SUMMARY: Montpellier and Berlin confirm contender status

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European Handball Federation

The group phase of the EHF European League Men 2022/23 reaches its halfway mark Tuesday with round 5, which includes SL Benfica against Montpellier HB and Füchse Berlin against Skanderborg-Aarhus as two of the standout matches.

  • round 5 of the EHF European League Men 2022/23 group phase with 12 matches across the four groups on Tuesday
  • Fejer B.A.L-Veszprém, Hard, Balatonfured, Motor and Aguas Santas all avoid defeat for the first time
  • Berlin pushed hard en route to 30:24 victory, Montpellier outstay Benfica to win 26:24 and Nexe join them both on five straight victories
  • check out the standings in the four groups


Tuesday 6 December 2022


That is it for our coverage of a long and very enjoyable evening of European League action. 10 of our 12 matches were genuinely hard-fought encounters, you can't ask for much more than that, can you?

Nexe, Montpellier and Berlin hold on to their perfect winning records at the halfway mark of this group phase. We'll be back with more of the same next Tuesday, goodnight!



A reminder, if you needed it, of just how brilliant Villeminot was for Montpellier in crunch time. 4 of his side's final 6 goals and this was the best of them.

And let us not forget Charles Bolzinger with a ridiculous 18 saves at a 45% save rate.


Great to see HC Motor get a point on the board today. The club we are well used to seeing in the EHF Champions League are making the most of their situation, forced away from Zaporozhye, and hopefully today's draw in Portugal will kickstart a brighter second half of the group for them.

22:23 | RESULTS

What a batch of second halves we just had. Motor and Aguas Santas share their first points, Montpellier grab a win, Schaffhausen and Sporting both come from behind to grab away victories. Here is your overview.

Aguas Santas Milaneza 26:26 HC Motor
SL Benfica 24:26 Montpellier HB
TM Benidorm 32:38 SG Flensburg-Handewitt
Frisch Auf Göppingen 24:25 Kadetten Schaffhausen
Alpla HC Hard 30:30 Balatonfüredi KSE
Skjern Handbold 28:30 Sporting CP
Bidasoa Irun 32:20 HC Eurofarm Pelister


Kyllian Villeminot has entered beast mode - scoring four of Montpellier's last five goals. That paired with Charles Bolzinger's saves sees Montpellier two goals up.


Kyllian Villeminot smacks home a pair of thunderous shots, keeping Montpeliier in touch, before they retake the lead. We're into the final five minutes now and it's difficult to see a clear winner just yet.


Boom! 4 goals in a row and Benfica are on top again. Belone Moreira hitting top gear and driving his side into a 21:20 lead with 11 minutes left on the clock.


A quickfire double from Lucas Pellas puts Montpellier three up, 20:17, and Benfica are under pressure now. Goals have not come easy to them tonight and Chema Rodriguez will have to act fast to find some solutions.

In total, five of our seven matches are very much alive. Benidorm's chances of a result tonight are not alive but that won't stop them from unleashing some smooth moves.


At the start of the second half, Montpellier have gone with the wise old heads of Valentin Porte, Diego Simonet and Stas Skube in the back court and it appears to be working a treat. Their composed attack combined with the same defensive tenacity of the first half sees them lead 16:14 after 5 minutes.

21:25 | HALF-TIME

Notching to choose between our teams in focus, 12:12 at the break, and the majority of our late games are much the same. The German sides have built decent leads and Bidasoa Irun are the only team to be running away with their game so far.

Aguas Santas Milaneza 14:15 HC Motor
SL Benfica 12:12 Montpellier HB
TM Benidorm 17:21 SG Flensburg-Handewitt
Frisch Auf Göppingen 14:10 Kadetten Schaffhausen
Alpla HC Hard 14:15 Balatonfüredi KSE
Skjern Handbold 15:12 Sporting CP
Bidasoa Irun 20:12 HC Eurofarm Pelister


Both goalkeepers, Sergey Hernandez and Charles Bolzinger, and their defences are playing out of their skins tonight, both beyond a 40% save rate so far. 9:9 a surprisingly low score with 24 minutes on the clock.


Yanis Lenne is off to a flying start for Montpellier with four goals, but there is very little to choose between the sides so far, 8:7 to the French club after 17 minutes.


Despite the big-name clash, the crowd is a bit sparse in Lisbon and I wondered why. Of course, most Portuguese sports fans have their eyes fixed on their national team in another ball sport, but the die-hard fans who came out tonight are being treated to an exciting and even start!


