Top 5 Chelsea Goals: The David Luiz Edition
Like anything, football has its heroes and villains.
On one hand you have territorially loved and universally hated footballers like John Terry; on the other hand, you have territorially loved and universally appreciated players like Gianfranco Zola.
David Luiz falls in the latter category.
The Chelsea defender/midfielder has become somewhat of an icon in West London over the past three years. Sure he may have the occasional lapse in judgement, but by and large the Brazilian international has been a terrific dressing-room influence and sound purchase.
Will he remain with Chelsea past this season? Possibly not.
Is he loved by Chelsea fans? Without a doubt.
Should Luiz's West London stay be coming to an end, Stamford Bridge has been witness to sumptuous displays of footballing prowess. Whether by set piece or from long range, the Brazilian has certainly shown his class.
Honourable Mention: Bayern Munich, May 2012
Similar to his other four teammates, Luiz's penalty in the Champions League Final isn't registered on his official goals tally, but if you were to ask the Brazilian which moment of his career had the most impact, you'd think his 2012 spot kick against Bayern Munich would be atop the list.
After Juan Mata's first and unsuccessful penalty, the feeling was inevitable: "An English team is going to lose to a German team on penalties—it's how football works."
Down 2-0 after Mario Gomez converted, "Sideshow Bob" dribbled the ball, kissed it, placed it on the spot and took a long walk outside the "D."
More than a few Chelsea supporters must have been thinking: "He's going to blast this over the bar."
Luiz roared his penalty beyond Manuel Neuer into the top-right corner—an unstoppable effort and the best technical penalty of the night.
From thereon the Blues didn't miss, the Bavarian giants missed twice and Chelsea won the trophy which had tormented them for years.
5. Basel, April 2013
According to former Chelsea midfielder and assistant manager Ray Wilkins, Luiz's free-kick technique was learned practising with Didier Drogba.
The side-foot free kick, a la Drogba or Cristiano Ronaldo, has usurped the likes of Frank Lampard and Juan Mata on many occasions, yielding spectacular results.
Late in a Europa League fixture last April, the side of Luiz's boot gave Chelsea a 2-1 stoppage-time victory against FC Basel. Many players might have gone for power, but the Brazilian chose to place his effort and give the goalkeeper something to do. Yann Sommer fluffed his lines, and Chelsea won the match.
Chelsea have had their trouble with the Swiss side in recent months, losing twice in the 2013-14 Champions League group stages, but last season's Europa League away goal helped Chelsea progress to their eventual UEL triumph.
4. Nordsjaelland, October 2012
In another display of dead-ball proficiency, Luiz's free kick against Nordsjaelland in the 2012-13 Champions League group stage was pinpoint accurate.
As Lampard provides an equal threat from set pieces, the Danish goalkeeper must have been sick—with sufficient reason. The side-footed effort nicked the post and found the net, contributing to Chelsea's group-stage victory.
3. Aston Villa, December 2012
A part of that drumming was a stunning Luiz set piece from 24 yards out.
Clearing the Villans' wall and finding the back of Brad Guzan's net, the Brazilian helped set the wheels of destruction in motion.
If only Chelsea could have borrowed two of those seven auxiliary goals this Saturday.
2. Basel, May 2013
So we've seen the free kicks, Luiz has obviously got a great right boot, but what about his left?
FC Basel found everything they possibly could have about the Brazilian's "weaker" side in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final last year.
Eden Hazard picked out Lampard, who gave a weighted pass to an on-rushing Luiz. The center-back followed with a venomous ball to the upper 90 of Yann Sommer's goal.
You know it's a great strike when the goalkeeper doesn't even try.
1. Fulham, April 2013
The West London derby has nothing on the North London derby, but moments can be found when Fulham and Chelsea square heads.
Needing every point to secure Champions League football, Chelsea went to Craven Cottage in April of last year with the expectation to win.
The game was stifled and, as the irrepressible Ian Wright commentated, the fixture needed "something special."
In nearly seconds, Luiz gave Wright his wish—along with every Chelsea supporter on the planet—and in some style.