Bulls bruised in Vienna

Red Bull Salzburg (RBS) coach Ricardo Moniz is under enormous pressure after his team suffered a humiliating 2-4 defeat in Vienna yesterday (Sun).

The Bulls stood no chance against 32-time league champs Rapid Vienna in front of 17,500 fans at the sold-out Gerhard Hanappi Stadium. Rapid were the better side from the very start. Looking highly motivated as they staged an energetic approach to the game, the Green-Whites’ attackers posed a stark contrast to Red Bull’s static and disorientated back four.

Steffen Hofmann and Thomas Prager co-organised Rapid’s game brilliantly in front of the eyes of ex-Rapid stars Jan-Age Fjörtoft, Michael Konsel and Hans Krankl. It took the home side only five minutes to score. Defender Markus Katzer found the net before Roman Wallner equalised the score in the 28th minute. Three goals by former Magna Wiener Neustadt ace Guido Burgstaller followed (34’, 75’, 79’). Stefan Maierhofer, who came on in the 57th minute, narrowed the gap nine minutes from the end. However, his goal came too late for the Bulls to achieve a turnaround.

It was the fifth defeat away from home in a row for the team hotly tipped to win the title this year. Moniz declared after the match: “I will keep fighting, I will never give up.” The RBS boss criticised his team for lacking discipline and passion against Rapid who are now just three points down on leader FC Admira. The newly-promoted club – managed by ex-Rapid midfielder Dietmar Kühbauer – lost 0-3 against Austria Vienna on Saturday. It has been Admira’s first defeat in the Bundesliga since July.

Kapfenberg failed to get closer to ninth-placed Mattersburg on Saturday. The Styrian side lost against SV Ried 1-3. Mattersburg garnered one point against Innsbruck (1-1). Champions Sturm Graz keep disappointing their fans. Franco Foda’s team lost against Wiener Neustadt 1-3.

Match action in the Austrian Bundesliga will continue on Saturday when cup winners Ried host Innsbruck. Mattersburg will clash with Rapid the same day. The Bulls face Kapfenberg and Austria Vienna are set to play against Wiener Neustadt. The match between Sturm  and Admira (Sunday, kickoff: 4pm) will be broadcast live by TV channel ORF 1. Pay TV station Sky will screen all five matches live.

The Austrian Bundesliga table after 15 rounds:

FC Admira, 27 points
Austria Vienna, 26
Rapid Vienna, 24
SV Ried, 24
Red Bull Salzburg, 20
Sturm Graz, 20
Wacker Innsbruck, 17
Wiener Neustadt, 17
SV Mattersburg, 13
Kapfenberg, 9