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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 21 April, 2014

Eurostar: Milan bounce back, Bayern lose, and little Joey Cole

It was another topsy-turvy weekend of football across continental Europe. Maps and phrasebooks in hand, Paul Ring has all the details.

Kevin-Prince Boateng celebrates his hat-trick for AC Milan against Lecce. A late comeback saw Milan win the game 4-3.
Kevin-Prince Boateng celebrates his hat-trick for AC Milan against Lecce. A late comeback saw Milan win the game 4-3.
Image: Donato Fasano/AP/Press Association Images

Serie A

SO IT SEEMS Italy took the criticism to heart. One week after the numbness of five goalless draws, Serie A gorged on a buffet of goals.

We start in Lecce where the home side flew into a 3-0 lead against champions AC Milan, which they promptly threw away in the second half losing 4-3. The remarkable turnaround had a supernatural feeling to it as Kevin-Prince Boateng scored a hat-trick along the way.  He’s come a long way from Fratton Park.

Juventus were involved in a cracker at home to Genoa on Saturday night. Inspired by Alessandro Matri, the old lady took the lead twice but were pegged back first by Marco Rossi and then by an 85th-minute Andrea Carracciolo equaliser.

It was a game that Juve left behind them. They were comfortably the better side with Andrea Pirlo dictating things in midfield. It was a night to forget for Giorgio Chellini though as he had a nightmare at left back.

The goal: Boateng did score a couple of long range screamers but they’re a dime-a-dozen. Here’s Matri’s second featuring a step over from Pirlo. Why did Milan sell him again?



The headline: La Gazzetta unsurprisingly have AC Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso front and centre. Gattuso: “I will not give up; it takes more for me to fall.”

The midfielder has been out of action since opening day after suffering an injury after colliding with Alessandro Nesta. He has since been diagnosed with sixth nerve palsy which is a condition that affects eye movement. He will be out for at least six months but guaranteed he will not retire.

Bundesliga

It was a happy day in Germany on Sunday for the “anyone but Bayern” brigade as the table toppers went down 2-1 away to Hanover. They weren’t helped by the sending off of defender Jerome Boateng early in the first half.

Borussia Dortmund are now a mere three points off Bayern in second after the champions smashed Cologne 5-0 at home. They are beginning to motor domestically while finding life hard in the Champions League.

Bayer Leverkusen went down 1-0 at home to Schalke and remain stuck in ninth place.  A struggle for Europe beckons.

The goal: Bayer went down to this beauty from Jefferson Farfan. Pretty shoddy defending but he’s run more here than I have in my whole life.



The headline: Bild say that Farfan has been offered to Bayern Munich as his contract expires at Schalke at the end of the season. They ask “Leverkusen couldn’t stop his 77 meter dash on Sunday but can Schalke keep him?” Probably not.

Eredivise

AZ Alkmaar were the big winners in Holland over the weekend as they continued their blistering start to the season with a 1-0 win at home to Roda.

Ajax fought from a goal down and a man down to draw 1-1 with Feyenoord. FC Twente could only manage a 1-1 draw with FC Groningen while PSV limped to a 1-1 draw with Vitesse Arnhem. You sense a pattern here?

The goal: This Sven Kums goal for Heerenveen has only one remarkable feature — the body part used. This is a kids’ show so all I’ll say is, it rhymes with Jenas.



The headline: De Telegraf go with Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Clisseen: “The leak is from above.” Either he is talking about his roof or Ajax’s penchant for conceding goals.

Ligue 1

Lille won the big game of the weekend in France as they defeated Lyon 3-1. Joe Cole came off the bench to seal the win with the third. Cole has certainly taken to French football and recently revealed his favourite French word is “croissant.” Nice.

PSG continue to set the pace as they defeated Dijon 2-0, Nene with both goals.

Montpellier are up to second after a 3-1 win at Caen, while Marseille are returning to life after a 2-0 win at home to Ajaccio.

The goal: Little Joey Cole sliding home for Lyon. Say croissant.



The headline: L’Equipe have the brilliant Eden Hazard in bullish mood after the win over Lyon. “We have the courage” is his battle cry. Courage and Joe Cole. Bon chance.

Vamos: Levante rule, Barca shut out and Ronnie reigns supreme

Irish Eye: Doyle saves McCarthy’s blushes, for now

Barstooler: Five things we learned from this weekend’s League of Ireland action

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