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Austrian Bundesliga – Update 3rd April 2012

The big game in the Austrian Bundesliga was on Sunday when leaders Salzburg, travelled to 4th placed Austria Vienna.  Salzburg were 3pts clear at the start of the weekend, and hoping to maintain the lead as the season reached a crucial stage.

Vienna took the lead as their Czech striker, Tomas Jun, scored in the 33rd minute.  It looked as if it would be the only goal of the game.  But in the final minute, Salzburg’s Brazilian striker Leonardo, scored a dramatic equaliser.  This is Leonardo’s first season at Salzburg after 10 years in various clubs in Holland.  The 1-1 draw means Salzburg has now dropped 4pts in the past 2 matches, but their unbeaten in 6.  Austria Vienna still have a chance of the title, as wins are proving very valuable in a season full of draws.

Salzburg’s lead is now just 1pt as Rapid Vienna thrashed Admira, 4-0.  Admira didn’t help themselves by scoring two own goals.  It was an important win forRapid after their defeat to Wacker last week.

After last Saturday’s sequence of all drawn results from the 4 matches played, this week saw just 2 draws, but only 2 teams scored.  Rapid were one, and the other was Wacker, who beat Kapfenburg, 2-0.  Kapfenburg are in desperate trouble, 12pts from safety with just 4 wins all season.  Wacker’s two goals have meant they now average a goal a game.  Turgid stuff

Third place Ried, drew 0-0 with Sturm Graz. It is looking increasingly unlikely that Sturm Graz will retain their title.  One of the reasons for their disappointing season is the lack of goals.  Roman Kienast was joint top scorer in the league last season with 19 goals.  He’s managed just 6 this season and has now joined Austria Vienna on loan.

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3rd plays 4th this weekend, as Ried play host to Austria Vienna.  Salzburg are at home to Wacker and Rapid are at home to Wiener Neustadt.

Salzburg  v  Wacker
Ried  v  Austria Vienna
Kapfenburg  v  Admira
Rapid Vienna  v  Wiener Neustadt
Mattersburg  v  Sturm Graz

Austrian Bundesliga Update – 27th March 2012

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As if to illustrate how tight this league is this year, SV Mattersburg (2nd from bottom) beat Austria Vienna (3rd from top), 2-0.  Back at the beginning of the month, Mattersburg had shocked the league leaders by winning 1-0 in Salzburg.

The defeat for Austria Vienna, allowed both of the clubs above them to open up a gap at the top.  Salzburg beat Wiener Neustadt, 2-1 and Rapid Vienna beat Kapfenburg, 3-0.  With 4th place, Ried beating Admira Wacker, 2-1, Austria Vienna had slipped to 4th themselves.

But then, just in case they got too far ahead of the rest of the league, the top three all dropped points this weekend.

Salzburg found themselves trailing, 1-2 to Admira, after scoring first, before their Swedish midfielder, Rasmus Lindgren equalised in the final 10 minutes.  It was his first goal of the season and grabbed an important point, as the game ended 2-2.  On Sunday, Rapid Vienna failed to take advantage as they found themselves 0-2 down inside the first 10 minutes.  They ended up losing 1-2 to Wacker Innsbruck.  Wacker were the only winners this weekend, as once again most of the teams couldn’t be separated.

Salzburg still lead with a 3pt advantage over Rapid.  Ried and Austria Vienna are separated by goal difference.  In the race for Europa League qualification (2nd and 3rd place), Admira, Sturm Graz and Wacker are certainly not out of it.

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The big game this weekend sees the leaders, Salzburg travel to Austria Vienna.  The top three are all away from home as Rapid go to Admira, and Ried visit Sturm Graz.

Is This The Closest League in Europe?

Austrian Bundesliga

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The Austrian Bundesliga is one of the smallest leagues in Europe, consisting of only 10 clubs, but this season is looking really close.  Already 2/3rds of the way through and many of the teams are still in with a shout of winning the title.

One reason so many teams are still in the hunt is that over 1/3rd of the matches have ended in stalemate.  Salzburg, the leaders, has already lost as many matches as Wacker Innsbruck, in 7th place.  The difference between the two sides is that Salzburg has won 4 more matches than Wacker.

If you look at the top six, they are very difficult to beat at home, and away wins could well be the ultimate factor which decides the destination of the trophy.  The champions, Sturm Graz, are in the surprising position of having played 12 matches away from home and yet to come away with a win.  Yet, they are just 8pts off the pace with a game in hand.

Leaders, Salzburg, are the most successful club in recent years winning three out of the last five titles.  Sturm Graz title last year was their first since their back-to-back wins in 1998 and 1999.  Rapid Wien is still the most successful club in Austrian football with 32 titles.

Just before today’s matches, the top three teams were all on 38pts, with Ried just 3pts behind.  But a 1-0 win for Salzburg at Kapfenburg Superfund, gave them a bit of breathing space at the top.  Today’s results seemed to sum up the season as the four matches contained just three goals with only one producing a winner.  Goals have been hard to come by with three sides yet to average a goal-per-game.  Top scorers, Salzburg, has only managed 38 goals in 25 matches.

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The Austrian Bundesliga is much like the Scottish Premier League used to be in which ten teams play each other twice at home and twice away.  The champions go into the Second qualifying round of the Champions League, with the 2nd and 3rd placed teams into the Europa League.  The 2nd placed club enters one round later than the 3rd placed team.  The team who finishes bottom is relegated to the Austrian Football First League.

In a league with so few teams, one aspect that has contributed to a bunching of sides is that the bottom club, Kapfenburg Superfund, has performed so badly compared to the rest of the league, wining just 4 games and scoring only 16 goals in 25 matches.  They’re 10pts from safety and look doomed.

For Champions, Sturm Graz, they need to pull themselves out of their current slump.  They’re yet to win or score in their last 4 matches, although they’ve only lost one of those.  They’ve won just 2 of their last 8 games, although they beat 3rd place, Austria Wien 5-1 in one of those victories.

The Austrian Bundesliga began in 1911.  Of the 10 clubs currently competing in this season’s Bundesliga, Ried, Mattersburg, Wiener Neustadt and Kapfenburg have yet to win a title.

This current competition could go right down to the wire.

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