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An Ethical Dilemma In The Champions League

Luiz Adriano broke an unwritten rule, and then his team may have made up for it.

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Adriano and Shakhtar are playing FC Nordsjælland in the Champions League group stage today, and nearly a half-hour into the match, a very interesting ethical dilemma presented itself. A Nordsjælland player went down to the ground with an injury while his team had possession of the ball, causing the referee to stop play for the moment. As is customary in soccer, the team that possessed the ball before the injury occurred is awarded the ball when play resumes, usually with a member of the opposing team kicking the ball back to the goalkeeper. In this case, Willian lofted the ball over the defense for Jesper Hansen, the Nordsjælland goalkeeper, to collect. Then this mess happened.

Adriano seemingly has no idea what is going on and that Willian means the ball to go to Nordsjælland. He does what strikers do, and puts the ball into the back of the net while the Nordsjælland defenders stand and watch, and the game is tied at 1-1. No one has any idea what the hell Adriano just did. But then the plot thickens! When play resumed, Shakhtar appeared to try and let Nordsjælland regain the lead.

Then finally FC Nordsjaelland scored and regained the lead. Though it was unclear whether Shakhtar was actually allowing the goal out of guilt.

It's very difficult to say if Shakhtar is allowing Nordsjælland any more space than normal in the build up, but at any rate it's a fine goal. Should Shakhtar have let Nordsjælland score? Probably. Did they? It doesn't seem like it, but who knows?

What makes it all so interesting is the congestion at the top of Group E. Chelsea and Shakhtar lead the group with 7 points, and Juventus is just behind with 6. Only two will advance to the knockout round after one more matchday is completed, so the difference between a win and a draw is massive for Shakhtar.