We’re five weeks into the season and we finally have it. The goal of the season. I’m not sure if anyone else should even try, because it’s going to be difficult to top this one. I’ll get to the rest of the goals that highlighted this weekend’s set of fixtures, but first we must address the heinous act of mass destruction that took place at the end of last week.
Let me set the stage for you: Friday night, Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom, 8:30pmish local time. Liverpool visiting Chelsea. Liverpool have been a bit inconsistent through four weeks, though they are coming off a convincing victory against reigning league champion Leicester City. A win away from home against a very 2014 Chelsea-looking Chelsea would be an even greater boost in confidence for the Reds.
An early goal by Dejan Lovren puts Liverpool in the lead and audibly kills the excitement at the Bridge. But Chelsea’s woes don’t end there. Some 20 minutes later, Liverpool, still clutching a one goal advantage, find themselves deep in their attacking third on a throw in. The throw is played sloppily by Adam Lallana and is snagged by a Chelsea defender who clears it out of danger. Or does he? The clearance only travels a few yards and lands at the feet of our unsuspecting hero. Enter Jordan Henderson.
Just previous to this, Mr. Henderson had been standing far back from the run of play picking buttercups in the grass and holding them under James Milner’s chin. When suddenly he’s pulled back to reality as a ball lands at his feet. Dropping the buttercups he looks up to see meters of wide open pastures in front of him. A golden opportunity has arisen.
And what does our hero do? Does he sidestep the charging Chelsea defender and pass to an open Nathan Clyne to his right? Nay. Does he send in an arching cross to a waiting Firmino at the far post? Indeed not. Does he drive towards goal for a closer and likely more accurate shot? You jest. Instead, he neatly settles the ball with his right foot like Robert Redford calming Scarlett Johansson’s horse in the Horse Whisperer, takes two tiny little stutter steps and rips off an ICBM of molten hot magma from 25 yards that curls perfectly at the last second into the upper 90 of the netting just beyond the outstretched finger tips of Thibaut Courtois. Stamford Bridge turns from raucous London night club to a mortuous vacuum devoid of sentient life in under a second. Lights out. Pack up Blues. Go home. Good night.
And there you have it, kids. The goal of the season thus far and a bed time story for the ages.
That little tale is entitled Jordan Henderson and the Decent Try… It’s More Than That:
And a bonus angle:
I would be foolish to not show Jurgen Klopp’s reaction as well:
Now to the Rest:
Juan Zuniga (Watford) with the winner on his first touch off the bench (83′) vs. Manchester United (2-1)
Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) goal (75’) vs. Stoke City (4-0)
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) phenomenal give-and-go with Iwobi (55’) vs. Hull City (2-0)
Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) freekick under the wall (15’) vs. Bournemouth (1-0)
Gareth Barry (Everton) volley off a deflection (24’) vs. Boro (1-0)
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) garbage time blast from distance (90’+2’) vs. Hull City (4-1)
From Around the World:
Part 1: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) late freekick equalizer (89’) vs. Sporting Lisbon (Champions League)
Part 2: Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid) with the miracle header in stoppage (90’+4’) to defeat Sporting Lisbon (Champions League)