Borussia Monchengladbach’s Alassane Plea has sparked a real debate with his goal against Mainz at the weekend.
So, for some context, have you ever seen Thierry Henry’s famous pass during his Arsenal days?
Well, in case the viral video has evaded you, it’s where the player feigns to pass in one direction by swinging and missing with one boot, while they move it somewhere else with the other.
Admittedly, Henry only used it on a select few occasions, but other players have occupied him in the years since and Ezequiel Calvente famously used it to score a penalty for Spain under-19s in 2010.
But anyway, back to Plea, who has been linked with the famous trick-shot on the volley.
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Monchengladbach 3-1 Mainz
Gladbach were hoping to keep pace with Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga title race and achieved just that upon Mainz’s trip to Borussia-Park.
Plea was absolutely crucial during the game, equalising after Robin Quaison’s opener for the visitors and eventually attracting headlines by completing the comeback for the hosts.
After Gladbach played a quick free-kick on the right flank, the ball was whipped in to the French forward who got the better of his man and prepared to direct a shot towards his goal.
‘Thierry Henry pass’ goal?
Initial replays suggest that Plea had hilariously mis-kicked with his right foot and was fortunate to see the ball find the net via his standing, left leg.
However, the slow motion close-up suggests that Plea’s action was very much deliberate and that the swinging of his stronger right-foot was actually a decoy.
He appears to move his left foot towards the ball in a planned manoeuvre to catch the volley and deceive the Mainz ‘keeper, which he succeeded in doing. Check out the video below:
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
Call me an eternal optimist, but I feel confident that Plea knew what he was doing here.
We’re talking about a seasoned goal-scorer here, so I can’t imagine he would be that far behind with his right foot when you consider how long he had to asses the flight of the ball.
Plus, the slower footage clearly shows him moving his left foot towards the ball as opposed to it simply ricocheting off it by some divine intervention.
At the very worst, the movement of the right foot is simply a consequence of his striding while reaching for the ball with his weaker leg but even then, it looks pretty darn impressive.
If we get any closer to establishing whether Plea was indeed looking to recreate Henry’s magic, then it deserves to be in Puskas Award contention for its sheer uniqueness.