Eriksson adds to dream start with derby victory
Sven-Göran Eriksson has tempered enthusiasm over Manchester City’s unbeaten start to the season saying that his new team have “a long way to go” before they can be seriously seen as title contenders.
Eriksson’s comments followed the upset 1-0 win over Manchester United in Sunday’s derby game which left City two points clear at the top of the table after three games.
The former England manager agreed that he has enjoyed the perfect start to his tenure at City after his summer move, but warned that he was taking nothing for granted.
“We have a long way to go before we are a top team,” Eriksson said.
“We are here and we are fighting but there are a lot of things for me to work on. There are a lot of players here who have never played in the Premier League.
“They are not used to the pace and you can see it sometimes.”
The early signs however in the quickly put-together side are promising for the Swede.
Of his new arrivals, Elano and Vedran Corluka have been particularly impressive, while another, Geovanni, was responsible for yesterday’s first-half match-winner.
However, Eriksson would be the first to admit the real jewel in his crown has been inherited from former boss Stuart Pearce in the shape of 19-year old defender Micah Richards.
“It is important to remember this young man is 19,” said Eriksson.
“I don’t remember having a defender that strong and that quick at any age. That is a combination that is very rare indeed.
“He wins everything in the air and can fight with any centre-forward and then, if he makes a mistake, he has the speed to repair it.
“His pace is incredible. At 19, you just don’t see that.”
City next take on Arsenal on Saturday looking to consolidate their place at the top of the league.
But, if they do manage to get in front at the Emirates, Eriksson hopes his charges can reach the winning line in a little more style than they managed on Sunday.
Källstrom banned for spitting
Lyon’s Swedish international midfielder Kim Källstrom received a one-match ban for spitting at a linesman during the French champions’ league game at Toulouse last weekend.
Källstrom was sent off during the tie which his club lost 1-0. He had complained of being elbowed by Toulouse midfielder Nicolas Dieuze.
The Swede, who signed from Rennes during the summer, apologized to his new
“It’s not the thing to do on the pitch. It’s very tough because I put my teammates in a difficult position and we lost the match in the end despite a good start,” he said.
Elfsborg back to winning ways
Elfsborg bounced back from their midweek Champions League capitulation in Valencia with a 5-1 trouncing of Gais at the weekend.
With Djurgården and Halmstad also registering victories, there is nothing to separate the three teams at the top of the table.
Ilonen captures Scandinavian Masters title at Arlandastad
Finland’s Mikko Ilonen captured his second European Tour victory of 2007 on Sunday when he won the Scandinavian Masters by two shots after joint overnight leader Martin Kaymer saw his game fall apart.
Ilonen, who won the Indonesia Open in February, birdied the par-three 18th to go level with Germany’s Kaymer on six under par.
But the 22-year-old from Dusseldorf missed the green with his approach to the last hole and suffered a double bogey to finish at four under par for the tournament and a share of second place with French pair Jean-Baptiste Gonnet and Christian Cevaer, Sweden’s Peter Hedblom and England’s Nick Dougherty.
South Africa’s James Kingston, who shared the overnight lead with Kaymer, finished with a closing round 73 and a share of seventh place.
Ilonen, who had been three shots off the pace going into the final round, almost saw his afternoon in disaster when he double bogeyed the par-three 16th after finding water with his tee shot.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Ilonen. “If I had to pick one tournament to win, alongside the majors, it would be this one.”
Kaymer won two tournaments on the Challenge Tour last year but has now twice failed to convert winning positions on the European Tour.
He led going into the final round of the Wales Open before fading to 14th.
“I’m very disappointed, especially with my play over the first five holes when I made two bogeys,” he said. “That really wasn’t the start that I wanted and after that it was always a bit of a battle all day.”
A year out from an Olympics and major sporting events take on added significance, and none more so than the World Athletics Championships starting in Osaka this week.
Everyone who is anyone is in Japan for the final major athletics meet before the Beijing Games, with competitors using it as a crucial stepping stone to the ultimate goal in China next year.
Among the women, Sweden’s Olympic and world heptathlon gold medallist Carolina Klüft, unbeaten since 2000, is looking for a third straight title in the seven-sport spectacle.
The Kallur twins will be hoping to be among the medals in the 110 metres hurdles, with Susanna considered to have the best chance.
Kajsa Bergqvist is another Swedish medal hope, having leaped higher than all but two other women in the world this year.
On the men’s side, Christian Olsson aims to grab gold in the triple jump despite grappling all year with injuries.
Stefan Holm has shown good form this season and is a strong contender for gold in the high jump event.
Finally, Sweden has not been blessed with middle distance runners in recent years but Mustafa Mohamed has already beaten some of the world’s best competitors this year in the 3,000 metre steeplechase event .
The World Championships run from August 25th to September 2nd.