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Bendtner redeemed as Lyon shine

Published: Friday 12 March 2010, 12.50CET
Arsenal FC duo Nicklas Bentner and Samir Nasri earn plaudits along with Olympique Lyonnais and occasional scorers Jonathan Zebina and FK Kom in's salute to the last seven days.
Bendtner redeemed as Lyon shine
Lyon delight in ousting Real Madrid on Wednesday ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 12 March 2010, 12.50CET

Bendtner redeemed as Lyon shine

Arsenal FC duo Nicklas Bentner and Samir Nasri earn plaudits along with Olympique Lyonnais and occasional scorers Jonathan Zebina and FK Kom in's salute to the last seven days.

Player: Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal FC)
Bendtner would have been an unlikely nominee on Saturday after missed chances in the 3-1 defeat of Premier League strugglers Burnley FC. Three days later, though, he scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 victory against FC Porto which earned the Gunners a spot in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. "There was some criticism of me after the game last Saturday, but me and my team-mates have just laughed about it," the striker said. "They made jokes with me. That is how I look at that; I laugh. They have all congratulated me for my hat-trick."

Team: Olympique Lyonnais
Real Madrid CF welcomed Lyon to the Santiago Bernabéu confident they could overturn a 1-0 deficit and keep alive their hopes of contesting the final on home turf on 22 May, especially when Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the aggregate score early on. However, teenager Miralem Pjanić's goal with 15 minutes left put paid to those dreams and took Lyon into the last eight. Coincidentally their female side were also in action on Wednesday and beat ASD Torres Calcio 3-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League last-eight tie to raise the possibility of two Lyon sides playing in Madrid finals within 48 hours in May.

Goal: Samir Nasri (Arsenal FC)
Scotland fans of a certain vintage will remember Archie Gemmill's superb solo goal against the Netherlands in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Nasri was not born for another nine years but those with a twin fondness for balding Paisley-born wingers and French international starlets will have felt warm feelings on Tuesday when Nasri picked up the ball to the right of the Porto box, turned and slalomed around Raul Meireles, Cristián Rodríguez and Álvaro Pereira before slipping the ball past Helton.

Quote: Peter Crouch (England)
"No marriage this summer; the World Cup is the most important thing."
Crouch's fiancee Abbey Clancy, 24, finds herself stood up for Fabio Capello, 63.

Number: 1,042 (FK Kom)
Rade Petrović scored 38 minutes into Kom's Montenegrin league encounter with FK Sutjeska to secure a 1-0 home win. Nothing unusual on the face of it, except that the Podgorica-based side had waited a national record 1,042 minutes since their previous goal. In fact, that had been an FK Petrovac own goal so no Kom player had actually scored since Denis Tuzović back in August, while the result ended a run of 14 winless games. At the top, FK Rudar Pljevlja have not conceded in 560 minutes, a run going back to November, but they will beware the 20 March visit of resurgent Kom.

Worth the wait: Jonathan Zebina (Juventus)
Right-back Zebina's scoring record would frustrate even Kom; before Juve took on Fulham FC on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League, he had found the net only once in more than 300 senior appearances, a Serie A goal for AS Roma on 21 September 2003. Oddly enough, it was a late equaliser away to future club Juventus, but 25 minutes in against Fulham he belatedly made amends and doubled his career tally, beating several visiting players and unleashing an unstoppable shot to help his side to a 3-1 win.

Young buck: David Alaba (FC Bayern München)
Bayern's UEFA Champions League success against ACF Fiorentina in midweek may have stolen some of his thunder, but Alaba has made a new mark in Germany, coming on 73 minutes into Bayern's 1-1 draw at 1. FC Köln to become the club's youngest Bundesliga player at 17 years and 255 days, beating the record set by Toni Kroos, now 20 and on loan at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, by ten days. Alaba also became Austria's youngest international when he played in a World Cup qualifier against France last October. Bayern sporting director Christian Nerlinger said: "I hope that he will become one of the best as well. Being the youngest does not buy him anything."

Mighty ducks: Urawa Red Diamonds
At 61, German coach Volker Finke has seen most of the things that football can throw at a man, but even he is learning of new maladies – or, indeed, Mallard-ies – following his move to Japan. Urawa have been beset by a plague of ducks at their training base, with their pristine pitches pockmarked with feathers and droppings, while inquisitive bills have been tearing up their turf. Hawks, scarecrows and security guards armed with torches have been doing their best to discourage the birds. A club spokesman said: "Apparently the ducks feel safe on our fenced-off pitch, but it looks like the measures we have taken are slowly having an effect."

Stolen ham: Krunoslav Jurčić (NK Dinamo Zagreb)
Eight points clear at the top of the Croatian table, it is hard to see Dinamo being denied the Prva Liga title, but they may be denied a celebratory banquet after a large load of meat set aside for coach Krunoslav Jurčić was stolen from his parents' house in Montenegro. The 40-year-old former Croatia midfielder was embarrassed by his mother Nada a few months ago when she said of her son: "I am worried about him. He has lost a few kilos since he moved to Dinamo." That may have been the reason why several hams, four smoked sausages and 5kg of lamb had been set aside for Jurčić; he was certainly not feeling too cheery when asked to discuss their disappearance. "I have nothing smart to say about it and I am trying not to think about it," he said, stomach a-rumbling.

Postponement: Bulgarian Cup final
Hell's bells: the Bulgarian Cup final has been brought forward from 12 to 5 May to make room for an even more momentous occasion at Sofia's Vassil Levski Stadium. The eight clubs left in the competition have been happy to make a change to their schedule for the final with the Bulgarian Football Union eager to avoid a clash with be-blazered Australian noise merchants AC/DC's first visit to the country.

Last updated: 13/03/10 10.28CET

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