WATCH: Rob Friend, Mauro Díaz give Oscar-worthy performances to earn Saturday penalties

1 Comment

The LA Galaxy’s acquisition of former Canadian international Rob Friend had gone slightly under the radar during the preseason, but thanks to an Academy Award-worthy performance from the 33-year-old, the January acquisition will now be on most MLS fans’ radars. In the 92nd minutein Carson, with his team trying to pull back Joao Plata’s goal, the Bundesliga veteran did his best to draw a whistle on Real Salt Lake right back Tony Beltran. The result was a Lebron James-worthy flop that gave Robbie Keane a chance to equalize from the spot.

In the season’s first ‘ball don’t lie’ moment, Nick Rimando made a diving save at the base of his right post, preserving his team’s 1-0 win as well as mitigating the damage from Javier Santos’s bad call. Friend, however, still deserves some special recognition for his performance. Given only 17 minutes in his Major League Soccer debut, the striker could have easily faded into the turmoil that is the typical late-match chaos. Instead, summoning a performance that would make Matthew McConaughey blush, the former Borussia Mönchengladbach forward nearly earned a point for his new team.

Unfortunately, Robbie Keane couldn’t be his Jared Leto, but before we concede this award to Friend, let’s consider the exaggeration FC Dallas creator Mauro Díaz provides to Jed Brovsky’s tug in Frisco:

In both cases, replacement officials are likely to get scrutinized, if not outright blamed. But these are the types of calls even the best officials can mess up. Looking at the play from above the penalty area, the officials can’t see how much contact the defenders actually make with their marks.

In both cases, different angles showed that contact was minimal. Unfortunately for the officials, they had to pass judgement based on flawed views.

Zlatan becomes PSG’s all-time leading goalscorer

HARRISON, NJ - JULY 21:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic #10 of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates his goal in the second half against AFC Fiorentina during the International Champions Cup at Red Bull Arena on July 21, 2015 in Harrison, New Jersey.Paris Saint-Germain defeated ACF Fiorentina 4-2.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2012, and he is already the club’s all-time leading scorer.

After scoring both of PSG’s goals in a 2-1 win over Marseille today, Zlatan’s tally is up to 110 goals for the club, eclipsing Pauleta’s mark of 109. However, Pauleta needed 79 more matches to reach that number.

Zlatan has scored at a blistering pace since moving to Paris, having seasons of 35, 41, and 30 goals in his first three years at the club. Early into his fourth season with PSG, he has four goals through seven matches.

Not only has Zlatan achieved great success individually during his time at Parc des Princes, the club has dominated French football during his tenure.

[ RELATED: Twitter reacts to Rodgers getting sacked at Liverpool ]

Since Zlatan moved to Paris in 2012, the club has won three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, two League Cups, and one French Cup. During that time, Zlatan was twice named Ligue 1 Player of the Year and won two Golden Boots as the league’s top scorer.

Zlatan’s contract with PSG is up at the end of this season, and it has been long suspected that he will move on and join a new club next summer. Despite turning 34 earlier this month, Zlatan has proven his is still one of the world’s elite goalscorers, and will have his choice of clubs should he leave PSG.

Atletico and Real draw 1-1 in Madrid derby

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 04: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF wins the header after Gabi Fernandez of Atletico de Madrid during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Vicente Calderon Stadium on October 4, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Luciano Vietto scored with less than ten minutes to play to earn a draw for Atletico Madrid against their crosstown rivals Real.

Karim Benzema had given Real Madrid an early lead, heading home a cross from Dani Carvajal in the ninth minute. While Cristiano Ronaldo may get all the headlines, Benzema has been superb for Real, scoring six goals in seven La Liga matches this season.

[ RELATED: Rodgers sacked at Liverpool ]

Atletico had a golden opportunity to draw level in the 22nd minute when the hosts were awarded a penalty, but Keylor Navas made a brilliant save to deny Antoine Griezmann, keeping Real ahead.

Still trailing 1-0, Diego Simeone made a substitution for Atletico in the 58th minute, bringing in Luciano Vietto for some added strength on the attack. It was the 21-year-old’s first taste of a Madrid derby, and he proved to be ready for the pressure.

[ RELATED: Why Arsenal can win the Premier League title ]

With the clock winding down, Jackson Martinez played a cross in from the left wing, and after a slight scramble in the box, the young Vietto cleaned up the scraps to level the score in the 83rd minute.

The result leaves Real Madrid second in La Liga, one point behind leaders Villarreal, while Atletico sits fifth, three points off the leaders.