People used the term “Playstation goal” when a player shows the kind of mastery that’s usually reserved for a handheld videogame controller. The goal’s either some amazing dribbling feat, a long range blast, or the result of some aerial acrobatics.
In the video gams I used to play, the more common goals came from hitting a button the second you get close enough to score and, if you were lucky, seeing the ball fly through some defenders and into the goal for no explicable reason.
That’s the type of goal Lionel Messi decided to score for his 91st of 2012:
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With Barcelona up 1-0 at Real Valladolid. Messi takes the ball in the middle of the field and starts working his way left. As he turns toward goal a Real defender approaches. Somehow, he passes through him like he’s Patrick Swayze in Ghost.
Then, Messi just decides to shoot, hitting his controller’s buttons in a panic after when he couldn’t figure out how he passed through that guy. It doesn’t seem like a well-hit shot, but it rolls and rolls and rolls and the goalkeeper never moves. Then, after the ball is past him, the keeper dives to make the game seems more realistic, but the computer had already decided the shot was going in.
With some late dramatics, Barcelona went on to win the game 3-1 and move nine points clear of second place Atlético Madrid in the Spanish Primera Division.
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.
As soon as Brendan Rodgers was dismissed by Liverpool on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s name was tossed around as the likely successor to the then-vacant Liverpool managerial position.
However, according to Klopp’s representatve Marc Kosicke, Liverpool did not make contact with the German until after Rodgers had been officially let go.
“The first call from Liverpool came after the dismissal as coach of Rodgers,” Kosicke told Bild. “Before Liverpool there were naturally quite a few inquiries. But Jurgen always asked me not to take it any further.”
Club management was less committal than Klopp’s rep, but did say they had their eye on the German for some time. “We have learned to keep certain matters confidential. We had a meeting recently with Jurgen that he has talked about and I don’t want to talk too much about these conversations. But we have thought about him for a long time and everyone who knows football knows he is an outstanding manager.”
It’s relatively hard to believe Liverpool would have canned Rodgers without knowing for sure that a top-level target such as Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti were on board to replace him. It also would mean discussions of the contract terms and logistics would have moved at lightning speed, with just four days between the Rodgers dismissal and Klopp’s official unveiling.