Penalty | Soccer | Sports


When Jan Oblak put his right foot slightly in front of the line, he left his left foot behind it so that no one could doubt the validity of his action. He went to look for Klaassen’s penalty kick full of faith and quality. He did it with the conviction of someone who had already stopped the previous one, launched by Alexis Sánchez. And who is convinced that that ball is going to take that trajectory. And also that if the thrower has made the mistake of saving an inch to secure the shot, that shot would end up finding his gloves, it would end with the ball outside his goal.

That huge Oblak who was said to be not very skilled in the art of saving penalties: welcome to the club. Not only did he reach with one of his arms, but in a huge, elegant and powerful save he managed to deflect the ball with both of his gloves. He managed to make the ball go wide and make the light turn red and white again. The penalty and its mysteries, those that, after many years of leaving the best shooter for the last shot – you know, the one with the greatest pressure, the most demanding -, currently the trend has changed and they are the first to shoot to ensure that The round starts well, the energies are positive, the wind is blowing in favor.

The French Football Federation has started a study on the issue of penalties, since this fate has eluded them in the last rounds played, both in the men’s and women’s World Cup, looking for the keys so that the round next time be successful. Also the work to be done with the goalkeepers to obtain better effectiveness ratios. It must be remembered that, in these rounds, it is as important for the goalkeeper to stop as for the thrower to send the ball out of the goal. Come on, like yesterday at the Metropolitano, where if the stops and the mattress penalties converted were a source of joy, it was no less so that shot into the stands by Lautaro Martínez, another specialist, who closed the round to give the victory to Atlético and his team. go to the quarterfinals.

Of course, before, the improbability of football had caused two expert throwers like Alexis Sánchez and Klaassen to fail—well, to stop Oblak—whom Simone Inzaghi, Inter’s coach, had introduced in extra time. Maybe he did it thinking that specialist and rested was an infallible formula for a scored penalty. And reality, the moment, the magic of the Metropolitan or the quality of Oblak, took them out of the equation and reduced them to absolute zero.

The fact is that, this Friday, we will have three Spanish teams in the hype, when last season we already predicted that the English invasion would be unstoppable and that Italy was the new football. We will have four Barça coaches with their different and particular evolutions and systems. We will also have eight teams among which it is difficult to choose a favorite, because it would seem that everyone can eliminate everyone, but in which City, defender of the title and, therefore, someone who has already learned to win, and the Cup gene of Europe from Real Madrid, it seems that it gives them a few thousandths of an advantage. Those that the ball is then responsible for denying… or confirming. Perhaps the historic opportunity for Arsenal, which leads the Premier League, but returns to the Champions League quarterfinals after 11 years.

Or, perhaps, one could say the quarters of the teams in crisis with Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, ​​Borussia Dortmund and Atlético de Madrid, involved in many problems and doubts in the local competition, but looking for light in Europe. And that PSG, which always seems in turmoil, but against whom no one will want to risk their place in the semi-finals. Oh, by the way, in the last round of 16, penalties returned to decide the winner after being absent since that final between Real Madrid and Atlético. Arsenal won by taking, converting, the first penalty. Atlético launching, converting, the second. Just one piece of information.

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