’s maturation and development rather than failure, so do I with yours
actually Livija is on the radar, back home some papers have throw out his name as a potential striker —lol, good to nip this one early, Kovac himself stated his disappointed in the guy so doubt he will ever play but with Cro sports you never know
Brazilian-Born Eduardo Dreams of Facing Brazil in the World Cup Opener
By Aleksandar Holiga
Ziva,maybe Livaja has a reason for punching people out.
Why is there so much talk on here about Livaja possibly playing for the repka?
The guy had never been called up, nor is he even on anyone’s radar. He’s never even in the discussion for a callup.
There are about 10 strikers ahead of him right now (on a team lacking strikers). Quit talking about this guy already.
Let me ask this………….are there really any fans of Livaja? Do you guys really want him on the repka on day?
Ziva, keep it coming. You make this site whereas so many other clowns on it grasp for anything.
@dalmatinac…..I expect him to act like a pro. There are numerous pros who achieved some sort of success very early in their careers and remained humble and stayed out of trouble. I don’t think that is too much to ask. The excuses you will make just because you like a certain player or nationality of a certain player. As I have mentions many times, but it deserves to be repeated here, take the emotion out of it and remove the homer glasses. When you do so, you can see things much more clearly.
What does a tat on Donovan have to do with anything here. Last I checked he wasnt covered in dirty, dried ink throughout his body. We are discussing “look at me” Livaja. I think you are grasping trying to look for anything that fits your narrative.
@ Ziva sometimes I really think your my babas age! you bag out the kid for his attitude and tattooes but what do you really expect? The kids 21 plays football for a living and is probably banging a supermodel (or supermodels). I dont know how much money the kid makes but I assume he will make more money then you or I will ever make in his mediocre journeymen career. So how do you really expect him to act? Yes there are many other young players who may act more ”professional” but I say good on the kid. Living the dream man! making big dollars, banging supermodels and playing football for a living! What a life!
Dat boy Livija is nuthin’ but trouble! Get’im as far away from Repka as possible. He got no talent! Never had any.
I’d rather have a mule on my team then him.
@mo……..LOL…….very talented. Do you mean very cluttered in dirty dried ink that is visible. How many goals has he scored in Serie A. He is a flawed character who we should not want on the repka. Just ask what his coaches and teammates have to say about him who played with him on the cro youth teams.
Freinds, don’t root blindly for people jus because they are croatian. Someone like Livaja should never be rooted for, ever.
Negative…….someone has to be the ombudsman for the site.
And let’s be honest here……who here would actually root for someone like Livaja to succeed. All the signs are there that point to him being a failure (temper, selfishness, visible dirty dried ink on his skin, etc.). It is my role to point out his failures and to encourage you guys not to root for flawed characters like him. Remember this, he doesn’t live a “za dom……spremni” lifestyle.
Livaja is a very talented player and you should hope he can figure it out and become the player he is capable of being. If he does this he will be the starting forward on Croatia in a few years
ZIVA-(says Ante in a raised voice)your language has become attrocious lately,when do you hear tata using such profanity in the chatroom?
Besides,if you really enjoy watching pr%&s fail,are you saying that you are a masochist??
I enjoy watching idiots and selfish pricks fail, Croatian or not. An asshole is an asshole. And that is an excuse from Livaja where he is a liar. He is only making up the bit about an attack on his nationality. And the funny part of all of this, it is coming from Livaja. Just look at his track record on how he has treated people.
We should all applaud this because only further distances him from the repka or any chance of the repka.
Before you completely jump down Livaja’s neck, it should be noted that he was actually standing up for Croatia…..as according to Livaja’s apology the next day he said…
“They referred to me as a gypsy and also used more serious insults relating to my nationality,” he continued. “I hope to not have more of these reactions, and hope any criticism of me is based on my performances on the pitch.”
Although I agree, he should be strong enough to ignore fan insults at least he stands up for his nationality…..and doesn’t get pleasure out of seeing his people fail (unlike Ziva Istina)
@Faux Cro-Yes,Modric has improved his defensive capabilities recently and the Copa Del Rey final is a pretty good example of him not doing a huge amount offensively,he showed some class there,but his defense was very strong that day,so not sure exactly what his instructions where.
I am far from big on tattoos myself,but I like your line about assholes that do and dont have tatoos doibg well on this earth-lol!
@Ziva-I agree you need to make some mileage out of Livaja at the moment,he stuffed up,you need to make the most of it.Stay graceful son,dont over-do it,dont be the look at me person! and learn to be more open when you are wrong rather than throwing up smoke and mirrors.Then my man,you will truly be a champion! 🙂
True, just a greater percentage with exposed dirty, dried ink are assholes are trouble.
Inter’s replacement striker has a similar quantity of tattoos.
He also slept with Maxi Lopez’s wife while they were on the same team.
As much as I wouldn’t mind him failing, he is doing well at Inter.
There are plenty of assholes, with and without tattoos that do well on this Earth.
Livaja is a “look at me” type of player and person. Look at his dirty dried ink on his arms. That should be enough to alert people and be a cause for concern. People who have dried, dirty ink on visible part of their body are usually selfish and have a “look at me” attitude.
He is a head case and has been for some time. The best thing all of us can hope for is that he continues on his destructive path and never smells ther repka. Remember, this is a fool who attempted to beat up his own teammate once and sucker punched a teammate. No room for such selfish people on my team.
Personally, I am enjoying his fuck ups. Because it proves correct what is said about this clown. It is always fun to have a front row seat when you see an idiot self destruct.
And this is a big deal…telling your own fans to fuck off. Typical attitude from a person with dried, dirty ink on them and to be honest this is reflective of many who are from Split.
I have thought that too, but have seen Kovacic and Modric play similar roles at their respective clubs.
Real sometimes uses a 4-3-3 a lot with Alonso in the center and Modric on the right. However, Modric constantly drifts in towards the center.
Sometimes Modric looks pedestrian on the field for Real. The last Clasico Copa Del Rey match comes to mind.
He played very defensively and shut down passing lanes but was not an offensive juggernaut by any means.
Faux Cro-I dont mind the look of your line up,my question would be-Can that midfield keep a bit of pressure off the defenders so that we dont leak and get punished?Ideally we will need to be capable of soaking up some defensive pressures.
what livija did was very stupid, confronts the home fans because they boo him, well what will happen when next year he is with a new team and the home fans boo him or worse if he plays for the national team and the croatian fans boo him, will he confront them as well
as ziva said all along this guy causes nothing but trouble
4-3-2-1? Well at least Kovac realizes that we need to play to our strengths and play five midfielders out there.
It took Stimac like 8 games to figure that out, sometimes playing only three midfielders (like the game against the Serbs).
Whether or not Kovac picks the right eleven, is yet to be seen. He made a few gaffes, for example, starting guys like Ilicevic and Eduardo in that first Iceland game…but he seems to be learning by quickly fixing that mistake the following match. He still seems to like Pranjic a bit too much at LB, and we’ve yet to see Rakitic play as the trequartista…but it’s only been like 3 games. Hopefully Kovac is a quick learner.
I saw that show on BEin. Interviews with Kovac and Kranjcar.
Nothing of note. Except that Kovac prefers a 4-3-2-1.
A belated Happy Easter to all!
So Marko Livaja says something along the lines of “You Italian bastards can come to Croatia and I will sort you out”
Is there really an issue with this??Come on Ziva,even you could give him some applause on this one. 😉
any words on halilovic’s signing at barca?
can’t wait till croatia, unless they already had it and im blind, retarded or both
ziva called it we have to say… im glad kovacic is playing, he should have somethign to offer in brazil… he could surprise the brazillians with a run or two
Livaja living up to expectations (well, at least mine).
i gotta agree with you there. i’m pretty sure i pulled that same move off at my local gym the other day and no one blinked.
There must be more to that clip of Lovren. The way everyone is celebrating you would think they’ve never seen some skill before.
Sertic from Bordeaux with 3 assists in their 5-1 win against Guingamp.
Mandza is staying at bayern
Vrsaljko for the first time since long back on the bench for Genoa (after an injury). So he’ll be ready for Brazil too.
not too shabby goals… olic with a real nice touch on that goal in my opinion. SMM, clinical as always
Ilicevic showing his potential once again
here is what makes the news on serbiansports.com this weekend
fucking lucic, piece of shit
Is Halilovic going to be used a lot as a sub for the world cup? And where will Mandzukic end up next year? And what team will be the best fit for his capabilities? anyone please…
Well, there’s been a lot of talk about Lovren being purchased by Liverpool.
Liverpool hesitated last summer, and Southampton took him instead. Kenny Daglish also tried to bring him in about three summers back, but Lovren was denied a work permit since he wasn’t capped enough for Cro at the time.
It seems like it’s just a matter of time until Lovren becomes a Liverpool player. It would be nice to see him with them next season playing Champions League football. They could use another defender.
Where will Mandzo end up next year? and what team will be the best fit for him?
@ Soul Champ
Nothing would please me more than Rakitic going to Liverpool. Kovacic linked too. I remember when Brendon Rodgers first came in he wanted to sign Josip Basic too. Hopefully one of those guys get to play along side Gerrard and learn the art of leadership from him. If you’ve caught the last few games you will have seen Gerrard rally the troops before and after the games with intense emotion, he really wants it, can’t wait for the game tomorrow.
Our players are peaking at the right moment.
NK has to put us in our most natural formation that accesses the full power of vatreni.
Liverpool is a revelation.
Gerrard has always been my favorite English player. You make a great point about England. If they roll with Liverpool they will make some noise in Brazil.
Stevie G deserves the EPL title. I hope a nogometaš gets transfer to Liverpool. Rogers plays some of the best football in Europe and CL nights at Anfield are legend.
Line ups v Brazil
Pletikosa-Srna Carli Lovren(Sifo) Strinic(Vrslajkoi)-Males Modric Rakitic Kovacic Perisic Olic
Pletikosa-Srna Carli Lovren(sifo) Pranjic-Modric Rakitic Kovacic Perisic Olic Mandzukic
Vs Mexico Pletikosa Srna Carli Lovren(Sifo)Pranjic-Modric Rakitic-Kovacic Olic Perisic Mandzukic.
Major subs Eduardo Rebic Jelavic Badelj Vrsaljko.
excellent points regarding Simunic and Mandzukic
Yep, I agree with that. Whatever is working for the club should try and be replicated for the country.
I don’t know what you guys know about the English Premier League or English players but six months ago I would’ve told you that England stand no chance at the World Cup. Well with the resurgence of Liverpool, if England emulate the Liverpool system with Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling and Sturridge and then replace Suarez with Rooney well they might just cause a surprise, hopefully not!
Same with Croatia, whatever system is working at Wolfsburg for Olic and Perisic to come up good needs to be considered for us, also whatever instructions Rakitic at Sevilla has need to be used for us too. Modric is talented enough to adapt to any style. We need pace and the only pace in the whole squad is Perisic and Rebic damn it, both are dodgy but I think Perisic will get the nod to begin with.
It’s just a damn shame that Simunic and Mandzukic won’t be at the opener. Going into the away game against Serbia, in the pre-match interviews Simunic looked super calm and Mandzukic looked super pumped. Everyone else looked neutral. We need both characters like Simunic and Mandzukic for the opener.
Perisic was always a good player just the neznalica aka stimac ruined him. ilicevic when healthy good player better than kranjcar at the moment. You know what if NK got the Job in 2012 after Bilic id be optimistic for Wc but what can we expect from a NK in 7 mknths on the job come june it takes time building national team.
Mandzukic, Olic, Modric, and Raktic are in crazy good form.
Perisic and Kovacic are starting to play more with Perisic heating up.
Lovren, Srna, Corluka, Schifo, Vrsaljko, and Plete/Subasic are regulars for their squads.
If we don’t get out of this first round with our key players currently in their best form, and everyone else in form with no injuries, then we don’t deserve to progress.
While our attacking Trident of Mandzukic, Rakitic, and Modric has gained much attention. Olic and Perisic have found themselves hitting form at the right time.
They have made significant contributions to Wolfsburg’s renaissance, and the club is currently in 4th place in a CL spot.
Perisic, after facing significant criticism on CroatianSports.com; has picked up his game in recent weeks. And has become like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. While Olic, in the twilight of his career, has found himself in the form of his life.
This dynamic duo has scored 20 goals and 9 assists combined, being involved in over 50% of Wolfsburg goals–an impressive statistic.
If their form carriers over to the WC, opposing teams won’t only be worrying about our Trident.
Sretan Uskrs Svima!
Is the nogometaš rising from the dead ?
Perišić has a pulse.
Ilicevic scored today.
Kovačić now plays full 90 minutes.
Lovren shows his technique off (DM style).
Spinning our way boys.
We will need a full squad to deal with the heat and humidity in Brazil. Looks like we may have some real depth. NK has the strike the balance between youth and experience to compliment the world-class core.
At this rate just start Perišić along side Olić against Brazil. What ever is working at VV needs to happen for the repka in that first match.
Well, Inter was winless in four games (all against poor teams) prior to Kovacic starting, and since the shakeup, they’ve won two in a row (and Parma has been decent this year). So that’s good news for Kovacic and us as well.
I didn’t watch the game, but he played the whole 90 minutes in the center of midfield. If he finishes the season as a starter, his fitness and confidence level will be up, going into this World Cup.
mandzukic with a goal for bayern 2-0 win after coming on with about 15 minutes left to go in the game
kovacic started again in inter’s 2-0 win. looks like he drew 3 fouls, so hopefully it means he was creating some havoc slaloming around in the middle of the pitch!
im sorry but there are some school girls in that crowd lolol