There’s consolation goals and then there’s ‘scant’ consolation goals like the one Klass Jan Huntelaar scored against Real Madrid. In any other circumstance, the Dutchman’s volley was worthy of winning any game if it wasn’t for the Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo blitz in the previous 89 minutes.
Category Archives: UEFA Champions League
The best things in life are free but don’t forget the six-figure contract or the agent fee. Okay, so Janet and Luther didn’t quite sing it like that but when Monaco is flashing the big bucks along with PSG, Manchester City and Chelsea like spoilt rich kids, it’s left to the rest to strengthen on a budget.
Cast your mind back 12 years to the 2002 World Cup. The first time the Jules Rimet trophy would be held aloft on Asian soil. Spanish hands were closer than English ones that’s for sure but as a 20-year old Joaquin stepped up to take a penalty against the surprise package of the tournament the Korea Republic the internet archives will show that tame strike was saved and Hong Myung-Bo put Guus Hiddink’s side through to the semi-finals at the expense of La Roja.
Everyone remembers the Zidane volley against Leverkusen, the Messi header in 2009 and Lars Ricken’s chip over Peruzzi because these goals were moments of sheer brilliance that proved to be the difference between picking up a runners-up medal and gripping both hands on that big Champions League trophy.
When Manchester United and Real Madrid were drawn against each other in the last 16 of the Champions League, tabloid journos no doubt would have been licking their lips at the prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo locking horns with his former teammates and Jose Mourinho doing another school playground jig down the Old Trafford touch-line come while the rest of us YouTubed that Ronaldo hat-trick and that Redondo skill that bamboozled Henning Berg.
Just as the world debated over whether Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s acrobatic strike was better than Maradona’s jinking run in ‘86 or Zidane’s volley against Bayern Leverkusen in the 2002 Champions League final, Milan’s French centre back Phillipe Mexes scored an overhead kick to rival the Swede’s finish and give the Rossoneri faithful something to smile about this season.
“Barry Bannan (17) delivered more accurate crosses in league matches than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues during September”. When that flashed up on my Twitter news feed, my first instinct was to favourite it. I’m not sure why at the time. I’m not sure how many are other people would. It’s not exactly Leon Britton being mentioned in the same tweet as Iniesta and Xavi, but the humble football stat is simply not just made for pub time fodder these days.