Hulk, Gareth Bale and Samuel Umtiti Deliver World Class Goals During Europa League (GIFs)
The UEFA Europa League is kind of like the NIT in basketball—a sort of second-tier consolation tournament for European soccer clubs who didn’t make it to “the big dance” that is the Champions League. However, that doesn’t mean the quality of play is not still excellent. Just like the NIT in relation to the NCAA Tournament, there are always clubs in the Europa League who are actually superior to some of those playing in the Champions League. Thus, the quality of play is still very high.
Want proof of that? Just look at these three incredible goals scored in Europa League play yesterday alone.
First we have one from a match that saw Zenit St. Petersburg’s defeat Liverpool by a score of 2-0. (Hey, remember when Liverpool used to be really good?) The score was still 0-0 heading into the final 20 minutes of the match when Brazilian forward Hulk—maybe the best one-word name for a Brazilian soccer player ever—fired a rocket into the upper left-hand corner of the goal from 30 yards out. Check it out:
The other two fantastic goals from Europa League play yesterday came from the same game: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Lyon. The first was scored by Tottenham’s 23-year-old midfielder Gareth Bale, who is simply on fire right now (7 goals in his last 5 games). It came on a free kick in first half stoppage time, and it seems to defy the laws of physics. Take a look:
But Lyon wasn’t about to let that one goal stand. Just 10 minutes into the second half, Samuel Umtiti scorched a volley into the upper right corner of the Tottenham goal. In fact, the shot was so perfect that the keeper didn’t even move. See for yourself:
Bale would go on to score another goal off a set piece in extra time to give Tottenham the win. But Lyon had the highlight of the game.
In any case, it was a good day for Europa League soccer. If they were all like this we wouldn’t even need the Champions League.
Hat Tip – [101 Great Goals]