We're off with our final batch of matches tonight. We'll begin focusing on SL Benfica vs Montpellier HB, reigning champions vs 2018 Champions League winners sounds good to me!


We've already experienced so much this evening but believe it or not, we have seven more games left to enjoy. Here is what is coming your way at 20:45 CET.

Aguas Santas Milaneza vs HC Motor
SL Benfica vs Montpellier HB
TM Benidorm vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt
Frisch Auf Göppingen vs Kadetten Schaffhausen
Alpla HC Hard vs Balatonfüredi KSE
Skjern Handbold vs Sporting CP
Bidasoa Irun vs HC Eurofarm Pelister

20:18 | RESULTS

Berlin run out six-goal winners in the end and claim top spot in group D all for themselves. Despite the loss, there will be plenty of positives for the Danish side to take, knowing they could go toe-to-toe with one of the European League's finest.

Meanwhile, there is late drama in Hungary as FTC score a last-gasp penalty to claim a draw against Valur. Bendeguz Bujdosó holds his nerve and the spoils are shared in Budapest.

FTC 33:33 Valur
RK Nexe 39:36 Fraikin BM. Granollers
Füchse Berlin 30:24 Skanderborg-Aarhus
PAUC Handball 34:36 Ystads IF HF


Tight games elsewhere, including in Budapest, where the increasingly impressive Valur are on the verge of another away win...


Just when it was looking a bit precarious, Berlin show us why they are top of the Bundesliga and going clear at the top of this group.

The likes of Wiede, Holm and Drux pop up with quickfire goals and all of a sudden, they lead 26:22 with just 7 minutes remaining.


You don't need to endure terrible football matches to catch penalty saves - Salah Boutaf has you covered!

3 saves from the seven-metre line for Skandeborg-Aarhus' keeper so far tonight and his team have drawn level again - 20:20 with 15 minutes left on the clock.


Skandeborg-Aarhus doing well to stay in tough but I'll turn your attention momentarily to France, where Ystad have hammered in 11 goals in 13 minutes to take control of that game. They lead 26:23 and Kim Andersson is having a laugh with 5 goals so far.


Berlin open up a 3-goal lead for the first time today, thanks to Mijajlo Marsenic, rediscovering his early-game form. 17:14 to the home side and an early test of Skanderborg-Aarhus' nerves.

19:23 | HALF-TIME

The headline match between the unbeaten sides has lived up to expectations so far, so have all of today's games so far. Here is where we stand at the break.

FTC 14:18 Valur
RK Nexe 18:16 Fraikin BM. Granollers
Füchse Berlin 15:13 Skanderborg-Aarhus
PAUC Handball 18:15 Ystads IF HF

Plenty of games toing and froing, making all of them worth keeping an eye on when we return for the second half!


A combination of excellent saves by Salah Boutaf and back court power from Balling and Sommer has kept Skanderborg-Aarhus in this contest - is it sustainable though?

11:10 to Berlin, who now realise they have to step it up a gear tonight.


Elsewhere, we have tight matches all around, only Nexe hold a substantial lead so far. Ystad were off to a flyer but are currently leve with PAUC.


Hákun West av Teigum will be moving from the Danish side to Berlin next season. The Faroe Islands right wing is enjoying his first taste of action there with two early goals and we're still level at 8:8 with 15 minutes played.


Skanderborg-Aarhus have really impressed in their first European season to date but this is quite a step up tonight for them. So far, so good, however, drawing 3:3 after 6 minutes and Morten Balling scoring all of their goals.


On we go to the 18:45 throw-offs, four games to choose from...

FTC vs Valur
RK Nexe vs Fraikin BM. Granollers
Füchse Berlin vs Skanderborg-Aarhus
PAUC Handball vs Ystads IF HF

I think we'll start with a clash between the two teams in Group D with perfect records, Füchse Berlin vs Skanderborg-Aarhus, and see how that goes.

18:30 | RESULT - Fejer B.A.L-Veszprém 30:28 Tatran Presov

Fejer B.A.L-Veszprém are off the mark! The Hungarian club turn things around in the second half to claim their first win of the group phase, while Presov must wait to break their duck.

Benedek Éles scored the final goal for the home side, concluding a performance that matched the up-and-down nature of the contest as a whole - 9 goals from 18 for him, expensive shooting but the 9 goals he scored were all important.


