Jonny Nicol returns to guest this week as we return to midseason form with a bumper episode rounding up the weekend's J1 Matchday 33 action.
We begin at the top with Kawasaki now within touching distance of a fourth top flight title in five years after their home win over Shimizu on Sunday, coupled with Yokohama F.Marinos losing away at Cerezo Osaka in the late game, left Frontale 12 points clear with five games to play. Next we cover the draw between Nagoya and Kobe in the battle for third, and the wins for Urawa and Kashima that kept them right in the hunt for a return to the ACL in 2022 (to 41:20).
Part 2 begins with a key victory for Jonny's Gamba Osaka side that eased any lingering relegation fears, and also includes vital wins for Sendai and Shonan that took them off the foot of the table, and saw them escape the drop zone, respectively. We finish our top flight roundup with the draw in the dogfight six-pointer between Tokushima and Oita, and the scoreless draw up at the Sapporo Dome.
We conclude the episode with a look ahead to Wednesday's Emperor's Cup semi finals, and Saturday's Levain Cup Final.