Depending on where in the US you hail from, the past two days were either the first really warm and nice weekend of the year or yet another Sisyphian exercise in digging cars out of the snow. Either way, it’s possible you missed some of the best moments from Matchweek 30. If you didn’t catch the controversial red card, the OTHER controversial red card, the crazy acrobatic goals, or the Curious Case Of The Clattered Keepers, we’ll bring you up to speed.
1. Steven Gerrard’s tumultuous cameo in #LIVMUN lasted 38 seconds
With Liverpool trailing 1-0, Steven Gerrard came on as a substitute to start the second half. He took about half a dozen touches, hit a few passes, made a rough tackle, and stamped on Ander Herrera before receiving a red card. Gerrard’s last ever appearance against Manchester United lasted exactly 38 seconds. I guess that’s one way to make a dramatic exit from this rivalry. Liverpool went on to lose 2-1, leaving them five points adrift of a top four spot and their beloved captain suspended for three games (at least).
2. And speaking of controversial red cards…
This one came about a minute and a half after the opening kick-off, which I suppose is an improvement over the Gerrard incident. Craig Dawson committed a foul on Wilfried Bony on the edge of the penalty area, and presumably this constituted a denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity. Referee Neil Swarbrick played advantage before Gareth McAuley cut out the play. Dawson should’ve been shown the red card. Instead, McAuley was sent off in yet another case of mistaken identity. Swarbrick later acknowledged his mistake, but the damage was done. For their part, West Brom put in a heroic performance and held firm against the defending champions. (Just kidding, they lost 3-0.)
3. Harry Kane scored his first Premier League hat-trick
So, this Harry Kane guy. He’s pretty good, right? In his first full season with the senior team, he’s scored 19 goals in the league- tying him with Diego Costa in the Golden Boot race- and has Tottenham playing its best football since that lanky Welsh kid moved to Madrid. And this weekend, he scored his first league hat-trick against a relegation-threatened Leicester side desperate for points. At some point after the season, someone’s going to do a side-by-side analysis of how many points Spurs would’ve earned with Kane and without him. I think it’s fair to say that Tottenham would be a very different team this season without him.
4. Two goalkeepers in two separate games had to be stretchered off
Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris and Southampton’s Fraser Forster were both forced off within the first ten minutes of their respective games due to injury. Both came from accidental collisions, one of them with a teammate. While the full extent of both injuries is still being assessed, they’re serious enough that both men have been excused from international duty. I like weird coincidences in football, but not when people get hurt. Yikes.
5. Diego Costa makes it all look so easy
Observe the Costus Diegonus in his native habitat. See how his gallant run comes to a sudden and complete stop. See how he eyes up his prey from the side, like one of the velociraptors from Jurassic Park. See how he takes a moment to eye up his shot, supremely confident that no one is going to take the ball from him. Marvel as the subtle flick of his right foot sends the ball into the far corner. Truly, nature is a wonder to behold.
BONUS: Juan Mata scores from overhead kicks like it ain’t no thang