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.