This week's South Korean contributions in European domestic football were headlined by two men: Park Chu-Young in France and Lee Chung-Young in England.
For the second consecutive game South Korea striker Park netted a vital goal for relegation-threatened AS Monaco in France, his 11th minute strike in the 1-0 home win over Ligue 1 leaders Lille pulling the former UEFA Champions League finalists out of the drop zone.
Monaco began the day in the bottom three but thanks to Park’s sharp instincts and finish – capitalising on a lapse in concentration at the back – they are now one point above Auxerre, who occupy third-last.
Lee Chung-Young’s Bolton are having a rather more enjoyable season in the English Premier League, thanks in no small part to the excellent form of the midfielder.
He again turned in an effective display in his side’s 3-0 win over struggling West Ham, starting and finishing a move with a thumping header in the 20th minute of the match, his effort sandwiched by a Daniel Sturridge double. Lee will now prepare for an FA Cup semi-final against Stoke City in just under a week.
With five games remaining in the German Bundesliga, Koo Ja-Cheol is another Korean with a relegation battle on his hands at Wolfsburg. The attacking midfielder who took the Asian Cup by storm in January turned in a poor individual performance as his side crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Schalke, leaving them two points away from safety in the drop zone.
Staying in Germany, Son Heung-Min was on the bench for the full 90 minutes as Hamburg were held to a 1-1 draw at home by league leaders Borussia Dortmund.
After sitting out Celtic’s 3-1 midweek win over Hibernian, both Ki Sung-Yeung and Cha Du-Ri started against St Mirren at the weekend. Ki was taken off in the 61st minute of the match, 17 minutes before Kris Commons netted a winner that keeps the Glasgow giants on top of the Scottish Premier League table.
Park Ji-Sung contrastingly wasn’t called upon by Sir Alex Ferguson in Manchester United’s 2-0 English Premier League win over Fulham, an unused substitute. However, he did play a key role in United’s 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in the UEFA Champions League a few days earlier, where he turned in a typically assured and tidy performance.
Back in France and Nam Taee-Hee was an unused substitute in Valencienne’s 1-1 draw at home with Nancy, while Jung Jo-Gook similarly warmed the bench as Auxerre were held to a 2-2 draw by visiting St Etienne. Lee Young-Jae didn’t have a part to play in Nantes’ stalemate at Chateauroux in Ligue 2.
Ajax closed the gap on Eredivisie leaders FC Twente to three points with a 2-0 victory against Groningen but prodigy Suk Hyun-Jun wasn’t in the matchday squad, though Kim Nam-Il managed a full game in Tom Tomsk’s scoreless draw at home with Anzhi Makhachkala.
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