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The Good, The Bad & The Tragedy in Indonesia

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly returns after the international break and, this weekend, we finally got the answer to a question that has left many football fans puzzled for years; “what happens to the match ball after two players score a hat-trick in the same game?” People have argued that the first player to finish the hat-trick gets to keep the match ball while others argue that each player gets to go home with a ball. As we found out from the Manchester Derby, the answer is the latter. We’ll talk about that game as well as Barcelona going top of La Liga after Real Madrid drew, the North London Derby, the latest managerial sacking in the Premier League and finally, we pay our respect to the people in Indonesia. But first, we start with the Williams brothers over in Spain.  

THE GOOD 

The Williams Brothers at Bilbao  

2 weeks ago, in Athletic Bilbao’s 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano, Inaki and Nico Williams made history by becoming the first pair of brothers in 17 years to score in a La Liga game since Diego and Gaby Milito scored for Real Zaragoza against Barcelona in 2005. This weekend, they were again on the scoresheet except this time, they added their own twist to it by assisting each other as they beat Almeria 4-0. The win is Bilbao’s 3rd in a row and they’re now up to 3rd in the La Liga table with an impressive goal difference of +12.  

Erling Haaland & Phil Foden Dominate Manchester Derby 

Manchester City completely dominated Manchester United in the Derby as a stunned Cristiano Ronaldo watched from the bench. Erling Haaland & Phil Foden both grabbed record setting hat-tricks as the game finished 6-3; a scoreline that some might say flattered the Red Devils. You watched the game. You’ve seen all the records that were broken. You know the story. I’ll leave you with one stat; Erling Haaland (14) is just 9 Premier League goals away from last season’s Golden Boot total by Heung-min Son & Mo Salah (23). There are 30 games left.  

Pedro Scores 5-Minute Hat-Trick for Flamengo 

It’s been a great week for the Brazilian forward. On Tuesday, he scored his first goal for the Brazilian national team in just his second appearance as the Samba Boys beat Tunisia 5-1. On Saturday, he bagged a 5-minute hat-trick in Flamengo’s 4-1 win at home to Bragantino. Pedro now has 27 goals & 10 assists for his club this season with many suggesting he’s likely to earn a spot on the plane to Qatar ahead of the equally impressive Gabriel Jesus.  

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia On Target For Napoli (Again!) 

Napoli recorded their 4th league win in a row to stay top of the Italian Serie A after beating Torino 3-1. Zambo Anguissa grabbed a brace for Napoli but it was their summer signing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who stunned the crowd with a solo effort. The Georgian picked up the ball from his own half and took it all the way to the Torino 18-yard box before calmly slotting it past Milinković-Savić. Kvaratskhelia is arguably the signing of the season as the €10m Georgian Winger is now up to 5 goals & 3 assists for his new club in just 10 games.  

Barcelona Go Top Of La Liga 

For the first time since October 2020, Barcelona are top of La Liga. The Catalans might have appeared reckless in the transfer window, but their multiple gambles seem to be paying off as their new signings continue to make huge impacts. Robert Lewandowski scored the winner in a 1-0 win away at Mallorca, his 9th league goal of the season. Real Madrid surrendered the top spot after they dropped their first points of the season on Sunday evening in a 1-1 draw at home to Osasuna with Benzema missing a penalty that would have earned them a win. Everything seems perfectly set up for an El Clasico in 2 weeks at the Santiago Bernabeu.  

 

THE BAD 

Hugo Lloris & His Slippery Fingers  

Arsenal triumphed in the North London Derby, thanks to a 3-1 win & the most experienced player on the pitch, Hugo Lloris was arguably the worst player. He was beaten from distance by Mr. Partey but his double error in what proved to be the winning goal by Gabriel Jesus was inexcusable. His failure to punch the ball out of harm’s way was quickly followed by his embarrassing attempt to catch the loose ball which Jesus easily tapped in for the win. There are rumours that the French goalkeeper had his gloves stuck in a jar of mayonnaise at half-time but we’re unsure about that at the moment. Harry Kane scored a record-setting 100th away Premier League goal while also becoming the highest scorer in the North London derby but that wasn’t nearly enough for Spurs.  

