Hey! It’s soccer! Or football, whatever! The Premier League is back baby! Those pointless preseason friendlies and the miserable Gold Cup are a thing of the past. Jamie Vardy and Alexandre Lacazette are our glorious present and future. Late Welsh equalizers and meaty French foreheads somehow have Arsenal at the top of the league.
That’s the first response — from a Manchester United fan — on Twitter to Zlatan Ibrahimovic tweeting on Friday a photo of himself holding the Europa League champion’s medal after Manchester United beat Ajax in the final in Stockholm in May.
Ibrahimovic is receiving an awful lot of hate from fans of the team he scored 28 goals for last season before going down with a season-ending injury in April. His tweet was innocuous enough, with a picture and the words “Nr 33” in reference to his 33 trophies he’s won throughout his career.
A wonderfully invented goal from Isco and a successful foray forward from Casemiro were enough to overcome Romelu Lukaku’s first competitive Manchester United goal on Tuesday, and Real Madrid captured an early piece of silverware in their 2017-18 campaign by defeating Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup.
Last June, Real became the first club to successfully defend their European title in the Champions League era, and based off the evidence here, they have to be firm UCL favorites this season as well.
Good news: Beavis & Butthead has finally caught on in England. We know this has happened because in a Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United Leeds midfielder Connor Shaughnessy gave away a penalty when he demonstrated his Beavis & Butthead fandom by turning Bolton's Gary Madine into The Great Cornholio.
I have some thoughts on goalkeepers taking penalties. Goalkeepers taking penalties is a net positive from an entertainment standpoint. Goalkeepers taking penalties is a net negative, from a soccer standpoint.
Sure, there have been goalkeepers who double as penalty specialists and they are professional footballers, so they can be expected to have enough skill to score from the spot when called upon. On the other hand, hello Thibaut Courtois in the Community Shield:
ABBA is no longer just the greatest export of Sweden.
Arsenal defeated Chelsea 4-1 in a shootout following a 1-1 draw in the Community Shield on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. The match itself was nothing special but the ABBA format for shootouts made its debut in England.
The Champions League and Europa League have used end-line assistants for a few years now. The Confederations Cup used VAR this summer, and Major League Soccer will start using video review on Saturday. The English Premier League has popularized goal-line technology and this year will have a panel to suspend those who dive or feign injury.
It’s taken a while, but soccer is finally getting its shit together when it comes to officiating the game.
If Reiss Nelson played for Monaco, he’d probably be worth $60 million. But Nelson, 17, is on the Arsenal books and hasn’t seen much first-team playing time. Until this preseason.
Nelson impressed during preseason friendlies and sent Emirates Stadium into a frenzy on Thursday during an open training session. The winger scored an absolutely filthy goal that included a nasty nutmeg.
Easy 1-2 pic.twitter.com/72sfwHitf5
I don't know what will become of Portsmouth following its acquisition by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, but I can't help but hope it turns out exactly like this: