Quite a bit, apparently. First came Arsenal’s shocking 2nd half collapse last Saturday in the North London derby, at home no less–yes, the headlines read “Spurs Triumphant at the Emirates“. Certainly, Arsenal supporters must have thought, they would rebound mid-week in Europe, against a Sporting Braga side that hadn’t accomplished much in Champions League so far this fall–a side that the Gunners had beaten 6-0 back in September on Matchday 1! But alas, all too predictably perhaps, Arsenal went down without much of a fight, losing 2-0 on two fantastic second half finishes by Braga’s Brazilian striker Matheu.
Watch the highlights from Tuesday’s match–or lowlights rather, if you’re an Arsenal fan:
Actually, although Matheu does deserve great credit on both goals, close review of the video reveals that both chances were allowed by a flat-footed Arsenal defence. In fact both came off counterattacks from Arsenal free kicks. In the first goal, Matheu ran right by Denilson to receive a perfect long ball (one that he called for as flew past Denilson); for the 2nd, Matheu kept running full-speed while Squillaci slowed to a jog, allowing him to pick up the loose ball after an Arsenal defender (Denilson again? not sure) got knocked to the ground going for the ball.
Who is this Matheu? He is Matheus Leite Nascimento; age 27, came over to Portugal five years ago, spent one season with a second division side before Braga signed him. He’s been coming on strong over the past few months–he scored against Celtic and against Sevilla in Champions League qualifying matches over the summer. After the latter goal, he produced a pacifier–and hence a celebration worthy of Chad Ochocinco. Take a closer look at the photo above.
Speaking of the Bengals WR and multimedia star, turns out he’s multisport too. Here’s an interview we’ve been meaning to post–Ochocinco does Soccer Talk (compares himself to Drogba; talks about his great friends Ronaldhino, CR, Thierry Henry, Ashley Cole; drops hints about playing futbol during the football offseason; describes how he warms up by juggling):