Sunday, 1 August 2010

Rapid Wien 2-1 Salzburg

Salzburg new boy Jakob Jantscher made an immediate impact from the bench

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp this week described friendlies as meaningless so we will gloss over the Emirates Cup and take a look at the Austrian Bundesliga which is already about three games in.

This match pitched the most successful Bundesliga club of all time (Rapid Wien, with 32 titles) against the current holders (Red Bull Salzburg) though neither side has had a great start to the current campaign. In fact before today neither side had clocked up even a single win in the league so far, victories only coming against lowly sides in the early stages of European competition. Rapid even lost their opening game of the season 4-0 to Wacker Innsbruck.

Whereas Rapid Wien lined up with a 3-5-2 formation (though former Portsmouth player Markus Heikkinen was in defensive midfield), Salzburg opted for a more defensive 5-3-2. In the end it was Rapid's dominance in the centre that came through.

A dull first half saw neither team really try to take the initiative and the score at half-time was 0-0. After the break though the team in green and white broke the deadlock through midfielder Christoph Saurer. Salzburg manager Huub Stevens responded with a double-subsitution that saw new signing Joaquín Boghossian come on. It was the Austrian substitute, Jakob Jantscher, who made the real difference though. His goal only six minutes later gave the Bulls an equaliser.

The points looked like they were going to be shared but yet another goal from midfield, this time from Rapid and their German midfielder Steffen Hofmann, in the 93rd minute gave the Viennese side perhaps an undeserved victory.

Nevertheless Stevens will be disappointed with Salzburg's slow start to the season. Their only win came against Havnar Bóltfelag in the Champions League and with the home-leg of their third qualifying round coming up on Wednesday against Cypriot team AC Omonia, the Dutchman will be hoping his side can quickly turn round their poor form to avoid an embarrassing early exit.

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