After enduring a January full of transfer rumors, Javier Hernandez is responding with his finest form of the season. The Mexican striker found the back of the net again with a well-placed header for West Ham on Saturday. The Chicharito goal vs Watford was his third goal in four matches.
Tottenham’s torrent form at Wembley continued; Arsenal’s did not. Spurs won the North London derby 1-0 on Saturday thanks to a Harry Kane header and the Gunners’ hopes of securing the Arsene Wenger Memorial Trophy for finishing in the top four are all but dead.
Gianluigi Buffon, a legend of the game, set another milestone on Friday. The Italian goalkeeper made his 500th league appearance for the Bianconeri in a 2-0 win for Juventus vs Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi. Buffon also had a clean sheet — thanks to a little help from VAR and the woodwork.
Robin van Persie grew up in Rotterdam, where 15-time Dutch champions Feyenoord are something like a religion. Van Persie joined the club’s youth system as a 16-year-old after spending his formative years with Feyenoord satellite club Excelsior. He made his debut at 17 and spent three seasons with the first team before his transfer to Arsenal.
Philippe Coutinho scored his first goal for Barcelona after coming on as a halftime substitute in their Copa del Rey semifinal second leg against Valencia Thursday. Coutinho scored four minutes after coming on as Barcelona eased into the final with a 3-0 aggregate victory.
Coutinho’s finish was sure a tidy one, but the majority of the credit has to go to Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan brilliantly worked a bit of space before turning provider for Barca’s all-important away goal at a packed Mestalla.
Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City's shiny new center back, spent his formative years in the youth setup of Sporting Union Agen, a club in the French eighth division. Agen were about to go into administration when Laporte's January move from Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City saved the club.
We’re about 16 months away from the start of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France and FIFA released the official match schedule for the event on Thursday. The opening match will be played at the Parc de Princes in Paris, home of Paris Saint-Germain. Both semifinals and the final will be played at the Stade de Lyon. While both those venues are great, it’s hard to shake the feeling France is selling itself short with its stadium selection.
It’s rare one shares a pitch with Nigel de Jong and doesn’t come out with something bleeding, broken or bruised. Somehow, Germany referee Deniz Aytekin managed to survive offering the Dutch bad boy some candy before snarfing it down himself during a DFB Pokal match between Mainz and Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.
Whoever first said "never meet your heroes" obviously didn't see this young Stoke City fan's eyes light up when he figured out he was going to get to meet Peter Crouch.
Crouch, a tall, lanky center forward, is known as one of the game's good guys, so it's nice to see young fans so excited to see him, even if he is on the tail-end of his career.
Matt Miazga is a very promising young American center back who plays for Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie, on loan from Chelsea. Because we are interested in the goings-on of American players across the pond, we though it was newsworthy when Miazga was suspended for grabbing an opposing player's private region.
The incident happened on January 20, against Heerenveen in a 1-1 draw. The player whose crotch Miazga grabbed is Heerenveen right back Denzel Dumfries, which sounds like a made-up name but we assure you is not.
Here's a video of the incident: