European football was once again at its unpredictable best this weekend. Having enjoyed some really exciting clashes, nail-biting finales, and plenty of great goals over the last two days, it is time for a quick highlight reel.
Here’s a look at five of the best moments from this weekend’s European action:
5. Outrageous Lacazette
With a rejuvenated Manchester United – courtesy of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer – added into the mix, the Premier League top-four race has been getting hotter by the minute. So, both Chelsea and Arsenal needed something positive out of their clast at the Emirates Stadium.
— T.Y (@TancuYilmaz) January 19, 2019
The hosts started the match on the front foot and got their noses in front after just 14 minutes of play. Last-season signing, Alexandre Lacazette, burst into the Chelsea box, left a couple of defenders for dead before squeezing the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga from an outrageous angle. The Gunners doubled their advantage through Laurent Koscielny’s sublime header only six minutes prior to the half-time whistle.
Also Read: PL Gameweek-23 – As it happened
4. Suarez’s Controversial Strike
La Liga leaders, Barcelona, were forced to work for their buck when Leganes came to town on Sunday night. The Blaugrana eventually registered a ‘convincing’ 3-1 win, but the outcome could have been a lot different had a second-half decision not gone in their favor.
Martin Braithwaite’s second-half equalizer forced Ernesto Valverde to introduce Lionel Messi. Just a few minutes after his introduction, the Argentinian called Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar into action. Cuellar failed to parry the ball to safety and allowed an on-rushing Suarez to slot in the rebound.
Suarez went through the keeper and kicked the ball into the net. Goal was given. Another regular day in La Liga while VAR sleeps. pic.twitter.com/678rmy4DMb
— Aditya (@aditkris) January 20, 2019
The Uruguayan clattered with the keeper while putting the ball into the back of the net, which all the Leganes players appealed against. VAR, however, did not spot any sort of foul play and allowed the goal to stand.
“I thought it was a goal,” Ernesto Valverde told Movistar, as per Goal.
“What can I say, everyone sees it from their point of view, but if the referee has given it, it will be a goal. With VAR, the controversy is not over. It’s a clear goal. Suarez does not touch the goalkeeper, they have reviewed it.
3. Llorente’s Own Goal
Having lost their talisman, Harry Kane, to an ankle injury, last week, Tottenham made the trip to Fulham hoping for a favorable result. The Kane-less era, however, started on the worst possible note when his replacement, Fernando Llorente, bundled the ball into the back of his own net.
Fernando Llorente's game by numbers vs. Fulham:
39% passing accuracy
2 shot on target
1 own goal
When does the window close? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/9PHv5nwpwq
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 20, 2019
Having handed Fulham the advantage, Llorente became desperately to make amends. However, despite his best attempts, he missed two very good opportunities to punish the hosts, capping off an unfortunate afternoon. To every Tottenham fan’s relief, Dele Alli and Harry Winks stepped up to the plate and secured all three points for the London outfit.
2. Salah’s Dive
Since making his debut for Liverpool, Mohamed Salah has emerged as one of the finest goalscorers in the Premier League. After shattering numerous records in his debut season, the player has kept up the intensity in this second season at Anfield, scoring 16 goals in 23 Premier League appearances.
In Saturday’s 4-3 win over Crystal Palace, the Egypt international starred with a superb brace. His performance was worth applauding, but it was his theatrics that stuck out like a sore thumb, In the first half, Salah went to ground inside the area under the slightest of contacts from Mamadou Sakho, hoping to get a spot kick.
— 🏋️♂️ (@shaz_2018) January 20, 2019
Alan Shearer blasted the player for his “embarrassing” dive, saying: “He feels a bit of contact and then realizes it a second or two later, and then goes down, and it is a dive Pretty embarrassing really and not good at all to see that. You can see the Palace players are going absolutely berserk and rightly so. They accuse him of diving and they are right.”
1. Casemiro’s Stunner
Having endured an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at Leganes in the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 clash, Real Madrid needed to get back to winning ways against La Liga rivals, Sevilla, on Saturday. Los Blancos dominated every aspect of play but were failing to convert the chances. Finally, the goal came, and from one of the unlikeliest of sources.
— The Giant White Shark (@TheGiantWhiteRM) January 19, 2019
With just 12 minutes left to play, Real Madrid defensive-midfielder, Casemiro, picked the ball a fair way outside the Sevilla box. He took a couple of touches to line himself up for the shot and rifled an unstoppable long-distance effort into the top corner. Luka Modric added the second in injury time to hand Los Blancos a convincing 2-0 win.