Barton Award! Luiz Adriano Goes Bush League in Champions League Match

Looking at this week’s Champions League fare, the Nordsjælland-Shaktar Donetsk game seemed like a spelling bee nightmare and an afterthought in a week that includes Benfica-Snooptic, ManU-Galatasaray and Juve-Chelsea matches, but it looks like it’s going to be an game that will in infamy, for Luiz Adriano’s poached equalizer, which could rate among soccer’s all-time Dick Moves.

With Nordsjælland up 1-0, there was a pretty obvious clattering and a subsequent stoppage for injury. The usually-awesome Deadspin documents the action (with helpful video) here — but they seem to miss the full essence of what happens. Timothy Burke correctly observes:

“The play stoppage came after a Shakhtar player leveled Nordsjælland’s Morten Nordstrand, who’d scored the opening goal. Traditionally after a stoppage of play, the ball is dropped and then kicked back (conceded) to the team who’d been in possession when the injury was suffered.”

But Burke calls attention to Willian’s long-range pass as the catalyst for this play. Looking at the video, it’s pretty obvious he’s passing to a Nordsjælland defender who seems to be caught in a daydream. But then Luiz Adriano decides it’s Play Hard Time, and he scores. The post-goal body language, especially from the Nordsjællanders, is hilarious — at least Luiz Adriano didn’t celebrate, and Willian’s shrug seems to suggest, “Dude, I just passed the ball.” (Also worth noting: Will.I.Am, not Willian, is responsible for this.)

The equalizer helped Shaktar win 5-2. Luiz Adriano scored two more goals in the match, but it’s that first goal that earns him a Barton Award, and some future karmic ass-kicking in the form of a torn ACL or being signed to Liverpool in the January transfer window.

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