After scoring 226 goals in a sensational eighty-year stint with Arsenal from 1999 to 2007, Thierry Henry’s sale to Barcelona was seemingly the end of the Frenchman’s legendary time with the Gunners. Five years later, after a period with Barcelona and currently on the books with Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls, Henry romantically returned to his beloved club on a two-month loan deal.
Paris Saint-Germain are up 3-0 on Stade Rennes in the Coupe de France before they pull this, and you probably feel some kind of way about that. You should, because it’s ultimately meaningless in the face of what we’re building up to: the greatest Round of 16 match in the history of the UEFA Champions League. That’s the back-to-back champions Real Madrid vs. this record-setting PSG side.
A trip to the Balaidos in Galicia is never tepid waters — Barcelona were made to weather their own storm in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula on Thursday in a frantic 1-1 Copa del Rey Round of 16 draw — and Celta Vigo again showcased their formidable home fortress in a 2-2 La Liga draw with Real Madrid on Sunday.
In the end, it’s all shock and horror for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal FC. Their 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday means it’s the first time since Wenger became Arsenal’s manager that they’ve failed to progress past the third round — a record of 21 straight seasons that’s now over. Forest are also the first team from a lower division to score four or more goals against Arsenal in the FA Cup since 1908.
Philippe Coutinho is coming, but before the Little Magician is able to impact his new side, Barcelona neatly summarized their 2017-18 season so far with a 3-0 victory over Levante that oozed class all around the pitch. The Camp Nou was witness to three beautiful goals on the day, one from Lionel Messi, another from Luis Suarez and the final from Paulinho off a mesmerizing Messi assist.
If you take your eyes off Manchester City, if you relax for just a moment, they will absolutely destroy you. Burnley learned that the hard way in the FA Cup third round. After the visitors took a surprise first-half lead, Manchester City punished them for a short lapse in concentration with Sergio Aguero scoring two goals in two minutes to turn a halftime deficit into a second-half lead on the way to a 4-1 victory on Saturday at the Etihad.
Tottenham attacker Son Heung-min saved his side from a calamitous home defeat to West Ham United after absolutely lacing a strike in the 84th minute of their Premier League encounter. Pedro Obiang had given West Ham the advantage in the 70th minute with his own vicious punt, but Son’s seventh goal of the EPL season saw Spurs salvage a draw.
It’s still a hugely disappointing result for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who sit fifth after 22 matches — three points behind Liverpool in fourth. The result also keeps sixth-place Arsenal only two points back on their London rivals.
Ousmane Dembele made his long-awaited return from injury in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey Round of 16 first leg match versus Celta Vigo, but the headlines were written by the man he replaced in the 72nd minute, 22-year-old winger Jose Arnaiz.
It’s one of the first lessons you learn playing soccer (or most any sport): play to the whistle. That tenet is even more important in the age of VAR, when professionals know the referee can consult replay to confirm goals, at least in countries that aren’t in the Dark Ages. The Mario Mandzukic goal vs. Torino was the result of Juventus punishing its rival for not playing to the whistle in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals on Wednesday.