The Goals of the Week: Enes Ünal, Serge Gnabry, and Khalid Abdo
A goal by any other name would smell as sweet.
For some, enjoyment of a goal is dependent on the context. There are those who only want to watch strikes from Europe's most illustrious divisions: the Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga and so on. In their narrow-mindedness, anything else is scorned as insignificant. For such people, even the prosaic joy of Football League Tonight turns to ash. Anything remotely associated with lower-league football is meaningless to them.
Naturally, we feel sorry for these people. The fact is, a sublime goal is no less beautiful because it is scored in the Moldovan second division. A scintillating strike is no less exhilarating because it comes off the boot of an ageing milkman playing in a German amateur league. A perfectly worked team goal is no less praiseworthy because it's executed by Swindon Town's reserve team.
A goal by any other name would smell as sweet. As such, here are three niche screamers from the last week.
THE LOANEE CURLER
Currently on loan from Manchester City, NAC Breda star Enes Ünal has been tearing up the Dutch second division this season. Breda faced SC Telstar on Monday evening, and the 18-year-old didn't take long to announce himself.
Having scored a goal either side of half time, Ünal decided to make his hat-trick effort a special one. Picking up the ball on the edge of the box, he skipped around one defender before whipping a high-velocity shot into the top corner. Goalgasm.
THE ARSENAL ABSENTEES' GOAL
This isn't so much about the goal as the players involved. While the low, incisive assist and ruthless finish are certainly easy on the eye, the novelty factor comes from the sight of Jack Wilshere and Serge Gnabry playing actual, competitive football together – even if it is against Swansea U21s.
While Wilshere has been out of action since fracturing his fibula in pre-season, Gnabry has gone completely off the radar after a disastrous loan spell at West Brom. Seeing them appear on the same pitch is about as common as finding a Fabergé egg at the bottom of your compost bin. Savour the moment, lads.
ASTON VILLA'S HIGHLIGHT OF THE SEASON
If you think seeing Wilshere and Gnabry playing together is rare, imagine watching Aston Villa win a football match. Though the senior team will probably have to wait until the 2016/17 season for their next victory, the under-21s have managed to nab three points this week – beating West Ham in a 3-2 thriller on Monday night.
Their first goal, finished off by youngster Khalid Abdo, was a thing of collective beauty. Now fully recovered from his traumatic off-the-field experiences with the societal terror that is hippy crack, Jack Grealish ran half the length of the pitch – dodging tackles all the while – before sending Keinan Davis through on goal. He set up Abdo in turn, a crisp assist bypassing the Hammers' defence.
And what happened next? You guessed it – a goal!