Ups and downs of a PK shootout
Ups and downs of a PK shootout
Don’t mess with Webb
Thursday wasn’t a great day for Tottenham, having had their Europa League dreams essentially dashed by Benfica in a 3-1 loss.
The already-tense affair grew even more testy after Luisao scored his second goal of the contest. Benfica boss Jorge Jesus celebrated by throwing up three fingers, which appeared to be in the direction of the Tottenham technical area.
Spurs manager Tim Sherwood caught sight of it and took exception. At one point it looks as though Sherwood even squared Jesus up before thinking better of it. The world’s tiniest fourth official then stood between the managers as they shouted at each other, and cooler heads finally prevailed.
After the match, Jesus pleaded his innocence, saying: “I was saying ’number three, Luisao. Number three.’ That’s his own problem if he felt like that.”
Sherwood was unamused and accused Jesus of lacking class. “I thought his team were very good and showed a lot of class. It’s just a shame their manager didn’t,” Sherwood said.
"Waving goodbye like that? It lacks class. Why would anyone do that? He’s got a good side, of course he has, but not for me thank you. I have no intention of speaking to him.”
We can’t wait to see what the second leg has in store next week at Lisbon.
Something to cheer for
Austria’s Salzburg delivered athe most stunning Europa League result on Thursday night, defeating Dutch champions Ajax 3-0 in Amsterdam. One of Salzburg’s many heroes on their historic night: Jonathan Soriano.
The 28-year-old Spanish striker scored a spectacular goal from the halfway line which caught Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen off guard. As a result, Soriano’s thunderous boom puts Salzburg in the driver’s seat in their two-legged Round of 32 affair.
Not to be outdone, Porto’s Ricardo Quaresma — once touted as Portugal’s next prodigy — reminded everyone why he earned stints (albeit very short stays) with Inter Milan and Chelsea through his mediocre career.
The former Barcelona flameout whipped a curling strike in off the far post from 20 yards out after beating Eintracht Frankfurt right back Sebastian Jung on the wing.
The goal was not enough, as Eintracht Frankfurt came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Porto. Quaresma’s curler, though, was truly mesmerizing:
Not to be outdone, UEFA also announced the Europa League’s round of 32 matches on Monday, were Juventus must return to Turkey, the scene of their surprise Champions League exit, to face Trabzonspor.
Here’s the full draw below:
Image provided by Getty.
Anyone who said the Europa League is a meaningless competition clearly forgot to tell Dutch side PSV Eindhoven and Ukrainian squad FC Chornomorets Odesa.
With a shot at the round of 32 on the line, things became awful chippy between PSV’s Santiago Arias and Chornomorets’ Sito Riera late in the game.
As seen in the video, Arias gives Riera a less-than-friendly shove out of bounds. This sends Riera over the edge, in more ways than one. The winger charges Arias, shoving him and then popping him with a kick for good measure.
This overreaction starts a minor brouhaha, resulting in a yellow card for PSV’s Adam Maher to go on top of Riera’s red.
That wasn’t the only assault that took place in Thursday’s Europa League action. During an earlier match between St. Gallen and Swansea City. Look at that adorable girl just viciously attack that pretzel. It never stood a chance:
The scene calls up shades of one George Costanza:
Unabashed eating. Gotta love it.
It’s a well-known concept in soccer that there is no lead more dangerous than 2-0. Teams tend to play more conservative with a two-goal lead, which often makes them more prone to mental errors that end up shifting the momentum in the opposition’s favor. If you need any more proof to this theory, allow Bundesliga side SC Freiburg to demonstrate.
Freiburg held a 2-0 lead over Slovan Liberec in their Europa League opener on Thursday before completely falling apart in the second half. First, goalkeeper Oliver Baumann produced this awful howler to help Liberec get on the comeback trail:
Less than ten minutes later, Admir Mehmedi’s brain fart wiped out Freiburg’s lead for good:
Freiburg wasn’t done trying to self-combust, either. Karim Guede was sent off after committing a downright bone-headed handball in the 77th minute, exactly three minutes after getting his first booking for, you guessed it, another bone-headed handball.
The Germans did hold on to the draw, but after looking a sure bet to secure a comfortable home win to kick off its European campaign, none of Freiburg’s players must have found much consolation in the point.
Let this be a lesson to all!