Top 5 Goals of February
February may be the shortest month of the year, but there was no shortage of great goals scored. It’s time to take a look back at five of the best goals from February – or as we sometimes like to call them, #GOLAZO.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s surprise chip vs. Nantes (2/4/14)
There’s more than one Zlatan goal from February that we could have chosen, like his left-footed rocket in PSG’s Champions League match. But this one from the big Swede sums up the vision, the creativity and the pure technical ability that only a few players in the world possess.
2. Mario Balotelli scores late winner vs. Balogna (2/14/14)
AC Milan are squarely in the middle of the table – not in danger of relegation but also well out of contention for Champions League qualification. With a spot in the Europa League still a possibility though, AC Milan can’t afford to drop points to Seria A’s worst teams – but that’s exactly what they were in danger of doing on Valentine’s Day when they entered the last five minutes of regulation in a scoreless draw with Balogna. But AC Milan went on to win the match and collect all three points on the day thanks to this terrific strike from Balotelli.
3. Rogelio Chávez’s 50-yard volley vs. Queretaro (2/21/14)
It’s safe to say that the sheer unexpectedness of this attempt is what fooled the goalkeeper. Leading 2-1 late in the match, Cruz Azul’s Chavez threw the ball into his teammate down the field, who then headed it back to Chavez. With his first touch on a ball yet to hit the ground, Chavez took a crack from near midfield, sending a high, arching shot towards goal with the outside of his left foot. The goalkeeper misplayed the ball, but the fact that this eagle-eyed attempt found the back of the net gets it on the list of our best five goals of the month.
4. Hakan Calhanoglu’s outstanding free kick vs. Borussia Dortmund (2/23/14)
You can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Turkish midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu before, but it would be sinful not to see his free kick golazo. With his Hamburger SV club leading Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in stoppage time, Calhanoglu stepped up to take a free kick from 40 yards out and scored a goal of the year candidate in the German Bundesliga. As the announcer said: “The ball waved and bobbed and ducked in midair!” The look on the face of opposing coach Jurgen Klopp is priceless – what could his goalkeeper do?
5. Joel Campbell wonder goal vs. Manchester United (2/25/14)
Joel Campbell belongs to Arsenal, but the Gunners have loaned the Costa Rican to Greek side Olympiakos, who were already leading United 1-0 late in their Champions League match when Campbell scored this stunner. He collected the ball near the middle of the field and cut towards his left, where midfielder Michael Carrick was waiting to close him down. But Campbell nutmegged Carrick, and perhaps it was that slide of the ball through the veteran’s legs that gave Campbell the confidence to unleash a shot from outside the box – a shot that rippled David de Gea’s net and gave the Greeks a 2-0 lead for their return leg to Old Trafford.