Bruno Lage Gets the Sack  

Wolves finally pulled the plug on the Bruno Lage project after their loss to West Ham on Saturday, their 4th of the season. The club spent £100m on signing new players this past window to improve the squad but are currently sitting in 18th place in the Premier League table with just 1 win in their last 15 league games. With the club in danger of being embroiled in a relegation battle having scored just 3 league goals all season, it was inevitable that the Portuguese man would be shown the exit at The Molineux.  

Trent Alexander-Arnold in Real Danger of Missing the World Cup 

Debates about the Liverpool right-back making Gareth Southgate’s list for the Qatar World Cup have dominated the media with the trio of Kyle Walker, Reece James & Kieran Trippier all preferred to him. He didn’t cover himself in glory in Liverpool’s 3-3 draw at home to Brighton as he was partly at fault for 2 of the 3 goals as Leandro Trossard grabbed a hat-trick for the visitors, becoming only the 3rd opposition player to score a Premier League hat-trick at Anfield. Trent did play a part in Liverpool getting a goal as his corner rebounded off Adam Webster for an own-goal but, as has been made clear in the debates, the issue is his poor defending which doesn’t seem to be improving.  

Seattle Sounders Miss Out on MLS Playoffs  

For the first time since they joined the MLS in 2009, the Seattle Sounders won’t be in the playoffs. The reigning CONCACAF Champions League winners saw their 13-year streak come to an end after a 1-0 loss at home to Sporting KC with just 1-game to go in the Regular Season. Impressively, the Sounders had finished in 2nd position in the Western Conference for 5 seasons in a row heading into 2022 but can finish no higher than 9th as the Regular Season wraps up next week.  

Ramy Bensebaini Scores Bizarre Own Goal in Heavy Defeat  

Werder Bremen administered a 5-1 beatdown to Borussia Monchengladbach over the weekend with Bundesliga top scorer Niclas Füllkrug grabbing a brace (and an assist) as he continues to make a case for a spot on the German national team ahead of the World Cup. However, it was Gladbach’s defender Ramy Bensebaini who made the rounds for a rather comical own goal. With the score at 3-0, Bremen’s Marvin Ducksch’s overhit cross was so appealing to Bensebaini, he momentarily forgot he was on the opposing team and turned it into his own goal with a backheel Olivier Giroud would have been proud of.  

THE UGLY: The Tragedy in Indonesia  

In The Ugly section of this column, we usually breakdown underperforming teams like Leicester City, Juventus, and Cadiz. But, in the true meaning of the word, this was an extremely ugly and sad moment for the beautiful game.  

At least 125 fans & 2 police officers have been reported dead in a stampede after a game in Indonesia descended into utter chaos following fans’ invasion of the pitch. Indonesian side Arema hosted Persebaya with the visitors winning the game 3-2.  

A few of the home fans were said to have been angered by the result and were making their way to the pitch to let their feelings known to their players. These fans were said to have been stopped by the police and, allegedly, beaten as they were forcefully restrained from making contact with the players.  

This alleged excessive show of force angered more Arema fans in the stand and there was a full pitch invasion in protest of the beating. In a bid to de-escalate what was threatening to become a violent situation, the policemen were said to have fired more than 20 shots of tear gas into the crowd: a clear violation of FIFA’s safety rules. The resulting chaos saw 127 people lose their lives in a stampede as thousands scrambled to safety. Further reports suggest hundreds more to be (severely) injured from the sad incident.  

Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, has ordered the immediate halting of the league as well as a full investigation into this case. It’s a dark day for the beautiful game and thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has suffered because of this.  

 

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