The Norrköping "nobodies" vault to top
There is a great scene at the start of the iconic baseball movie "Major League" in which Cleveland Indians fans are reading out loud the names of the team’s new players and don’t have a clue who any of them are. There are probably a lot of Allsvenskan fans who feel the same way about IFK Norrköping.
David Boo Wiklander?
Nikola Tkaclic?
Arnor Traustsson?
Who are these guys? The answer, at least with five matches left to play, is three starters on first place Norrköping.

Peking vaulted past IFK Göteborg to take over the top spot October 4 with a 3-1 win over BK Hacken. Göteborg, meanwhile, played to a 1-1 draw with lowly Halmstad, giving Norrköping the opening it needed.


Although it’s in first place, IFK Norrköping remains something of a mystery team. Peking has a core of Allsvenskan castoffs and also-rans, among them Daniel Sjölund, Niklas Bakroth, Andreas Johansson and Christopher Nyman. Head coach Janne Andersson then added some low-budget signings from the Superettan, sprinkled in a few internationals, such as Traustsson and Sierra Leone striker Ahaji Kamara, and somehow, this mix has simply blitzed its way to the top of the table.

Against Häcken, former Halmstads BK striker Emir Kujovic had a pair of goals to lead Norrköping to the win. Kujovic, who was a free-agent signing last year after his club in Turkey released him, led Peking in scoring in 2014 with 10 goals and now has a league-leading 19 goals this season. Kamara had the third goal as he came on as a first-half substitute for Christopher Nyman, who left the match in the 41st minute with a knee injury. Nyman is Peking’s second-leading scorer with 10 goals.

Norrköping entered the weekend a point behind IFK Göteborg and got exactly the help it needed as second-to-last Halmstad held Göteborg to a 1-1 draw at Gamla Ullevi. James Keene put Halmstad in front after 37 minutes while summer signing Haitam Aleesami tied the match at the 72-minute mark.

AIK all but ended any chances Malmö FF might have had at a three-peat with a 2-1 win over the reigning champions October 4 at Friends Arena in Solna. Henok Goitom scored his 16th goal of the year to lead AIK to the win. Malmö has 48 points and trails Norrköping by 12 with five matches left to play. While still mathematically possible for Malmö to claim its third consecutive crown, it is highly unlikely.

Marta may miss out
Magic Marta might just be losing some of her magic. The Brazilian superstar has won a club championship in every season since she turned pro in 2004 when she joined then-powerhouse Umeå IK in the Damallsvenskan. Now playing for Rosengård FC in Malmö, Marta this season finds herself in an off position as Rosengård is in second place with two matches left to play. The Brazilian, who led the Damallsvenskan in scoring in seven of her nine seasons in Sweden, has just eight goals this year, well off the pace of league-leading scorer Pernille Harder, who has 17 tallies. Harder plays for Linkoping, which is two points behind Rosengård and three back of current leaders Eskiltuna United.

Marta will have the chance to show she still has some of the magic that netted her five FIFA Women’s Player of the Year awards as the top-three teams play one another in the final two rounds of the season. Eskiltuna, with 46 points, plays Linkoping, 43 points, on October 11 while Linkoping ends the season October 18 against Rosengård, 45 points. The schedule favors Linköping, which has the chance to beat both teams ahead of it.

"It will be very exciting and fun to be fighting for the SM-gold," Harder told the website. "We have our future very much in our own hands but we have to keep focused in every match and do what we must."

Ronaldo matches records against Malmö
It was a history-making day October 1 when Real Madrid took on Malmö FF in a Group A match in the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League at Swedbank Stadium, but it wasn’t exactly the type of history Malmö fans wanted to see.

Real superstar Cristiano Ronaldo equaled a mark many viewed as unreachable as Lou Gehrig’s storied baseball streak when he scored twice to lead Real to a 2-0 win over MFF. His first goal gave the Portuguese striker 500 career goals and Real a 1-0 lead. He spent much of the second half berating and exhorting his teammates to set him up for a second goal, which came with seven minutes left to play. That second goal tied the all-time scoring mark for Real Madrid. Former Spanish international Raul and Ronaldo now hold the record with 323 career goals for the storied Spanish club. It took Raul more than 700 games to score his 323 goals while Ronaldo needed just 374 career matches to equal the record.

Ronaldo’s record-setting performance overshadowed what was a second-straight strong game from Malmö. The reigning Swedish champions, who are struggling domestically, played a mostly defensive game punctuated with sporadic counterattacks. Although Real controlled much of the play, it could turn its ball possession superiority into goals. Malmö net minder Johan Wiland had nine saves.

It is the second-straight 2-0 loss for Malmö in the Champions League and the second-straight match in which the Swedes again surprised a vaunted opponent with their defensive play. Malmö opened the group stage with a 2-0 loss in Paris to Paris St. Germain, managing to hold Zlatan Ibrahimovic without a goal.

Malmö next faces Ukrainian champions Shaktar Donestk in a home-and-home series that will likely decide whether the Swedes grab third place in the group and a spot in the later stages of the Europa League. Malmö plays host to Donestk on October 21 and travels to Donetsk November 3.