Arsenal striker target embroiled in 'cheat' storm

Donbass Arena Shakhtar

Arsenal were last week linked with signing Luiz Adriano from Shakhtar, who did his global reputation little credit last night.

The Champions League may be Europe's elite competition, but it certainly isn't the pinnacle of sportsmanship as we have seen in recent years.

From Chelsea's ungraceful exit at the hands of Barcelona in 2009, to the 'unsporting dive-a-thon' which was the 2011 El Clasico semi-final, the competition has shown it does not come without controversy.

And there hasn't been a more contentious moment this season than in the FC Nordsjaelland v Shakhtar Donetsk game last night, thanks to one man; Luiz Adriano.

Brazilian striker Adriano was last week linked with a big money switch to Arsenal, thanks to his prolific scoring record for the Ukrainian club.

We wonder what the watching Gunners scouts may have made of last night's game in Denmark. Here's what happened;

At 1-0 to the hosts, the game was stopped with Nordsjaelland in possession, thanks to an injured player on the field. It was presumed Shakhtar would kick the ball back to the Danish goalkeeper, and they did. Except Adriano didn't get the message.

He ran onto what became a nice through-ball, rounding the stationary goalkeeper and tapping the ball into the net. The goal stood, even if it was highly unsportsmanlike.

Shakhtar did not 'give the hosts' a goal back, as has been seen in similar instances of such miscommunication, which further outraged the host team.

The away side went onto win 5-2, with Adriano completing a hat-trick to rub further salt into the wound.

Nordsjaellend's sporting director Jan Laursen was particularly angered after the final whistle. He said: "I hope my boy was in bed by the time Shakhtar scored a goal of that character - that sort of thing doesn't belong anywhere."

You can watch it below...

Perhaps Arsenal fans may see a similarity with Adriano's actions and that of a former hero. If you know what we are about to reference, it is a similar episode involving Nwankwo Kanu and the Gunners in 1999.

The Nigerian also ignored unofficial 'fair play' guidance midway through an FA Cup tie, and danced through a non-existent Blades backline to lay on a tap-in for Marc Overmars, causing a major row - flared up by the reaction of Sheffield United manager of the time Steve Bruce.

The match, to Arsenal's credit, was replayed in the spirit of the game, also ending 2-1 to the Gunners.

The chances of Shakhtar offering to replay the Champions League tie? Don't hold your breath...

What did you think of last night's incident? What are your memories of the Kanu one? 

image: © jbl767

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