“That was certainly one of the best goals I’ve seen in my time here,” Arsene Wenger said of his club’s first Saturday during their 4-1 at Emirates Stadium. He’s been managing Arsenal since 1996. “It was a mixture of technical quality, speedy thinking, quick reactions so it had nearly everything you want.”
It truly was remarkable: a play that seemed destined to break down at any minute, yet despite the level of difficulty increasing as they approached goal, Arsenal still found a way through.
Some of the touches during the sequence made you think the Gunners’ contributing trio had a bet with the rest of the team, where they would lose if any of them touched the ball more than once. In constant motion, in danger of overrunning the play (or having it pass them by), Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud pull out desperate, reflexive flicks to salvage an all-time classic movement.
Because of the stakes (relatively low), not only are people likely to overlook this goal, others will not have seen it at all. If this had taken place at the World Cup, however, that whole tournament would be known as the one with the Wilshere goal.
Spoiler alert, the goal is number one on this week’s countdown, but if you haven’t seen it yet, I’m not spoiling anything. There’s no way I could describe this goal in a way that would take away from the pleasure of seeing it.
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.