It just had to go in. It had to.
United, up 4-0 vs. Lask, in the third minute of stoppage time before the 2019-20 season potentially ends. No one knew what was coming with COVID-19, but even the slightly observant knew that Pereira, with thirty-five yards of the finest turf in Linz laying between him and the goal, was going to shoot it. It’s what he does … whether he should or not.
Pereira is Manchester United’s Lance Stephenson, the ultimate Irrational Confidence Guy. A term popularized by Bill Simmons, this is the guy who is never the best player in the game, but always thinks he’s the best player in the game. Remember Lance Stephenson blowing in Lebron’s ear. That’s irrational confidence. That’s Andreas Pereira.
You can love him or hate him, but he’s going to shoot his shot. This is why I roll my eyes a little when they insist that players need confidence. Some need confidence. Some need awareness.
Most shots don’t go in, but almost none of Pereira’s do. In the Premier League this season, twenty-seven of his thirty-seven shots are from outside the box. Only one of those thirty-seven has gone in. Shockingly, I saw this goal in person.
Back to this shot. It went in. The keeper saw it the whole way, but just didn’t get there.
It went in and I’m convinced it’s the worst thing, barring freak injury, that could’ve happened in the last couple of minutes of that game. 4-0 was plenty. There’s little shot of Lask scoring 5 at Old Trafford on the second leg. It would’ve been fine … just keep possession or something. Just don’t shoot it and, for sure, don’t make it.
Because Pereira now gets to spend all of the break, however long it may be, thinking, “This team needs me to keep shooting, especially from outside the box.”
Note: For all I know, Pereira is a phenomenal human being. I don’t know anything about him except that he won’t stop shooting shots that everyone knows aren’t going in … except the one that did. 🙂