World Football's Top 10 Goals of the Week (March 2-9, 2012)
Another week has passed in this tumultuous season, so it's time for some reflection.
As goals are, at their core, the ultimate aim of football, what better way could there be to review the week than by counting down the best goals from it?
With Champions League and Europa League (and even a couple FA Cup) fixtures adding to the domestic scenes, there was a lot of great action to see and some great goals to boot.
Here is another installment of my Top 10 Goals of the Week.
Let's hope every week from here on out gives us the same quality of goals this one did.
10. Atletico Madrid vs. Besiktas: Adrian Lopez
In the Europa League match last night between Atletico Madrid and Besiktas, Adrian Lopez ran rampant on the Turkish side's defense.
This was no more evident than in his goal, the third for Atletico.
After intercepting a pass in his own half, he dribbled at the defense with incredible pace and close control.
He looked up and cut inside, seemingly looking for a good option to which to pass.
When none showed itself, he cut again, slicing the defense and getting into the box with a clear look at goal.
He then shot a scorcher past the keeper, and a lunging defender and onto the crossbar, where it then deflected downward and past the line.
The poor play of the defense may have made this goal possible, but this does not diminish the quality of Lopez's run and finish.
More from this match later.
9. Seongnam vs Nagoya: Heverton
It was an Asian Champions League group stage match between Korean club Seongnam and Japanese club Nagoya.
Trailing 2-1 with stoppage time ticking to a close, Seongnam sent a desperate throw into the box.
It was headed clear, but not very well.
The ball ended up popping into the air by the edge of the side of the box, where Seongnam's Everton Santos performed a bicycle kick.
His kick functioned as a cross, as it looped right to Seongnam forward Heverton, who performed a second bicycle kick and put the ball into the back of the net.
It was the last kick of the game and salvaged a point for the Japanese outfit.
Double bicycle kicks like this are extremely rare; however, there may be a reason for that: the extremely poor defending of Nagoya really deter from the greatness of this goal.
Just look at the sluggish ball-watching of the Korean side's defenders as the ball is flying to Heverton.
8. Manchester United vs Tottenham: Ashley Young
In the English Premier League match that surely made the season a two-horse race, Ashley Young's second (and United's third) was definitely the goal of the game.
Young took the ball outside of the box, put it onto his right foot and bent the ball across the goal, past Brad Friedel's outstretched arm, and into the left side of the net.
This may have been a more impressive goal had Young not made similar plays throughout the season.
In fact, his goal had a strong resemblance to the one he scored against Arsenal in August.
7. Sporting Lisbon vs Man City: Xandao
On this you can bank: if the last touch on a goal is a back-heel, it will be in this list.
This goal is made even more impressive since it was scored by a centre-back and won the match for Sporting Lisbon over mighty Man City in the first leg of their Europa League tie.
So why is it not further up the list?
Well, Joe Hart really should have done better with it.
In a very uncharacteristic play, the English keeper had two separate chances to cover the ball up, and didn't do it either time.
But still, it's a back-heel.
6. Arsenal vs Liverpool: Robin Van Persie
Robin van Persie was the hero for Arsenal again on the weekend.
This time, in an important Premier League match against Liverpool, van Persie scored twice from a goal down (once in stoppage time) to grab victory for the Gunners.
This is the first of his goals, a beautiful left-footed volley.
The Liverpool defense did poorly on the goal, letting RvP beat the offside—an argument could even be made that Pepe Reina should have done better, and not have been beaten near-post.
However, it was an incredible bit of skill, the blast was hard and the shot was perfectly placed in the corner.
5. Besiktas vs Atletico Madrid: Simao
Besiktas may have been beaten handily in the first leg of their Europa League tie with Atletico Madrid, but of the four goals in the match, they had the best.
32-year-old Portuguese winger Simao Sabrosa contributed this stunner to the list.
His team were down 3-0 at the time, but the goal does allow a glimmer of hope for the Turkish outfit.
He may not have celebrated the goal too much, but we certainly are.
4. Galatassaray vs Sivasspor: Necati Ates
In a Turkish Super Lig battle, Galatassaray moved ever closer to the title with a 4-0 thrashing of Sivasspor.
Their opening goal is this golazo.
Necati Ates collects possession at 35 yards, hits the ball up to himself and then volleys a dipping beauty past the Sivasspor keeper.
It was a true piece of skill, but it was more that the keeper got caught out of position than the strike was undeniable.
3. Santos vs Internacional: Neymar
In the Copa Libertadores, Brazilian clubs Santos and Internacional did battle in the group stage.
This also meant that the two young Brazilian strikers and friends, Neymar and Leandro Damiao, did battle.
The two took over the match, accruing all four goals for either side.
However, it was Neymar who got the better with a hat-trick and the win for Santos.
The second of Neymar's three was his best, as he picked the ball up well in his own half, dribbled past defender after defender with pace, and chipped over the keeper.
His third was not much different, but he went a lesser distance than the second.
These goals will only make the question of what club he ends up at in the near future an even hotter topic.
2. Porto vs Benfica: Hulk
Hulk vs Benfica
You know, there is a reason they call him Hulk.
After a Porto corner was cleared (seemingly) adequately, Hulk collected and dribbled (seemingly) harmlessly on the edge of the side of the box.
Suddenly, he created an inch of space and fired a cannon-ball of a shot (which registered at 108 km/h) past Artur.
Out of nothing, Hulk gave Porto the lead, a lead that they held onto to defeat Benfica at their home and move three points clear in the Liga.
1. Fenerbahce vs Genclerbirligi: Miroslav Stoch
And number one comes to us from the Turkish Super Lig.
Genclerbirligi have been a surprise package this season, currently sitting in fifth, Fenerbahce have had a typically good season and currently sit in a distant second.
With these two meeting in an important match, it seemed as though a good match was to be had.
Instead, Fenerbahce blew the doors off, dismantling their opponents 6-1.
The tone for the rout was set in the second minute by Miroslav Stoch, who put his name into the hat for goal of the season.
After winning a quick corner, Fenerbahce flooded the box with players and looked to be setting up looking for a header.
Instead, the corner was lobbed deep behind the mass of players, with Stoch setting up shop about 20 yards from goal.
Recognizing the space Stoch had created, two defenders came out at him to challenge.
Instead, Stoch took the cross on the volley and hit a perfect laser into the top corner.
That is how you get the top goal of the week.