F91 Dudelange are making a mockery of the title race in Luxembourg, steaming into a 13-point lead with victories in all eleven of their Division Nationale games.
Boasting the league's best attack and meanest defence, the side guided by French coach Michel Leflochmoan have left rivals floundering in their wake. The only team not to have conceded a goal against them in their double-winning 2006/07 campaign, FC Racing Union Luxembourg, were beaten 2-0 on 7 October by strikes from Samir Louadj and Johan Bellini while last term's runners-up, FC Etzella Ettelbrück, succumbed 3-1 at the weekend. Trailing to an early Daniel Da Mota effort and reduced to ten men by the dismissal of Bellini, Dudelange's two former professionals – Louadj and Laurent Guthleber – saved the day, with two goals from the former and one from the latter securing victory.
Leflochmoan has been eager to keep his side focused as they seek a fourth successive championship and a third straight Luxembourg Cup, but on this form they will struggle to avoid another supreme season. "We have to carry on working hard," the 56-year-old Leflochmoan said. "A run of bad results could quickly erode our lead. I am very happy with developments so far but we can't talk about winning the title yet."
Not even the absence of key striker Joris Di Gregorio, who scored twice in Dudelange's 7-5 aggregate defeat by Slovakia's MŠK Žilina in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, has hampered Dudelange's progress. Leflochmoan claims that the player has produced a "medical certificate" forbidding him from playing, although rumours persist that his absence is the result of a failed move to German second division side TuS Koblenz.
At the foot of the table, CS Pétange became the first club to change coach this term when Florim Alijaj replaced Bernard Mladinovic, while promoted FC RM Hamm Benfica have followed suit with Augusto Dias Martins replacing Mauricio Rodrigues Gomes. A 2-0 home loss to Pétange hastened that decision, with the team – formed by the merger of FC Hamm 37 and RM 86 Luxembourg in 2004 – coming unstuck after a promising start.
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