Two big names in American soccer tied the knot, Serie A dabbled in slapstick comedy, and the Bundesliga should probably cut back on the sugar a little. All that and more as we check in on some of the awesome soccer stories from the weekend.
1. The Bundesliga is the best soccer league you’re not watching
That goal from Bas Dost gave Wolfsburg a stoppage time winner over Bayer Leverkusen in a game that had nine goals between the two Top 4 contenders. And that wasn’t even the most bonkers thing that happened in the Bundesliga this weekend. Bayern mollywhopped Hamburg 8-0, Dortmund came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to top Mainz 4-2 and notch their second win in a row, and Köln fans reacted to a late loss at Mönchengladbach by invading the pitch wearing hazmat suits. This weekend in the Bundesliga was, in a word, bananapants. And to think most American viewers won’t even get to see any of this until next season.
2. Bradford City is officially this season’s FA Cup cinderella team
The big story of the previous round in the FA Cup was League One minnows Bradford City going down 2-0 away at Chelsea and somehow clawing their way back into the game and winning 4-2. Surely that was a fluke, and being drawn against more Sunderland would put the Bantam’s Wembley dreams to bed. Nope! They competently dispatched the Black Cats 2-0 to go through into the quarterfinals. The only “big” teams left by that point will be Arsenal, Liverpool, and maybe Manchester United. Getting to the final isn’t totally out of the question now. Weirder things have happened in this competition.
3. Tim Sherwood is the hero Aston Villa deserves
This is a good move for Villa. Sherwood proved he can turn struggling teams around after his half-season at Spurs, Aston Villa only need a few good results to pull themselves out of trouble, and the team has just about enough quality to get the job done. They key will be whether Sherwood can get his players to start scoring goals again, but given the magic he worked on Emmanuel Adebayor last year the smart money says he can. What happens next season is still shrouded in ambiguity— which always seems to be the case at Villa Park.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo did THIS against Deportivo
This was pretty much the craziest thing that happened in an otherwise downbeat and comfortable 2-0 win at home to Deportivo. Considering all the drama that followed Real Madrid last week- and many other weeks- it was probably for the best. Los Blancos remain at the top of the table in La Liga, one furtive point ahead of Barcelona.
5. Zlatan turned his body into a billboard for fighting world hunger
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in the second minute of PSG's home fixture against Caen and was immediately booked for taking off his shirt in celebration. Lots of people noticed the big guy was sporting some new tattoos. At a press conference following their controversial 2-2 draw, Zlatan explained that the ink was part of a new awareness campaign on behalf of the UN World Hunger Programme, with the (temporary) tattoos depicting the signatures of 50 of the 805 million people worldwide who struggle with food access. Fair play, Zlatan.
6. Mario Rui kicked a ball into his own face
While under pressure from AC Milan players, Empoli defender Mario Rui tried to clear the ball over his head. But, like many of us who tried to do something totally radical as a kid, the move backfired spectacularly as Rui smashed the ball into his own face. Whether due to a bad line of sight or simple pity, the ref decided to award Empoli a free kick for their troubles.
7. Sydney Leroux and Dom Dwyer went to the chapel and they…
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People like power couples. Barack and Michelle Obama. Jay-Z and Beyonce. Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. Now, American soccer has one of its own. Seattle Reign and USWNT forward Sydney Leroux took to her Instagram on Saturday to announce that she and her boyfriend, Sporting KC striker Dom Dwyer, got hitched. The ceremony happened last month but they waited until Valentine's Day to announce it. (Because her squad number is 2 and his is 14. Get it?) Anyway, congrats to the happy couple! Just… wait until the day after a match to make an Ikea run. Trust me.
8. Luis Suarez scored off a bicycle kick against Levante
I mean, whatever, nbd. That goal was the icing on the cake as Barcelona demolished Levante 5-0. Neymar got the party started early in the first half, and somewhere between that and Suarez' little stunt Leo Messi bagged himself a hat trick. So, yeah. These Barcelona guys must be pretty good at soccer or something.
9. Bordeaux supporters created an incredible rainbow cloud
The home support made that amazing piece of site-specific art during their home fixture against Saint-Étienne. With flares- and the fans who use them- garnering such a negative reputation throughout Europe, this colorful dust thing could mark the start of an awesome new trend for passionate supporters. At least I hope so, because this was pretty freakin' cool.
10. Arturo Vidal missed a penalty against Cesena
went down a goal early against second-from-bottom Cesena before racking up two before halftime. They conceded an equalizer late in the second half before winning a penalty that should have given them a winning goal. And then Arturo Vidal did that. It just wasn't Juve's day. Thankfully for them they can afford to have off days like this, as Il Bianconeri remain seven points clear at the top of Serie A.
BONUS: Thomas Müller is secretly a helicopter
Honestly, I’ve always sort of suspected.