Top 12 Goals of the Week

The ability to find a teammate is central to the game of football. Footballers should always be looking to retain possession of the ball. Sounds simple, no? Well, not everyone appears to have got the memo.

At 32-years of age, French keeper Julien Lachuer should be familiar with the principle of ball-retention. But it all went horribly wrong for the Brest custodian in the Coupe de France this week, with the keeper assisting Guingamp’s Badara Sene in scoring a freak goal which killed the tie. With the ball running loose outside the goalie’s area, Lachuer raced off his line to clear the danger. And it was all going so well, Lachuer collecting the ball under no real pressure and having time to decide where he wanted to send his clearance. But then this happened.

Another player who struggled big-time this week in holding possession was Sevilla’s Adriano. The Brazilian’s thought-process was spot-on in the early exchanges of the Copa del Rey match at Valencia, as rather than simply hoof the ball forward, the number 15 looked to maintain his side’s control of the play by giving the ball back to his keeper Palop. Great thinking, shocking execution.

Lastly, we head to the Portuguese Superliga to once again highlight defenders who seem to have graduated without learning how to ply their trade. And, while in both the above examples it was clear how possession was supposed to be retained, sadly for Rio Ave’s not-so wonderful number 2, Gaspar, we are left wondering what exactly the full-back was trying to achieve in arguably the balls-up of the week.

Facing his own goal under pressure from Amadora forward Rui Varela, the defender decided against all the obvious, sensible options which were available to him (i.e. play the ball back to the keeper or kick the ball into touch), instead opting to play his way out of trouble. Gasper’s decision was to play a pass to a teammate by lifting the ball blindly over his shoulder and into their path.

It couldn’t have gone much worse.

Happily, the past seven days have been far from doom and gloom in the main, and as usual we have collected the best of the best strikes to hit the back of the net.

The goal of choice this week appears to have been the long-range “howitzers,” with missiles crashing into nets all over the planet accounting for goals 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 11 and 12.

Goal 3 offers a super free-kick, while the acrobatics are satisfied by goal 4.

On the more subtle side, goal 6 shows off a combination a fine close control coupled with a brilliant end product.

And if you only get time to see one goal this week, make sure to check out the lob positioned at goal 7.

As always, all we ask is that you sit back and enjoy!

1. Walter (Brazil v Paraguay, Jan. 20, 2009)

2. Nani (Manchester United v Derby, Jan. 21, 2009)

3. Giles Barnes (Manchester United v Derby, Jan. 21, 2009)

4. Nourdin Boukhari (NAC v Groningen, Jan. 22, 2009) (pictured)

5. Bruno Herrera (Real Murcia v Celta Vigo, Jan. 22, 2009)

6. Armando Reyes (Honduras v Nicaragua, Jan. 24, 2009)

7. Nene (Nacional v Sporting Lisbon, Jan. 24, 2009)

8. Nicolas Cordova (Grosseto v Pisa, Jan. 24, 2009) (0.40 seconds in)

9. Frank Lampard (Chelsea v Ipswich, Jan. 24, 2009)

10. Danny Webber (Sheffield United v Charlton, Jan. 24, 2009) (1.00 minute in)

11. Gianni Munari (Lecce v Torino, Jan. 25, 2009)

12. Esteban Granero (Getafe v Sporting Gijon, Jan. 25, 2009) (0.30 seconds in)

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Narrowly missing out on this week’s list were goals from Stefano Mauri, Nicolas Lodeiro, Ignacio Scocco, Cristiano Moraes, Moussa Sissoko, Jose Barkero and Kaka.