Top 10 Saves from World Football in August
After the entertaining interlude of the World Cup, August saw a return to the bread and butter of world football. Europe's top leagues kicked back into action, with Champions League excitement also contributing to what was a stellar month across the planet.
While the goals make headlines, nobody should forget about those men charged with keeping them out. August's celebration of the fine art of shot-stopping includes some brilliant individual efforts, with the cream of the crop coming from a man completely new to the position.
10. Gorka Iraizoz, Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz has made a blistering start to the 2014/15 season, coming up big in both the Champions League and La Liga to help the Basque side hit the ground running. But the pick of all his stops so far came against Levante on Saturday.
The 33-year-old threw himself across the net to keep out a header, and his side went on to win 3-0 and maintain their position in the upper reaches of the table. There is a still long way to go, but it is clear that Iraizoz's performances will be crucial to Athletic this season.
9. David Martin, MK Dons
Former Liverpool reserve and current MK Dons No. 1 David Martin is one of two Manchester United enemies who make it onto August's list of best saves.
The goalkeeper played his part in an historic 4-0 thrashing of the Red Devils in the Capital One Cup, and the 28-year-old's best moment came with a fantastic parry from James Wilson's looping shot, which kept the Dons in control en route to their shock victory.
8. Jon Kempin, Sporting Kansas City
Jon Kempin came up with one of the best saves of the month with a brilliant one-on-one stop.
In his first ever MLS start, the Sporting KC man denied Gilberto when a goal looked inevitable, making an instant impact, via MLSSoccer.com.
7. Lukasz Fabianski
Manchester United have struggled to hit top gear in the Premier League since Louis van Gaal took over. If they come up against more keepers of Lukasz Fabianski's calibre, it is not going to get any easier for the Red Devils.
The ex-Arsenal man was solid throughout in a surprise 2-1 win for Swansea City, coming up big to keep out Phil Jones' cross-shot to help the Welsh team to a landmark victory, via FootyRoom.
6. Allan McGregor, Hull City
Queens Park Rangers and Hull City could both be facing a long season ahead in their respective fights to retain their place in the Premier League. But if Hull can continue calling on the athleticism of Allan McGregor, their chances of survival may be a little higher.
The goalkeeper came up big to help the Tigers grab a valuable 1-0 win away to QPR, saving a penalty to confirm victory. You can see the stop at Caught Offside.
5. Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois may have been beaten three times at the start of the month against Werder Bremen, but if it was not for a selection of stunning saves from the Belgium international, the damage could have been far worse for Jose Mourinho's men.
A fantastic low stop, via 101 Great Goals, was the best of an excellent bunch for the ex-Atletico Madrid star, who has finally received the chance to shine for the Blues after several years out on loan.
4. Max Grun, Wolfsburg
Robert Lewandowski will no doubt go on to hit massive quantities of goals in a Bayern Munich shirt. But in the Bundesliga opener against Wolfsburg, the Poland international was out of luck against the seemingly unbeatable Max Grun.
The pick of the 'keeper's stops was a terrific one-handed effort to keep out Lewandowski's equally athletic volley.
3. Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal
Knowing that Besiktas would need a supreme effort to beat Arsenal in a Champions League play-off, the Turkish team's striker Demba Ba was prepared to try the outrageous. Unfortunately for him, Arsenal's crack shot-stopper was more than up to the task.
Wojciech Szczesny had to scramble when Ba tried to net directly from the kick-off, and he pulled off a stunning fingertip stop that kept the scoreline level.
2. Danijel Subasic (Monaco)
Monaco had to ride their luck to take three points from Nantes on August 24. Radamel Falcao's header gave the side victory, but the contribution of goalkeeper Danijel Subasic was even more important to the 1-0 triumph.
The shot-stopper saved a penalty and was fantastic throughout, but he saved the best for last with a stunning dive to keep out a header destined for the net.
1. Cosmin Moti, Ludogorets (x2)
Strangely, the best save of August did not come from a goalkeeper. There is only one possible candidate for the top spot: Ludogorets defender Cosmin Moti, who became a Champions League hero with two stops in a penalty shootout to defeat Steaua Bucharest.
Not only did Moti come up with the goods to twice deny the Romanians, he also converted his own kick to send the Bulgarian side through to the competition group stage. Matches against Real Madrid, Liverpool and Basel now beckon for the new Champions League idol and his side.
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