- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle9 hrs ago
Manchester United continue to plumb new depths of shocking helplessness and ineptitude under David Moyes, with their latest indignity coming in the form of a 3-0 loss at home to Liverpool. Referee Mark Clattenburg awarded the visitors a dizzying treble of penalties and sent off Nemanja Vidic on the third, which Steven Gerrard failed to convert. In doing so, he missed out on becoming the first Premier League player to score a hat trick entirely comprised of spot kicks (and at Old Trafford no less!). But when Luis Suarez scored six minutes later to finish off the day, Gerrard surely got over his disappointment. Still, even he must ask, "What if it continued?"
97' — Feeling left out as the only Man United defender not to concede a penalty, Patrice Evra makes a reckless challenge on Lucas, which prompts Daniel Sturridge to dive out of his seat on the bench. Clattenburg points to the spot.
98' — With Gerrard out of the match, Iago Aspas converts the penalty for his first Premier League goal because why not?
99' — Gerrard resumes his passionate affair with the camera, but is stopped by teammates just as he begins to remove his shorts.
- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle10 hrs ago
At a mere 26 years old, Lionel Messi has now scored 370 career goals to become Barcelona's all-time leading scorer. The four-time Ballon d'Or winner scored twice against Osasuna to match and then surpass Barca's previous scoring leader Paulino Alcontara, who played 13 years for the club before retiring in 1927.
Messi opened the scoring against Osasuna in the 18th minute. After goals from teammates Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta, Messi ran through several of Osasuna's nine useless defenders packed in the box to score his record-breaking goal from close range.
The Argentinian becomes the all-time highest goalscorer for FC Barcelona with 370 goals! pic.twitter.com/6PRU7KNC0z
It should be noted that goals in friendlies were counted in these totals, which, for Messi, only hastens his inevitable arrival at the 400 mark. Again, he's still only 26 years old. It's easy to forget that. Even though I've said it twice now.
UPDATE: Messi completed his hat trick to round out the day and Barcelona won 7-0. Osasuna might want to work on not letting that happen.
Clint Dempsey's poor form for club(s) and country in recent months seems to have made him angrier than usual and the testicles of Toronto defender Mark Bloom found this out the painful way.
Toronto's prized new scorer Jermain Defoe immediately showed up Dempsey by scoring twice in the first 25 minutes of his MLS debut in front of 38,441 Sounders fans. Meanwhile, Seattle and U.S. national team captain Dempsey decided to take his frustrations out on Bloom's crotch with a casual slap.
With that out of his system, Dempsey scored his first goal since October of last year, ending a 14-match scoring drought comprised of appearances for Seattle, Fulham and the USA. So maybe slapping opponents in the balls will become a new good luck ritual for him.
Dempsey's lone goal wasn't enough though, and the revamped Toronto FC won 2-1.
- - - - - - -
Thierry Henry scored his first goal of the new MLS season in the New York Red Bulls' 1-1 draw with Colorado and afterwards he proved that his celebration game is already in midseason form. Henry headed the ball under Rapids goalkeeper John Berner in the 57th minute and then hopped over the advertising board behind the net to commandeer a video camera from a nervous looking cameraman.
The Arsenal legend then briefly tried to film his teammates as they joined him in front of the home fans.
Thankfully, this unexpected encounter with a player worked out far better for this cameraman than the one at the Hoffenheim match earlier in the day.
Maybe Henry will do this after every goal he scores this season and they can then edit the footage together to make a very disorienting film.
- - - - - - -
The operator of a pitchside TV camera at the Bundesliga match between Hoffenheim and Mainz had to be stretchered off and taken to a hospital with a suspected concussion after Hoffenheim's Andreas Beck smashed into him.
Beck barreled into the camera and its operator, sending all three parties to the ground. As Beck himself recovered from the collision, his teammate Sejad Salihovic quickly noticed the cameraman wasn't moving and was the first to rush to his aid. Nearby medical personnel then took over and carried the Sky cameraman away.
