With the 1-1 draw in last night Tallinn’s derby, it’s time to take a retrospective look to the past five matchdays.
Thanks to the European Cups, Flora have managed to gain a slight advantage over Levadia and Kalju as both lost points in the title race.
The Estonian defending Champions surrendered to Infonet on Matchday 21 with an incredible 2-3 loss at Kadriorg that gave Puśtov&Co. the first win ever against Levadia. They already managed a couple of times against Flora with similar fashion score, and finally, they also allowed themselves snatching the full stake away from the greens.
FC Infonet were indeed the great judge of the title fight as they were also involved in braking Kalju’s ambitions by compelling them to a goalless draw at Sportland Arena (Matchday 18).
During all this, FC Flora collected 4 wins out of 4 with an overall streak of 8 wins in a row. The streak was terminated last night in Kadriorg.
It is not the longest of the season as it levels with Kalju’s from Matchday 6 to 13.
FC Infonet have indeed showed a great act in the last five matchdays collecting as many points as Flora (13). Now they will take on Flora themselves next weekend for what seems to be an high-tension match for the destinies of the table.
In fact, Kalju are still behind there (-4). Probably they can only regret for not having come back from Narva with the three points. After suffering a huge amount of goals from Levadia (7) and Flora (6), the border-city club managed to hold the Pink Panthers to a goalless draw.
However, it will be time for Flora to try and take advantage from another derby as Kalju will ‘host’ Levadia in Kadriorg. The next weekend shall tell something more about how the title race will develop until the autumn.
Behind the top3, FC Infonet are indeed running fast.
Led by Manucho’s goals, the missing ingredient last season, and enjoying the good state of form of Kassim Aidara, Puśtov can be happy when looking at the table. Sillamäe was put behind and Levadia (the third place) are only 4 points clear.
He won’t probably talk this season as he did the last one causing a ‘jump-the-gun’ effect, however everyone can understand that the big target is reaching an historical third place at the expenses of one of the top3 (we forecast this at the start of season). It will not only mean jumping on the podium and being awarded the bronze medal but also earning a pass to Europe for next season. It’s the big dream of a club which got promoted from Esiliiga less than a couple of years ago.
The pursue of their targets will certainly interfere with the title-fight, hence their role of ‘deciders’.
Behind those four, Sillamäe has shown some signals of recovery, however their results keep to be fluctuating.
After the top5, there is a fifteen-point gorge before reaching Paide Linnameeskond (40 points Sillamäe, 25 Paide).
The gap highlights how the Premium Liiga is basically divided into a ‘title pool’ and a ‘relegation pool’ de facto. In this imaginary group, Paide are doing very well as they keep Narva Trans away (+9) and are 13 points clear of the play-off spot.
Unless Rooba’s side will undergo some earthquake, they will safely sail into salvation harbor before time and with no hassle.
We cannot say the same about Narva Trans.
Contrary to the quiet seas Paide has been sailing across, the Eastern Estonia club is a vessel on the brink of shipwrecking. The 0-0 against Kalju is the first positive result after weeks of turmoil, players leaving, coach being sacked and other amenities including injuries and a 15-year-old player fielded in defense. Their 16-point tally is far from making them feel safe as Tammeka are just two behind and Kalev four. Probably Tammeka are their real opponents as the Tartu club has shown the will to overcome the rivals and secure themselves behind Paide in the direct clash in Narva.
Can they do that?
Yes, and probably they would manage faster if they were to finally win one game at home. They still have 11 attempts, more than anyone else. Last year they were four wins at Tamme Stadium, including a famous scalp taken away from Levadia. Can they level? The very first chance is coming up during next weekend against Kalev. We will not jinx it by saying ‘now or never’, however it's really time for the warm Tammeka fans to taste the joy of victory.
Kalev have seen their best striker in Premium Liiga (Belov) leaving for Germany and have the other good one, Omanidze, missing game after game with assistant coach Meijel not speaking about the reasons behind his absence. He is probably still looking for a club abroad. Kalev are the only side that have not collected a single point in the last five games.
They managed to do worse than Lokomotiv who, at least, added other two points to their poor tally summing up to 5 points collected. The negative record for Premium Liiga with 10 teams, is the 4-point tally collected by Lasnamäe Ajax in 2011.
A small achievement, at least, it was reached for the newly promoted and very likely to return to Esiliiga with the first train in the morning.
RdS Best XI for the second round (from matchday 10 till 18)