We were sadly denied one of the all-time great golazos in the Europa League tonight due to an arbitrary refereeing decision.
As the ball bounced and sat up in front of him, Yoann Gourcuff pinged the ball with a nonchalant, almost contemptuous swing of the right leg over the flailing Betis keeper and into the back of the net.
The only rub though, was that the ref had blown the whistle just before he took the shot, for a foul by Bafe Gomis in a 50-50 aerial challenge with a Betis defender.
It’s hard to judge from the gif, but the foul does seem a marginal, six of one, half a dozen of the other call, and it’s all the more the pity for that.
The consolation for Gourcuff though, is that the keeper went for it, and that he’d have scored with or without the ref’s whistle.
So close, no cigar.