GROUP A REVIEW: French and Catalan dominance in group A continues, as Paris Saint-Germain beat Veszprem 28:24 and FC Barcelona easily beat BSV, 34:19.
Paris easily beat Veszprem, while Barcelona demolish BSV
After the first two rematches of round 7 ended with different winners, Paris Saint-Germain Handball and FC Barcelona Lassa continued their winning streak in round 8. PSG had a 28:24 win over Veszprem, while FC Barcelona easily beat Bjerringbro-Silkeborg 34:19.
With 14 points each now, they clearly top the ranking prior to their clash next Saturday (3 December).
PSG and Barcelona are five points ahead of third-ranked SG Flensburg-Handewitt
PSG’s win against Veszprem is their seventh-straight victory in the group phase.
Uwe Gensheimer again overruns the 2016 VELUX EHF Champions League finalists with six goals
Kiril Lazarov shines with eight goals in BSV’s demolition at Barcelona
BSV do not score a goal for 14 minutes
Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) vs. Telekom Veszprém (HUN) 28:24 (14:12)
Like the whole 60 minutes of the first match between these two in group A last week which finished 29:28 to PSG, the first half today was again a tight affair. The lead changed constantly and no team managed to get ahead by more than a two-goal difference until just 90 seconds were left in the first half as Nedim Remili netted in to make it 13:10 to the home side.
Until then, both sides had nearly neutralised each other with strong defensive performances. In contrast to the first leg, Veszprem managed to avoid the famous Uwe Gensheimer counter-attacks as PSG had to work hard for every goal, mostly scored from the back court positions as their opponent went through a wide range of shooting options, but were put under enormous pressure from the PSG defence wall.
Veszprem fail, PSG succeed
With the score at 15:15, 20 minutes before the end, the Hungarian side had the change to turn the match around again, but failed – and the opposite happened. Paris grew stronger, netted in four straight goals to make it 19:15, and even a team timeout from their coach Javier Sabate could not stop their demise.
In contrast, Paris accelerated, with Gensheimer on fire and the sixth and last goal of the German left wing decided the encounter finally, at 24:17 in the 51st minute.
After two defeats against PSG, Veszprem are already six points below the top of the table. Their top scorer in the match was Aron Palmarsson with five goals – the same number as Luka Stepancic and Nikola Karabatic for Paris.
FC Barcelona Lassa (ESP) vs. Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) 34:19 (18:10)
The Catalans made short work of their visitors. One week after their close 26:23 away win in Denmark, Barcelona were absolutely dominant in the Palau Blaugrana and took their seventh win in eight rounds to remain equal on points with PSG at the top of the group.
The reason for the clear result was the outstanding defence from the Spanish side. Bjerringbro scored just 10 times in the first 30 minutes – and had already been defeated by the break as they found themselves eight goals down at 18:10.
When the hosts extended the gap to the first double-figure at 20:10, BSV’s scoring efficiency was below 35%, while Barcelona were on more than 70%.
Worse for Bjerringbro
The record winners of the Men’s EHF Champions League truly demolished the Danish champions as it took them 12 more minutes to score when Allan Espersen netted in to make it 26:11 and ended a 14 goalless minutes for BSV.
Barca’s biggest lead was 17 goals at 29:12, 31:14 and 34:17 and, unsurprisingly, it was their biggest win in this season, beating the previous 38:25 victory against Schaffhausen and satisfying coach Xavi Pascual.
“I’m so satisfied with the team,” he said after the match. “Our defence was superb, especially Pérez de Vargas.
“We also played quite good in offence, so a full game [from us].”
TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc