I didn’t think I’d witness anything holy this week. Matter of fact, I don’t go into any week expecting to witness anything holy. But I saw something spiritual last Thursday.
I’m in the midst of a job search right now, and as I was finishing up a cover letter Thursday afternoon, I randomly remembered that Manchester City had a match against another top team.
I couldn’t remember who that team was.
After I sent in my job application, I rushed to the living and turned on the TV. I was immediately reminded Arsenal were City’s opponents. I kinda wished it was Liverpool instead, but it was still a game worth watching.
I watched the first couple minutes of the match before remembering I promised my mom I’d marinade chicken for dinner. (fun fact: I’m a better than average cook). So I rushed into the kitchen and started to freestyle together a marinade.
I kept one eye on the TV–my kitchen and living room are right next to each other–as the game went one.
I heard Bernardo Silva’s opener before I saw it. I was placing chicken into a foil pan when the announcer reacted to the Portuguese’s left-footed curler. I watched the ensuing replays and thought to myself that Petr Cech could’ve done better. There wasn’t that much pace on the ball. It was well-placed, yes. But it was a lollipop shot.
I spent the next 10 minutes doing my chicken prep at a much slower pace. My head was glued to the TV while my hands were focused on the food.
For some reason, after Leroy Sane glided past Aaron Ramsey on the left wing, I was more impressed by his low cross to Sergio Aguero rather than the ease with which he glided away from his defenders.
I was still in the kitchen, but inched closer to the living room, as Aguero controlled the ball.
When the Argentine telegraphed his pass to David Silva, I thought the attack was dead. Héctor Bellerín was in perfect position to nick the ball from his compatriot’s feet.
But then Silva took me to church.
He opened his right hip and let the ball pop off the inner tip of his right boot, taking Bellerín out of the play and setting himself up perfectly to strike cleanly with his left foot. It was the type of touch most can only think of with hindsight, when they hearken back on a failed take-on during a game that ended hours or days or weeks or months or years ago.
After watching the replays, I rushed to Twitter to search for the highlight. I watched it on loop for a good 90 seconds.
I only had one problem with Silva’s goal: I strongly dislike Manchester City.
There are two reasons why. One, I’m a United fan and two, I’m a United fan who used to dream of Pep Guardiola succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson. You can imagine, then, the envy I felt two years ago when City announced Guardiola as their new manager, and this year as his squad has been playing the most seductive football we’ve all seen since 2009-2012 Barca.
But I’m not so salty that I can’t appreciate Silva’s witty brilliance. Now that I think of it, his goal marked the first time I’ve ever applauded Manchester City. Not my proudest moment, but Silva deserves 21 standing ovations for his exploits last Thursday.
So, with all that said, David Silva’s first touch before his goal versus Arsenal is my favorite soccer/football thing of the week.