Malmö and Helsingborg continue their battle at the top of the Allsvenskan standings.
Once more goal difference is all the separates the top two teams in the Allsvenskan, and just like last season, those teams are Malmö and Helsingborg.
Each team ran its record to a perfect 4-0 with Round Four victories, both by identical 1-0 scores. Neither was particularly happy with those outcomes. Malmö defeated Mjällby while Helsingborg beat Syrianska.
“It’s good that we won but we played really bad,” said Malmö midfielder Guillermo Molins. “It was a crap game. It was the worst we have performed in a long time. But there is a fighting spirit and a winning mentality in this team.”
Helsingborg’s squad felt the same way about its win.
“Of course it is a strength for us to win when we don’t play well, "said goalkeeper Pär Hanson. “But there is clearly room improve, especially attacking wise, and it will means all of must step up.”
Despite the rather glum assessments, there is no arguing with success. Malmö and Helsingborg each have 12 points from four matches. Malmö holds the top spot on goal difference. It was the same slender margin that separated the two teams last year until the final match of the season.
Neither team, however, is talking about championships or comparing the first four games of the 2011 to the title race of 2010.
“We have a lot of games left to play. The season just started,” Molins said. “If we don’t start to play better, what we did last year won’t even matter.”
Both teams face stern tests in Round 5 as Malmö travels to Borås to play Elfsborg while Helsingborg is on the road at Örebro.
By Chipp Reid
Malmö 1, Mjällby 0
MALMÖ – Guillermo Molins notched the only goal to lead Malmö to a 1-0 win April 20 over Mjällby at Swedbank Arena. Molins struck in the 75th minute off a pass from Daniel Larsson. He picked up a yellow card after scoring for excessive celebration. Mjällby finished the match a man down after Daniel Ivanovski picked up his second yellow card in the game.
Helsingborg 1, Syrianska 0
HELSINGBORG – Rasmus Jönsson scored nine minutes from time to give Helsingborg a 1-0 win over Syrianska April 22 at Olympia Stadium. The goal was the first of the year for Jönsson, who had six goals last season. The victory kept HIF level on points for first place with Malmö.
GAIS 2, Djurgården 1
GÖTEBORG – GAIS picked up its third win against just one loss after beating Djurgården 2-1 April 19 at Gamla Ullevi Stadium. Mervan Celik scored the game-winning goal in the 62nd minute off a pass from Wanderson do Carmo. DIF took a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute off a goal from Kennedy Igboananike . GAIS tied the game 12 minutes later when Eric Magloire Bassombeng tallied.
Norrköping 2, Halmstad 0
NORRKÖPING – Former scoring champ Gunnar Heidar Thorvaldsson scored for the first time since returning to the Allsvenskan to help IFK Norrköping beat Halmstad 2-0 April 20 at Nya Parken. Thorvaldsson led the Allsvenskan in 1998 for Halmstad. Bobbie Friberg da Cruz also scored for Peking, which won for the third time in four matches while Halmstad remained winless with the loss.
Kalmar 2, Elfsborg 1
KALMAR – Elfsborg’s nightmare start continued as it lost April 20 to Kalmar 2-1 at Guldfågeln Arena. Elfsborg had lost to Kalmar just once in their previous nine matches and when David Elm scored in the 5th minute, it looked as though the streak would continue. Erik Israelsson, however, tied the game in the 33rd minute and Daniel Sobralense struck the winner at the 62-minute mark off a pass from Daniel Freire Mendes. Elfsborg has just one victory in its first four matches.
AIK 2, Göteborg 0
SOLNA – AIK captain Nils-Erik Johansson had a goal and an assist to lead the Gnaget to a 2-0 win over Göteborg April 20 at Råsunda Stadium. Johansson scored in the 17th minute. He set up Sierra Lenoe striker Ibrahim Teteh Bangura at the 57-minute mark. The defeat extended Goteborg’s season-opening losing streak to four games.
Trelleborg 2, Gefle 1
GÄVLE – Trelleborg claimed its first win of the season, knocking off Gefle April 20 at Strömvallen. Marcus Pode put TFF in front after 38 minutes. Dragan Kapacevic tied the game a minute later. Ibrahim Koroma scored the winner for Trelleborg in the 58th minute. Prodigy goalkeeper Victor Noring made his first start of the season for Trelleborg.
Örebro 2, Häcken 1
GÖTEBORG – Örebro won its third match of the season, beating Häcken 2-1 April 21 at Rambergsvallen.
Andreas Hadded put ÖSK on top after 31 minutes with his third goal of the season. Matthias Ranegie tied the game 12 minutes later. The goal was his league-leading fifth of the season. U.S. international Alejandro Bedoya set up the game winner for Marcus Astvald in the 68th minute.