This weekend was a wild one in the terraces of European football. The uncontainable passion of football supporters was on display from the first all the way down to the fifth division, spanning from Portugal to Bulgaria. Although some matches were tinged by instances of violence, the Ultras world reminded us why how they can elevate the game to another level.
At Litex Lovech against CSKA Sofia supporters of the away side did everything they could to try and inspire their players to score their first goal in 8 games. Although the result did not go their way, they put on an incredible display. This was particularly surprising after tensions between fans and players boiled over Last week.
The Derby della Mole is not the most known derby in Italy, however after this weekends clash, fans are likely to start paying more attention to the Turin based fixture. As Juventus arrived at the stadium, the Granata supporters attacked the team bus. Both teams unveiled choreographies celebrating the tradition of two clubs that both have a history of success in Italy. After a hard fought match that saw 11 home supporters suffer injuries from a paper bomb explosion, Torino managed to grab their first derby win in 20 years.
As Benfica took on Porto, the home supporters put on a stadium wide choreography to welcome in the biggest match in Portugal. The match ended 0-0, keeping Benfica 3 points ahead of Porto at the top of the table. After the game, the clubs managers clashed, both blaming the adrenaline of the match for their tensions boiling over. The choreography spells out “Juntuns” or “United” in their quest to win the league cup.
Red Bull Leipzig II took on Lokomotiv Leipzig, we were reminded of the passionate fan experience throughout the German 5th division. There were 2,770 fans in attendance, 2,000 of which were there away to support Lokomotiv. Many supporters throughout Germany have a disdain for Red Bull’s expansion into German football, and for Lokomotiv, this is no different. At the end of the match some supporters tried to fight, however the police were able to diffuse tensions. Any way you see it, this is an incredible display of support for the lower rungs of a football league.
As Slask Wroclaw’s supporters went away to Lech Poznan this weekend, no one was expecting the away support that was on display. As the match began, around 1,000 Slask supporters were left outside the ground for the first 30-35 minutes. When the fan’s finally managed to enter the ground they unleashed a display of epic proportions. First unveiling scarves and banners, and then lighting an abundance of pyros. They threw a number of flares onto the pitch to protest the FA for holding them outside the ground for the beginning of the match. All in all, it is great to see supporters bringing this kind of environment to away grounds.