Easter weekend. The chocolate bunnies. The long lines for brunch. The awkward family interactions. There’s really nothing like it. While you were busy doing holiday things, the Premier League was going full tilt. Arsenal-Liverpool lived up to the hype, guys were scoring on half volleys like they were on clearance sale, and Charlie Adam did something pretty ridiculous. We’ll get you caught up on some of the best moments from the weekend.
(Just a side note, the round isn’t over yet. Manchester City travel to south London to take on Crystal Palace today, while Aston Villa host QPR tomorrow in a crucial relegation six-pointer. So take a couple long lunches, set your DVR, or find a sneaky way to watch Live Extra at your desk. It’ll be worth it.)
Fullback goals are always fun, but very seldom are they pretty. This one was pretty. Bellerín’s run through the gut of Liverpool’s back line, his fancy footwork to beat his markers, and the baller finish are as brilliant as anything you’ll see from Arsenal this season. The Spaniard’s strike broke the levy and inspired three Arsenal goals in the last eight minutes of the first half, powering the Gunners to a crucial win that saw them climb into second place.
Back in Matchweek 29 we highlighted the 40 yard scorcher from QPR’s Matt Phillips. I said that would probably end up being the goal of the season. Boy, was I wrong! Charlie Adam- no, that’s not a typo- hit this incredible shot not just from inside his own half, but behind the center circle. That’s something like 65 yards. I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t even do that in “FIFA.” Stoke went on to lose the game, but this goal is as good a moral victory as you’ll find in the Premiership.
Wayne Rooney knows about the jokes you crack about his hair. Wayne Rooney knows about your angry screeds on the fan forums. Wayne Rooney knows about your Twitter rants on the legitimacy of his tenure as England captain. Wayne Rooney knows how you feel about him, and he does not care. If you could do what he did against Aston Villa- collect a cross with a tap of the foot, let it bounce once, then fire it into the roof of the net on the half volley- you probably wouldn’t care about what other people said either. Haters gonna hate, Wazza.
I almost listed this as the best almost-goal of the weekend, but I feel like that does the American Secretary of Defense a disservice. This was a remarkable save, one which even the most elite goalkeepers in the world would have trouble pulling off. And with the bad run he’s had in recent months, the Bearded One could definitely use something in the win column. Howard managed a few more big saves in the game, helping Everton lock down a 1-0 scoreline and grab three much-needed points.
The best way for any player to ingratiate themselves with the fans of their new club is to score in that club’s derby (or closest equivalent). Jermain Defoe hasn’t had an easy time since his transfer to Sunderland in January, and he really could’ve used one big performance to turn the corner. He got that this weekend in the Tyne-Wear Derby, scoring this gorgeous looping half volley strike from 20 yards. His goal became the only one over the 90 minutes, giving Sunderland all three points and, perhaps just importantly, continued dominance over Newcastle. The Black Cats are still in danger of relegation, so there’s a possibility this might be the last Tyne-Wear Derby for a while. If that happens, Defoe at least managed to put a strong punctuation mark in it.