Despite only being three games in, we’ve already learnt a lot about many of the clubs battling it out to be crowned Tippeligaen champions this season. However, as is always the case with Norwegian football’s top tier, expect anything and everything to happen as what is bound to be a typically whacky season unfolds.
It’s been a rough opening few weeks for reigning champions Molde, and this weekend marked their third straight defeat in a row, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table as the only side without a point on the board yet this season. Just one goal was enough to beat them when they travelled to Bergen to take on Brann, with Amin Askar scoring ten minutes from time to give Rune Skarsfjord’s side a much-needed boost after last week’s 4-0 loss to Rosenborg.
A frighteningly powerful Rosenborg side did the same damage to Sogndal this weekend that they did to Brann the last when the two sides met at Fosshaugane Campus on Sunday evening. After a goalless first half an hour, the visitors struck three times in just fifteen minutes through Tobias Mikkelsen (the Dane’s first for the club since his move from Greuther Fürth in January), Nicki Bille Nielsen (also his first since his move from Villarreal at the same time as his fellow Dane) and Jonas Svensson. Tarik Elyounoussi then wrapped up an emphatic win with fourteen minutes left to play to keep Rosenborg’s 100% league record intact.
Aalesund too picked up their third win out of as many games in a thrilling encounter at home to Hønefoss. Michael Barrantes and Leke James put the hosts 2-0 up after only fifteen minutes before two goals in thirteen minutes soon after from Raymond Mendy and Kevin Larsen forced the two sides to go into the half-time break with the scores level at 2-2. Hønefoss then went ahead five minutes into the second half through Riku Riski before Aalesund embarked on a comeback of their own ten minutes later when Peter Larsen equalised for them and Demar Phillips scored the deciding goal just six minutes later.
Behind Rosenborg and Aalesund, Viking are currently the third best side after the opening three games of the season thanks to the slender 1-0 victory they picked up away to Lillestrøm on Sunday afternoon. Johan Lædre Bjørdal scored the eventual winner on the stroke of half-time to give Viking their second win so far and their first win away to Lillestrøm in thirteen years.
It’s also been a positive start to the season for newly promoted Sarpsborg 08 as their 1-1 draw away to last season’s second-place finishers Strømsgodset means that they remain unbeaten this campaign. Similar is the story for fellow promoted side Start who are also unbeaten – albeit after playing only two games so far, not three – thanks to an impressive 2-2 draw against Tromsø this weekend.
Nearer the bottom of the table, Sandnes Ulf and Haugesund’s 1-1 draw saw the two sides pick up their first point of the season, whilst goals from Frode Johnsen and Adem Güven in the thirteenth and twentieth minutes, respectively, secured their first victory of the new season at home to a Vålerenga side who have three points after three games.