Breaching the defence of Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid has become one of the toughest tasks in European football in recent years.
The Argentine tactician is renowned for instilling discipline and an intense work ethic into his teams, and it’s fair to say his hard work gleans results. Prior to their clash with struggling Eibar on Thursday, Atleti had conceded just six goals in their 16 La Liga outings this season.
Only one side in the Spanish top flight had scored fewer than Eibar’s 15 prior to the clash, so you’d be forgiven for assuming the league leaders would keep a clean sheet when they travelled to the Ipurua Municipal Stadium…but Eibar’s goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic had other ideas.
The 15th placed outfit were awarded a penalty with little over ten minutes played, after Yoshinori Muto was fouled in the penalty area.
As the colossal Jan Oblak waited on his line, Dmitrovic strolled forward from his own half before picking up the ball and placing it on the penalty spot. Clearly undeterred by the giant figure before him, there was even time for a wry smile as he spotted the ball, before stepping up and slotting home with unbelievable ease, sending Oblak the wrong way.
The Serbia international now has as many league goals this campaign as Eden Hazard and Chelsea’s £70m summer signing Kai Havertz.
The goal comes in what is proving to be a red letter week (if that’s a thing) for goalkeepers, after Newport County’s Tom King scored from a goal kick against Cheltenham on Tuesday night.
King’s goal has since been confirmed as the longest goal ever scored in a competitive football match, with the former England Under-17 international’s effort coming from all of 105 yards out, though his effort wasn’t enough to hand Newport the three points as Cheltenham hit back to draw the game 1-1.