The North London Derby! The Merseyside Derby! The Madrid Derby! Derbies everywhere! More derbies than you can shake a stick at! (Trust me, I busted out my Derby Shakin’ Stick this weekend, and it just wasn’t enough.) A ton of cool stuff happened over the weekend, and we’re here to help you catch up.
It took 120 minutes and 11 rounds of spot kicks, but Ivory Coast were crowned 2015 AFCON Champions on Sunday. The shootout came down to kicks from both goalkeepers, with Ivorian keeper Boubacar Barry saving Brimah Razak’s shot before converting his own to give Les Éléphants their second African title and first since 1992. In a tournament marred by controversy, the final provided a tense and spectacular end.
Days after a disappointing home loss to Hertha Berlin led the team to have a Come To Jesus moment in front of the Yellow Wall, BVB gave a performance reminiscent of the team that captured the hearts of soccer hipsters everywhere. The goal seen above showed the kind of fluid, high-tempo attacking play that earned Dortmund two Bundesliga titles and a trip to the Champions League final in the past five years. There’s no such thing as “too good to go down,” but it’s almost inconceivable that a team capable of playing like this could still find themselves in Germany’s second division next season.
Tottenham’s homegrown talent Harry Kane has been one of the feelgood stories of the Premier League season. With Arsenal up a goal in the North London Derby heading into the second half, Spurs’ golden boy bagged the equalizer and gamewinner to give the home side a thrilling come-from-behind win. The result continues an excellent run of form, with only one loss in the past 10 league matches, and pushes Tottenham above Arsenal in the table— which for some Spurs fans is better than winning the league.
That doozy from Tiago was the start of a very good day for the defending La Liga champions. The narrative around this game is themed around a poor showing from the opposition, but let’s be real here— even on their worst day it takes something special to beat Real Madrid. Atleti were organized, determined, and fearless, and their reward was their biggest Madrid Derby win since 1947.
Not too shabby. That volleyed goal was the first of two that gave Roma their first league win in a month. La Maggica are still in second place in Serie A but seven points behind Juventus, who secured a comfortable 3-1 win over Milan over the weekend.
Is anyone else hearing commentary from Sir David Attenborough? No? Just me? Dang it. Anyway, Peter Crouch did that in stoppage time to steal a point for Stoke. Newcastle fans will understandably feel robbed, but honestly, that power move from Crouchy was inevitable. Not unlike the annual migration of Procapra gutturosa across Mongolia's Eastern Steppe.
Oh my. That bit of magic was the first of two from the young winger that gave PSV Eindhoven a 3-1 win over Utrecht, their 11th straight victory. If you believe the transfer gossip (and who doesn't!) this kid will be signing for Manchester United over the summer. Seeing him in the Premier League's going to be fun to watch.
Following the USMNT during this round of camp and friendlies has been kind of a bummer, with a disappointing loss to Chile and lots of angry people on the internet insisting that Jurgen Klinsmann is not a man with a plan (much less a canal) after all. Sunday's friendly against Panama, ending with a solid 2-0 win, gave a much-needed reminder of what makes the USMNT a fun team to follow— talented players who work hard and occasionally do awesome stuff like this. (More Bradley Olimpico angles available here.)
The Beeb sent reporter Stuart Flinders out on the streets of Liverpool in advance of the 224th Merseyside Derby to ask some pensioners what they remember of previous derbies. Flinders encountered a kindly older gentlemen and asked him if he remembers the 1967 match at Goodison. Unbeknownst to Flinders, the man turned out to be Tommy Lawrence, who played in goal for Liverpool during that very match. Funny old world, innit.