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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Weekend Roundup: Racism mars United’s derby win; Son, Suarez’s hit wonder goals

While a man was arrested for racist abuse directed at Manchester United players, Son Heung-min and Luis Suarez scored worldies, and Juventus suffered their first league defeat this season.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: December 9, 2019 4:11:17 pm
Manchester City and United players react after items thrown at Fred at Etihad stadium (Source: AP)

There’s no such thing as too much football. That was proved during this football-heavy week as the Premier League saw matches almost every day. Then came the weekend with action in other leagues as well. This week saw Manchester’City’s momentum dip further after a derby loss to Manchester United and some wonder goals.

Manchester derby leaves City’s hopes in tatters

He started the week with critics saying his job was on the line, but with two wins in the week, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ensured his stay at Old Trafford won’t end any time soon. His side beat Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur by outsmarting mastermind managers Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho respectively.

City’s title hopes were dented further after they suffered a 2-1 derby defeat, leaving Guardiola’s champions 14 points behind leaders Liverpool. Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial put United 2-0 up at the break and City only pulled one back in the 85th minute through Nicolas Otamendi.

Football racism not restricted to just Italy

Despite making a statement at the Etihad, what also made headlines was the racism directed at the United duo of Fred and Jesse Lingard. As a corner was about to be taken, Fred and Lingard were targeted with racist abuse, and objects thrown at them by Manchester City fans.

Cameras even captured an incident in the second half where a 41-year-old man made monkey-like gestures at the United duo. British police on Sunday arrested the man after the video went viral.

An angry Solskjaer said after the match, “I’ve seen it on the video. Fred and Jesse in the corner taking coins from the City fans first of all, so they’ve got to go away. And then there’s this not-so-intelligent fella chanting racist abuse towards my two players and I hope City and the authorities will deal with it, because he shouldn’t be watching football again. Not live, anyway.”

“We have to stamp it out. We keep talking about it every single week and it’s not acceptable. He should not be allowed back into a ground. That’s how simple it is,” he said.

Stand-out goals

Luis Suarez came up with a superb shot using the back of his foot as Barcelona beat RCD Mallorca 5-2. Describing it the ‘best goal’ of his career, Suarez was quoted by Marca as saying, “I knew that it was a tight angle and the last option I had was to hit it with my heel. I was looking to bounce it because I had very little chance against the goalkeeper. It’s the best goal of my career.”

Son Heung Min also mesmerised the fans with a wonder goal as Tottenham Hotspurs beat Burnley 5-0. Collecting the ball just outside his own penalty box, Son dribbled 80 yards, and past almost the entire Burnley team, in 12 seconds to score.

Jose Mourinho dubbed the South Korean as ‘Son-aldo,’ recalling a goal from the Brazilian striker Ronaldo while he was in Barcelona. “Before this goal my son calls him Son-aldo and today he was Son-aldo!” Mourinho said. “This was an amazing goal. I know that he is going to reach the face of the keeper, his control is unstoppable. The keeper is good, but he managed to put it in.”

Messi with another good week

On Monday, football star Lionel Messi won a record sixth Ballon d’Or. On Friday, the Argentine footballer, who is the top scorer with 12 goals in 10 games, took home the La Liga Player of the month. And this is despite the 32-year old missing the first four games of the season due to injury. On Saturday, he scored a hat-trick as Barcelona moved back top of La Liga with a 5-2 victory over Real Mallorca.

Messi finally beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s La Liga hat-trick record, scoring in the 17th with a superb curling left-footed shot into the top corner and then with another well-placed strike from outside the area in the 41st. He completed his record 35th league hat trick from inside the area in the 83rd after Suarez’s pass.

Real Madrid are right next to their rivals at the top with the same number of points after beating Espanyol. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid stretched their winless run to four games in all competitions. After being held to a 0-0 draw at Villarreal, Atletico are sixth in the table on 26 points from 16 games.

Juventus suffer first loss of the season

Defending Italian champions Juventus slipped to their first Serie A loss this season, a 3-1 defeat by Lazio. Luiz Felipe, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Felipe Caicedo scored at the Stadio Olimpico as Lazio recovered from an early goal by Cristiano Ronaldo. Simone Inzaghi-led Lazio are now three points shy of second-placed Juventus. Inter Milan remains at the top with a two point lead.

On the other hand in Bundesliga, Borussia Monchengladbach made major strides to remain at the top of the table with 31 points, as they defeated holders Bayern Munich 2-1, owing Ramy Bensebaini’s brace. Just behind them are RB Leipzig who are on 30 points, after their 3-1 win against Hoffenheim. While Borussia Dortmund are third with 26 points, Bayern are seventh after two consecutive defeats.

 

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