Livorno’s Emerson challenges Milan’s Mario Balotelli for Europe’s goal of the weekend

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Perhaps Mario Balotelli deserves extra credit for dramatics since his 86th minute goal Friday against Bologna won the game for Milan, but for level of difficulty, Livorno’s Emerson might edge his on distance alone. From 15 yards inside his team’s attacking half, the Labronici defender put his shot just inside Vlada Avramov’s right post, converting from nearly 40 yards. The sure, why not try just before half time sent the visitors into the dressing rooms up 1-0 en route to a 2-1 win at Cagliari.

Let’s compare it to Balotelli’s, which we talked about here.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWCd3MNQA8Q]

Mario’s was hit from a lot closer to the penalty area, but it was also at a sharper angle. You could argue that increases the difficultly, but it also opened up the far post, with goalkeeper Gialuca Cerci playing the angle. After Balotelli got his shot high enough, the dip he put on the ball took advantage of Cerci’s positioning, leaving the keeper with no chance to stop the game-winner.

Emerson’s big disadvantage was the sure time Avramov had to see the ball, and given the defender’s shot wasn’t exactly the harder hit ball in the world, Avramov should have gotten to his right post. But Emerson seemed to time his shot perfectly, taking the goalkeeper by surprise.

As a result, the veteran defender scored one of the best goals of the weekend. Whether it’s better than Balotelli’s, we’ll let you decide.

WATCH: Rashford sends arrow home to put Man Utd up two

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Seemingly everything he touches turns to gold goals.

Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first 17 minutes of Wednesday’s League Cup third round match versus Burton Albion at Old Trafford, and the second was a beaut.

[ MORE: Everton fines Rooney ]

It was a classy little chipped finish that made it 1-0, but Rashford unleashed from outside the 18 to beat a flying goalkeeper and put a jewel on the scoreboard.

Well, not really a jewel, but picture that “2” as real shiny.

Rashford now has five goals in eight matches for Manchester United this season, and 22 in 78 for his career. He turns 20 next month, which is nice.

Everton fines Rooney two weeks’ wages

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Wayne Rooney‘s move back to Everton was always going to benefit the Merseyside community, though it wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Everton has fined Rooney two weeks’ wages following his admission earlier this week to a drunk driving charge.

[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]

According to the BBC, “Everton intend to give the entire sum – thought to be about £300,000 – to local projects through their Everton in the Community scheme.”

At a Monday court date, Rooney learned that he would not be allowed to drive for two years. He was also fined and assigned 100 hours of community service.

Rooney has two goals and an assist in nine appearances, all starts, for the struggling Toffees. He is not in the 18 for Everton’s third round League Cup tie versus Sunderland on Wednesday.

LIVE: Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal enter League Cup

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Five more League Cup third round games take place on Wednesday with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton all hosting lower-league opponents.

[ LIVE: Latest League Cup scores ] 

Holders Man United welcome Burton Albion to Old Trafford, while Arsenal host Doncaster Rovers, Chelsea welcome Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge, Everton clash with recently relegated Sunderland and Manchester City head to West Brom.

On Tuesday five Premier League teams were knocked out of the competition as Liverpool lost at Leicester City, Stoke were upset at Bristol City, Burnley lost to Leeds United on penalty kicks, Brighton lost at Bournemouth and Huddersfield were knocked out by Crystal Palace.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s League Cup roundup ]

Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s League Cup games with all games kicking off at 2:45 p.m. ET unless otherwise stated.

Click on the link above for live updates on all five games, while the fourth-round draw takes place after the games have finished.


Wednesday’s League Cup schedule

Arsenal vs. Doncaster Rovers
Chelsea vs. Nottingham Forest
Everton vs. Sunderland
Manchester United vs. Burton Albion – 3 p.m. ET
West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City – 3 p.m. ET

Men In Blazers podcast: Chelsea-Arsenal, Rooney, Pep

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Rog and Davo break down Arsenal’s draw at Chelsea, Wazza’s return to Old Trafford, and a robotic performance from Pep’s City side. Plus, a musical number at the end.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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