Here it is! Our first Cleat Spotting of 2016. Some leagues are still in winter hiatus, but we still managed to watch some good games and spot a few interesting cleats that made the headlines this week.
Thomas Partey (Atletico de Madrid) – Nike Mercurial Superfly
Atletico Madrid went top in La Liga thanks to Thomas Partey's late winner. https://t.co/0GgBqwiSYC pic.twitter.com/oeAmzTY519
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 3, 2016
La Liga has a new leader (a provisional one, as Barcelona has one game pending), and Thomas Parley is the one responsible of Atletico de Madrid fans’ joy during this past weekend. The Ghanaian midfielder was the solution against a resistant Levante defensive line just a few minutes after coming in as replacement for striker Jackson Martinez. This is a huge win, and Atletico are now as in as ever in the title race.
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal FC) – Nike Tiempo Legend 6
VIDEO: See @6_LKOSCIELNY's goal and celebration v Newcastle from our cameras behind the goal https://t.co/ekgsohMBXr pic.twitter.com/1wbjL4HMML
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 4, 2016
The Spanish League was not the only one with changes at the top, Arsenal assaulted the Premier League first place following a hard-earned victory against Newcastle. This time around, the goal assist-star Mesut Özil but had Olivier Giroud heading a ball for Laurent Koscielny to open the score and let Arsenal celebrate the new year at the top of the league.
Oscar (Chelsea FC) – adidas Ace15 + Primeknit
FULL-TIME Palace 0-3 Chelsea. Oscar, Willian and Costa get the goals as the visitors stride to three points #CRYCHE pic.twitter.com/cXO5uH2yoV
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 3, 2016
It seems that 2016 will be bright for Chelsea under the command of Guus Hiddink, with the blues showing their best face yet against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Oscar was the one tasked with scoring the first goal, thanks to a wonderful assist from Diego Costa, who fooled everyone by pretending to shoot before passing the ball to Oscar. Chelsea figures are slowly finding their way in, and the fans still hope to clinch one of the top four places by the end of the season and not miss their recurrent role as England representatives in the UEFA Champions League.
Islam Slimani (Sporting Clube) – Nike Hypervenom Phinish
Con DOBLETE de Slimani, el Sporting derroto 2-0 al Porto para seguir siendo líder de la Liga Portugesa. pic.twitter.com/cOBDQ3f3eo
— Fútbol Fichajes (@FutboolFichajes) January 2, 2016
Portuguese league saw Sporting Clube taking Porto down and positioning themselves atop of the Primeira Liga. Islam Slimani was fundamental for their victory, scoring both goals to rocket their ascension to the first place and bring Porto’s unbeaten streak to an end (they had not lost a league game since January 2015!). Sporting now have a two points advantage, and aim to win their first league title since 2002.
Bruno Soriano (Villarreal CF) – adidas Ace 15
Late Bruno Soriano penalty gives Villarreal win over Deportivo https://t.co/M2bszC2K3U pic.twitter.com/ECLrdRhLtA
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 3, 2016
Bruno Soriano is the man of the moment in Villarreal CF, scoring three goals in two games (including a free kick and a last-minute penalty) to earn them two victories in a row and the fourth place, just one point below Real Madrid and five away from leaders Atletico de Madrid. Soriano sums 25 goals in 346 games with Villarreal, club where he has spent all of his professional career.
This completes our first 2016 Cleat Spotting, we’re looking forward to see what this year has in store for us. Come back next week to see what have we spotted on the fields!