It's getting nervy here, into the final five minutes and Fejer B.A.L-Veszprém lead 28:26. Neither side has earned a point yet, remember, so it will be fascinating to see how the tension affects both teams.


While Fejer goalkeeper Balogh has kept up his strong keeping stats with 15 saves and almost 40% save rate, it hasn't happened for Presov.

Marcos Colodeti has come on and made 2 saves but more needed as Presov trail 26:23 with 10 minutes remaining.


A cultured finish by Dominik Gál gives Veszprém a two-goal lead for the first time. Gál is a local but only joined the club recently from Croatian side Gorica, with whom he played in the third-tier European Cup this season. It's his second European League game with his new side and he seems to be settling in nicely.


Fejer B.A.L-Veszprém have come flying out of the blocks in this second half, three goals from Gabor Pulay has inspired a quick comeback and they now have the lead - 20:19!


As the second half in Hungary has just begun, here's a reminder of what is yet to come after this opening course.

18:45 CET
FTC vs Valur
RK Nexe vs Fraikin BM. Granollers
Füchse Berlin vs Skanderborg-Aarhus
PAUC Handball vs Ystads IF HF

20:45 CET
Aguas Santas Milaneza vs HC Motor
SL Benfica vs Montpellier HB
TM Benidorm vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt
Frisch Auf Göppingen vs Kadetten Schaffhausen
Alpla HC Hard vs Balatonfüredi KSE
Skjern Handbold vs Sporting CP
Bidasoa Irun vs HC Eurofarm Pelister

17:36 | HALF-TIME - Fejer B.A.L-Veszprém 13:16 Tatran Presov

That's it for the first half of an interesting game where both sides have enjoyed purple patches. Presov will feel they could be more than three up but at the same time, the home side will be confident they can turn things around.

Both goalkeepers, Tibor Balogh and Igo Chupryna, are enjoying life with a 36% save rate. Szmetán and big Oliver Rábek lead the scoring with 5 a piece.


This is one topsy-turvy contest. Presov open up a five-goal lead again before turning the ball over twice and allowing Peter Szmetán two goals on the break. 5 goals already for the Fejer Veszprém right wing and he is keeping them in this game.


It took a bit of time but the home side have finally come to life. A 5:1 run sees Fejer B.A.L-Veszprém reduce the deficit to 11:10 and force a Presov timeout.


Presov are off to a flyer here and look really confident in front of goal. The most impressive aspect of their performance so far is that they have 7 different goalscorers, with only Oliver Rabek scoring more than once. 8:5 to the away side after 11 minutes.


Here we go! Fejer B.A.L-Veszprém and Tatran Presov have yet to score a point in this group phase, that is one thing we know will change at the end of this 60 minutes of handball.


But, as usual this season, the round throws off with an early game in the Veszprém Arena at 17:00 CET, this time the group A meeting between Fejer B.A.L-Veszprém and Tatran Presov. And while we have just spoken about the teams that have won all four matches so far, both Veszprém and Presov have lost all four matches...

Can Veszprém please the home crowd today with the first points of the season? Watch the match live on EHFTV – just like the following 11 matches tonight!


Benfica against Montpellier is a game every handball fan would look forward to, but this match is an extra special one for Benfica's Alexis Borges. The line player was with Montpellier in the 2020/21 season before joining Benfica and helping them win the EHF European League last season.

“One day I said I was going to join this club and I was going to help to win titles and make history for SL Benfica. That's what's been happening,” Borges says in this feature written by EHF journalist Tiago Nogueira.


So, we are getting to the halfway point of this 10-round group phase tonight. After four matches, only four teams are still unbeaten – and two of them go head-to-head in Berlin at 18:45 CET: Füchse and Skanderborg-Aarhus, the joint leaders in group D.

Also, Nexe in group C have the maximum of eight points, and they host second-place Granollers at 18:45 CET in another promising tie this evening.

And, of course, Montpellier are proud leaders of group A, but the two-time EHF Champions League winners will be put to the test by defending EHF European League champions Benfica: this match in Lisbon starts at 20:45 CET.

Not that you need it, but to warm up even more for tonight, here are the Top 5 Goals from last week's round 4 again:


An exciting schedule tonight with 12 interesting matches across the four groups. Here is the round preview for you with detailed info on each game:


Tuesday afternoon, four o'clock... you know what that means! A new round of the EHF European League Men throws off in one hour, so welcome to the live blog for today.

Let's quickly check the matches that are on the schedule:

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