The Trondheim club shrug off the disappointment of a Champions League qualifying defeat to maintain their lead of the Eliteserien.
After a few weeks of summer break, the Eliteserien returned this weekend with a full programme of league fixtures. A home defeat to Scottish champions Celtic was not the result Rosenborg fans wanted last week, but a return to winning ways in the league will be of some comfort.
Last season Rosenborg, Brann & Odd claimed the top three places. This time around the current top three – Rosenborg, Sarpsborg and Molde – all seem to be finding some consistent form after a season of anything but, which should set up a fascinating final 12 games in the chase for medals.
Rosenborg 4 Kristiansund 1
Niklas Bendtner must have enjoyed his summer as he marked the return with two goals and an assist as the league leaders made light work of Kristiansund. Daouda Karamoko Bamba gave the visitors hope with a goal after half-time to reduce the deficit to 2-1, but in truth any other result looked unlikely. The home win was assured thanks to two goals in two minutes from Bendtner and Jevtovic.
Sarpsborg 2 Haugesund 1
Sarpsborg continued their unexpected assault on the title with an impressive 2-1 home win over Haugesund. They were made to work for the points though, as the visitors led at the break after Sigurd Rosted beat his own keeper. A second own goal drew Sarpsborg level just after the hour, and just as it looked as if the blues would lose ground on Rosenborg, Ole Jørgen Halvorsen secured all three points with a composed strike in the fourth minute of injury time.
Tromsø 1 Molde 2
The result up in the Arctic followed the form book and while Molde look set for a title challenge, Tromsø look ever more destined for the drop having now lost 6 of their last 7 league matches. Things could have been different though as striker Thomas Lehne Olsen fired the home side in front after 25 minutes. But such is the lack of confidence within the northerners right now that they were pegged back within two minutes as Sander Svendsen netted for Molde. It seemed somewhat inevitable that Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men would find a winner, and they did just that through Erling Braut Håland’s late header.
The 17-year-old son of former Norwegian international Alf-Inge Håland has impressed many in his brief career to date. “He’s younger than my son, it was almost scary when we signed him,” said Solskjær after the match. “He is a boy with positivity and energy around him. He will be a very, very good football player.”
Ålesund 3 Brann 3
Brann continue to baffle in their push for the medal places. Known for their solid defence, it’s almost inconceivable to think the Bergen outfit would let a two-goal lead slip at any point let alone with just ten minutes to go. But Mustafa Abdellaoue (Mos) came off the bench to grab two late goals and extend Brann’s winless run to five games. With Bergen now ten points behind leaders Rosenborg, the title seems out of reach.
Viking 2 Lillestrøm 2
One of the reasons that fans of Viking continue to believe they will avoid relegation is determined performances and their ability to dig out a result. The Stavanger side looked rusty after the summer break and trailed 0-2 at half-time, but second half goals from Adegbenro and Høiland claimed what could be a valuable point for Viking.
Elsewhere in the Eliteserien, Odd recovered from a disappointing Europa League qualifying exit to beat Sogndal 2-1, while Sandefjord won a mid-table clash at Stabæk by three goals to one. In the Monday night game, Strømsgodset comfortably beat Vålerenga 2-0 in a game played out amid a Drammen downpour.
Photo credit: Einar Fredriksen