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7 days ago - 11/5/2018

Who’s hot and who’s not after the break?

After a two-week break from the big stage, the VELUX EHF Champions League returned this weekend. The action did not stop, however, with the domestic leagues in full swing and many players on national team duty since we last saw them in Europe’s prime club competition.

The break should have given teams enough time to prepare for the next rounds of the VELUX EHF Champions League - however, some returned in better style than others.

Let’s go through the four groups to discover the talking points of Round 6.

Group A: No team used the break better than Barça

It is safe to say that no team used the two-week break better than Barça Lassa. The Catalan side won the IHF Super Globe in Qatar, and followed up by taking their fifth win in a row in the VELUX EHF Champions League. While defeating PGE Vive Kielce 31:27, they became the second team to pass the 200-goal mark for the season.

Rhein-Neckar Löwen also showed a strong performance, earning their first away win of the season against Telekom Veszprém HC, 29:28.

At the other end of the table, reigning champions Montpellier HB failed to find the winning formula during the break. They remained without a win alongside IFK Kristianstad after their thrilling draw in Sweden. Meanwhile, Meshkov Brest lost their fourth game in a row and are winless since September.

Group B: Perfect PSG keep their winning run going

Paris Saint-Germain are now the only team with a perfect record this season after a 33:31 win against MOL-Pick Szeged in the clash between the two unbeaten teams.

After two defeats in a row, RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko doubled their points with a win against HC Motor Zaporozhye, 33:28. It was William Accambray’s first game with his new team and he certainly delivered with seven goals.

SG Flensburg-Handewitt also found winning ways again after one victory in their last four games, winning the derby against Skjern Handbold, 26:22. It was also the fourth game in a row without a win for the Danish side. They share that streak with HC PPD Zagreb, where the break was not enough to find ways to turn the tables.

Group C: Presov have certainly done their homework

Tatran Presov ended their two-game losing streak with a 28:26 win against Sporting CP and equalled the Portuguese side on points. Presov must have done their homework during the competition break, after losing 30:27 to Sporting at home in Round 5.

About doing your homework: that is what HC Metalurg have done as they finally won their first game of the season. It took six games, but they could finally celebrate after the match against Chekhovskie Medvedi. Losing big in Round 5 (33:25), they turned the tables in Skopje on Sunday, 25:24.

Meanwhile, nothing seems to be stopping Bjerringbro-Silkeborg. They have only lost two games out of 16 in all competitions this season, after a comfortable 34:27 win against Besiktas Mogaz.



Group D: Elverum and Leon sharpened their arsenal during the break

After two consecutive losses, Orlen Wisla Plock showed they are back on track with a win against Dinamo Bucuresti, 29:28; after their three-goal loss against the Romanian side in Round 5.

Elverum Handball and Abanca Ademar Leon also sharpened their arsenal during the break. They both had narrow one-goal wins in Round 5 but turned up the heat for more secure victories this time: Elverum 28:25 against Riihimäen Cocks and Leon 24:21 against Wacker Thun.

The results left both Cocks and Wacker still in search for their first win in the VELUX EHF Champions League. While Cocks are playing on the big stage for the first time and had six attempts so far, Wacker’s wait for a victory is lasting for 16 matches in total now.

Author: Andri Yrkill Valsson / ew