You would think a large TV camera would be enough of a shield to protect you from an out of control footballer, but apparently it isn't.
Beck eventually came off in the 87th minute. Mainz won the match 4-2.
This has been the Dirty Tackle of the Day: a chronicling of unfortunate events.
- - - - - - -
Here's the most astounding overhead backheel goal you'll ever see, courtesy of the Jordan Pro League
Wonder goals can come from just about anywhere at any time and the Jordan Pro League proved that. In the 52nd minute of a match between Al Ramtha and Al Wahdat, the visiting side's Syrian striker Motaz Salhani scored the only goal of the match in absolutely stunning fashion. While Salhani charged towards the box, one of his teammates delivered a long pass behind him, so Salhani flicked his leg back and connected with the ball. This alone was pretty impressive, since he was running full speed and didn't break stride to execute his backheel overhead kick.
But the truly unbelievable part was that the ball arched high over the goalkeeper's head and landed softly inside the goal. The commentator went berserk and the goalkeeper could only hold up his arms in disbelief as Salhani and his teammates celebrated.
Other players have scored overhead backheel goals — Zlatan Ibrahimovic won praise for his variation earlier in the season — but few, if any, have combined the speed and distance of this one.
- Dirty Tackle1 day ago
Wayne Rooney's famous grit has been called into doubt by one of his international teammates. No, this isn't the first evidence of the England team coming apart at the seams ahead of the World Cup, it's just Joe Hart's blunt appraisal of Rooney's lack of bravery in goal.
Interviewed for FourFourTwo's new digital publication Football Weekly (which is free and worth checking out), the Man City and England keeper was asked if it's true that Rooney enjoys trying his hand at playing in goal during training sessions. Hart responded:
Yeah he does, he likes spraying the balls and catching balls but when it actually comes to whacking a ball at him, he's a wimp.
No man who endures not one but two hair transplants can be described as a wimp. Hart did have a more positive assessment of another one of their teammates' abilities as a goalkeeper, though.
- Dirty Tackle4 days ago
It was a slow start to the second leg of Barcelona and Man City's Champions League round of 16 tie, but in the final 45 minutes it came to life. And not in the way City needed to overcome their 2-0 disadvantage from the first leg.
Despite a rumor last week that City were planning to offer €200 million for Lionel Messi this summer — perhaps in a weak attempt to distract Barca ahead of the second leg — the Champions League's second highest scorer of all time added to Barca's lead in the 67th minute with a chip over City goalkeeper Joe Hart that was set up by a miscue from City defender Joleon Lescott. The situation then got even worse for City when Edin Dzeko was denied a penalty shout and Pablo Zabaleta was booked a second time for arguing, reducing them to 10 men in the 78th minute.
- Dirty Tackle4 days ago
First it was Chelsea, now some of Barcelona's best have gotten The Simpsons treatment to kick off a range of merchandise set to launch this year. Neymar, Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta are the first members of the squad to be turned into four-fingered characters. Perhaps fittingly, Xavi is the only one depicted without the hint of a smile on his face. A cartoon version of Jose Mourinho must be nearby.
- Dirty Tackle5 days ago
Newcastle's Olivier Kemen proved himself to be the Maradona of the FA Youth Cup, scoring with a blatant handball in the quarterfinal against Chelsea. With the visitors leading 1-0 at St. James' Park, the Newcastle U-18s had a free kick in dangerous position. Greg Olly curled the ball in over the head of one defender and Kemen reached out his fist and punched the ball in off of goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney to equalize in the 28th minute.
The Chelsea players protested as Newcastle celebrated and the goal was allowed to stand. Newcastle's official website claims Kemen "headed Newcastle level" even though the ball and his hand were both nowhere near his head.
In the second half, Kemen again used his hands in a way he shouldn't have.
Olivier Kemen booked for an off the ball incident, he slapped Colkett in the face.