On This Day in Football History – May 6: Vincent Kompany’s Clutch Goal, Lionel Messi Floors Jerome Boateng & More

We’ve got a cracker in store for you all here. Oh yes we do. We’re talking clutch goals that basically won a league title, top players getting put on their backsides by even more top players, some random Manchester United striker you’d completely forgotten about bagging a brace and a proper tearjerker moment.

All this and more occurred on 6 May. Can you believe it?

No? Didn’t think so, which is why we’ll give you all the engrossing details in this latest instalment of ‘On This Day’. Go figure.


Dani Alves Turns an Age (Still) Less Than His Trophy Haul

Brazil v Peru: Final – Copa America Brazil 2019

It’s the day a smiley, tattooed Brazilian turns 37 years old. He isn’t, however, just any old smiley, tattooed Brazilian. He’s actually the most decorated footballer in the history of the game. A rather immense title to hold but one that is befitting of the kind of person Dani Alves is.

Sure, he may have flung himself about the pitch a bit more flamboyantly than to most people’s liking, but that doesn’t stop us celebrating the incredible longevity and success of this particular right back. Or wait, should we say attacking midfielder now? Whatever, who cares, he’s Dani Alves and he can play wherever the heck he wants.

Here’s to surpassing the 40-mark for trophies, Dani. Have a good’un.


Ronaldo Masterclass Helps Inter Lift UEFA Cup – 1998

An all Italian UEFA Cup final was sure to be an engrossing affair, as Lazio and Inter took to Parc des Princes with victory in their sights.

The first-ever single-leg UEFA Cup final meant no more two-match nonsense, and people could all sit down and enjoy the entertainment in its full 90 minute glory. On this particular occasion, though, there was one player who stole the show and headlines with a virtuoso display that only he could have produced at the time. We’re talking about Ronaldo Nazario, of course.

The Brazilian was a six foot thorn in Lazio’s backside throughout, running rings around the opposition in his debut Inter season. There were flicks and tricks galore, with his outstanding performance capped by a 70th minute goal to round off a 3-0 win.


Andres Iniesta Breaks Chelsea Hearts in Champions League – 2009

While it may have been Iniesta who broke Chelsea hearts, it was referee Tom Henning Øvrebø who ripped their spirits out of their chests, trod on them, gave them a red card, hurled Norwegian abuse at them and then handed those spirits back to the owners in paper bags labelled ‘semi-finalist’.

Iniesta’s injury-time equaliser to send Barcelona through to the Champions League final that season remains one of the most memorable moments in the competition’s recent history, although the main talking point of that infamous day remains the bizarre/controversial/downright deliberately shocking non decisions made by Øvrebø.

Depending on your point of view, the Blues could have had up to four penalties on the night, with even just one conversion from those spot-kicks leaving Barça with plenty to do to claw their way back into proceedings. A ‘what if’ moment, indeed.


Diego Milito Hat-Trick Downs Milan in Derby della Madonnina – 2012

You have to beat your local rivals. It’s kind of obligatory. However, when your cross-city enemies are next up on the fixture list and they’re chasing the league title that season, then you really have to win. No questions asked.

For this particular Derby della Madonnina in 2012, that was the added incentive for Inter prior to kick-off, knowing that victory over their San Siro rivals would end Milan’s quest for the Scudetto once and for all, opening the door for Juventus to win Serie A.

It was Milito on the day who ensured their plan came off, scoring a fine trio of goals in a dramatic encounter that saw three penalties awarded. OK, it wasn’t the most glamorous hat-trick (two spot kicks and a tap-in), but it nonetheless did the damage. Oh, and so did Maicon’s outrageous fourth goal. Check that one out.


James Wilson’s Debut Double Helps Man Utd See Off Hull – 2014

Robin van Persie was given the day off, so Ryan Giggs decided to thrust superstar prodigy, 100% going to make it at Old Trafford and future number nine Wilson into the starting lineup. For all that joking, though, that was the general consensus when the young striker finally got his chance in the senior squad.

So much went on during this match that it’s hard to forget it was also Nemanja Vidic’s final appearance as well as Michael Carrick’s last as skipper, but instead let’s focus on the ‘next big thing’s’ only, unfortunately, ‘big thing’.

A debut brace looked certain to catapult his career there and then, but that was as good as it has got for Wilson, who has since played for Brighton, Derby, Sheffield United, Aberdeen and now Salford City.


Lionel Messi sits Jerome Boateng ON HIS ARSE – 2015

This was a special moment. Across the globe there were 4.0 magnitude earthquakes taking place as the collective thud of everyone’s jaws hitting the floor in astonishment caused on almighty ripple effect.

What was so magical about what the Argentine did is that the delicate finish he produced is lost in the midst of the sheer humiliation he inflicts on Boateng. Widely considered one of the finest central defenders in Europe at the time, the speed and guile with which Messi cuts onto his right foot is so frighteningly swift that the German’s ankles got in a twist and he fell flat on the canvas.

At that point of their Champions League semi-final, Bayern Munich were holding strong at Camp Nou, but the final flurry from Messi and co was Barça at their dizzying best, and Boateng simply couldn’t keep up. Glorious stuff.


Gareth Bale Stunner Rescues Real Madrid Draw at Camp Nou – 2018

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Another match with multiple side notes, there is plenty to unpack. Firstly, it was a feisty affair, with tempers flying throughout. Sergi Roberto went that one step too far,, slapping Marcelo in the first half and receiving his marching orders. By this point, Luis Suarez had already opened the scoring before Cristiano Ronaldo netted his last ever Clasico goal to level matters.

Ten men Barcelona did pull back in front, with Messi netting his most recent goal against Madrid shortly after the restart.

It was down to Bale to drag Los Blancos back into the game, as he curled a fine first time effort beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen. There was controversy prior to kick-off too. Real refused to give their rivals a guard of honour after Ernesto Valverde’s side secured a 25th La Liga title the previous weekend. Sore losers, or top-class sh*thouse behaviour?


Arsene Wenger’s Final Home Match as Arsenal Manager – 2018

6 May 2018 is a day that will live long in the memory of Arsenal fans as Arsene Wenger bid farewell to his home supporters, leading his side out for the final match of his Gunners reign in the capital.

Tears were shed, disappointing moments were forgotten and successes were remembered. Plenty of goals were scored, too.

While his tenure had turned sour in the later years, it was a day to celebrate the magnificence of a man who had altered the landscape of English football for the better, revolutionised the game, and bagged a few trophies to boot. It’s all gone swimmingly since then.


Vincent Kompany Raises the Roof (and the Net) Against Leicester – 2019

Clutch: (in sport) denoting or occurring at a critical situation in which the outcome of a game or competition is at stake.

Step forward Vincent Kompany. Knowing victory over Leicester would leave Manchester City needing just one final win over Brighton on the final day to ensure the Premier League title would be theirs that season, with 20 minutes remaining of their home clash with the Foxes and the scores level, hope was fading.

Not only that, but nerves were jangling and tensions was rising after Liverpool saw off Newcastle to temporarily place themselves two points above the Citizens two days prior. The game was locked at 0-0, and City didn’t look like breaking through.

So when Kompany picked the ball up 35 yards out and took a few strides forward unchallenged, what he would do next would fall under the ‘desperate’ category. He’s a big ol’ central defender, after all. They don’t score these. Unless, of course, you’re the captain of City, in which case you don’t just score them, you absolutely obliterate them.

The 25-yarder that smashed into the top corner was a goal worthy of winning any football match, but one you’d expect from anyone other than a centre back. Did it when them the league that year? Technically, no. Did it basically win them the league that year? Yeah, it kind of did.


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