Five things which caught the eye in Round 4
Exciting comebacks, brothers facing each other and Scandinavian smiles were all part of the fourth round of VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase.
The big teams had to find their way out of trouble and current champions HC Vardar had a true test in Hungary. Take a look at five things that caught the eye over the weekend.
The round of comebacks
It was a round of comebacks for the big teams. Both Barcelona and Veszprém were three goals down at half-time but managed to turn things around and claim victory.
Barcelona took on HBC Nantes on home court in Group A showed their class to engineer a nine-goal turnaround in the second half to win 31:25.
The Hungarian champions had a difficult task against THW Kiel in the Match of the Week, reversing a 15:12 deficit to seal their fourth victory in four matches, 26:24, in Group B.
Elsewhere, SG Flensburg-Handewitt scored the final four goals of their match against Kielce to snatch a point (25:25) in Group B. Who does not love a good comeback?
13 years unbeaten and Vardar is still on track
Could you have a better motivation before a big game in the VELUX Champions League than having not beaten your opponent in 13 years?
That was the reality for MOL-Pick Szeged before the game against reigning champions HC Vardar in Group A. The last win for the Hungarians dates back to 2004, but they came close to ending that run on Saturday.
However, Vardar‘s two goals in the final stages secured a 26:26 draw to keep the run going and maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
The Scandinavians put on a show
The Scandinavian sides had a weekend to remember in Group C, where we saw a piece of history made.
Skjern Handbold keep top spot in the group after a win against Leon (33:25). The Danish side has also produced the most powerful attack so far, netting 133 goals in four matches.
Their neighbours from Norway, Elverum Handball, earned their biggest win at this level against Dinamo Bucuresti, 40:32, which was also their highest score in a single match.
Fabulous French form
Montpellier HB have been one of the most impressive sides in the VELUX EHF Champions League so far this season and they maintained their perfect record against Besiktas in Group D.
After a four-goal win (36:32) the French side brought their goal difference to +26, the best of the entire competition.
Montpellier also enjoy the widest margin at the top of their group, already three points ahead of Motor Zaporozhye while the other three top teams have their opponents breathing heavier down their neck.
Reunion and family gathering in Barcelona
There was a big reunion in Barcelona when the home side took on HBC Nantes. It was a moment when family and friends came together again.
Nantes have three former Barcelona in their team, with Kiril Lazarov, Eduardo Gurbindo and David Balaguer previously playing for the Catalan side. The trio scored a combined seven goals, which was not enough to sink their old side.
Valero Rivera on the other hand came out on top for Barcelona against his former French employers scoring three goals.
But there was also time for family, as Nantes’s assistant coach Alberto Enterrios tried to out-smart his younger brother Raul, but the bragging rights go to Raul in the next family gathering as his three goals helped secured the two points for FC Barcelona Lassa.Author: Andri Yrkill Valsson / cor