Across Europe, we are fortunate enough to have a range of exceptional players and well-developed sides. At times we forget how much of a luxury this is. So we believe its time to highlight some of the best and worst moments on the pitch each week.
Strike Of The Week – Lukas Podolski (Nagoya v Vissel Kobe)
There were some very strong contenders for the strike of the week after the Champions League fixtures. Such as Sergio Canales's exceptional free kick finish, Raheem Sterling's whipping effort at the Etihad and not to forget Ronaldo's rocket against his former employer, Manchester United. However, two finishes from Lukas Podolski just topped the award. Especially as one was assisted by Andres Iniesta.
These two veterans have been tearing it up in the Japanese league since their Summer transfers. Podolski has now scored twelve goals for Vissel Kobe which makes him the 25th highest scorer in the club history. He's only forty-five goals from the top spot. His twelfth goal for the club secured the result but his eleventh was a finish of beauty.
Iniesta lifted the ball over the opposition defence, whilst they were on the edge of the eighteen-yard box, and found a travelling Podolski. He angled his body perfectly and almost let the ball strike his foot rather than the conventional way around. The finish floated in which gave Vissel the lead. Following an equaliser by the home side just after the break, the scores remained level until the 85′ min. Podolski struck blood again and doubled up with an aggressive strike which put the game to bed.
Save Of The Week – David De Gea (Juventus v Manchester United)
It is difficult not to select David De Gea every week but after witnessing his remarkable save against Juventus he had to feature. The last time United met Juventus in the Champions League it was the Italians who left with the win. Despite De Gea's best efforts in the first fixture, Juve eventually withered down United's defence and found their lead through Dybala. When they met again in Turin it would be again the Serie A Champions who scored first. Ronaldo scored his first European goal for his new club and made no effort to tone down the celebrations.
Man United somehow turned the game around in the last few minutes after a Mata free-kick and an unfortunate own goal from Sandro. This comeback was made possible thanks to David De Gea keeping his side in it. He could do little about Ronaldo's screamer, nonetheless, nothing else could beat the Spaniard on the night, not even this deflected ball which came from an effort by Cuadrado. Jose's side kept the deficit to one and overturned a tricky fixture in the Allianz Stadium.
Thump Of The Week – Matthew Challoner (Chorley v Doncaster)
We might not have heard about it much yet, but the FA Cup has just gotten underway. The teams lower down in the Football league are battling to progress in the tournament and one player has been on the end of a nasty tackle. Chorley faced Doncaster in the 1st round and will replay the fixture following a 2-2 draw.
It was a great game and youngster Herbie Kane got his name on the scoresheet twice for Doncaster. Another event on the timeline of the match was Matthew Challoner's early departure after a horror tackle. Studs up, reckless and just enough for him to win thump of the week. A potential career-ending tackle on the opposition.