When Nike rolled out its eye-catching Hi-Vis Collection earlier this month, Phil McCartney, vice president of Nike Football Footwear, promised, “This collection of boots is not for the faint-hearted. Our athletes don’t play to be conventional—they play to be remembered.”
This weekend in the English Premier League, the first slate of games in which Nike athletes sported the stunning new line, players backed up McCartney’s words with aplomb. They scored decisive goal after goal en route to stunning upsets of the two Manchester clubs and important victories for Hull City and Southampton.
When the dust settled, the Electro Purple and Green Glow of Nike’s latest cleats proved a dominant beacon of the weekend, the new CTR360 Maestri III, Tiempo Legend IV, Hypervenom Phantom and Mercurial Vapor IX amounting for 11 of the 27 goals in the English Premier League’s sixth round, including winners in four matches and an equalizer in another.
Nike promised that the new colorways would stand out on the field. One week in, they are standing out on the scoresheet, as well.
- Saturday, Sept. 28
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Chelsea 1, White Hart Lane
Gylfi Sigurdson, Tottenham Hotspur, Nike CTR Maestri III Volt/Black/Green Glow, 19th minute
Gylfi Sigurdson got the Hi-Vis goals glut off and running in the day’s early kick, notching his third tally in his last three EPL contests. He was on hand to sweep home with his left after Christian Eriksen, wearing the new Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, played in a cross that Roberto Soldado laid off to the on-rushing in-form Icelandic midfielder for the successful strike.
John Terry, Chelsea, Nike Tiempo Legend IV Volt/Black/Green Glow, 65th minute
The controversial captain grabbed the equalizer to help his manager Jose Mourinho share the spoils with pupil-turned-foe Andre-Villas Boas. Wearing the Hi-Vis Tiempo Legend, on display in many other EPL stadiums this weekend, Terry darted behind the defense from a Juan Mata set piece service to nod home past Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the near post.
Aston Villa 3 Manchester City 2, Villa Park
Yaya Toure, Manchester City, PUMA King SL Metallic White/High Risk Red/Black, 45th minute
On the stroke of haltime, Manchester City’s top scorer got the goal the Citizens deserved for a fine first 45 minutes. Toure steered a corner kick home after twice being denied earlier in the match. The PUMA player saw the ball fall kindly for him in the box, and he gratefully hit it first time between the legs of Aston Villa’s American goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Karim El Ahmadi, Aston Villa, Nike CTR Maestri III Volt/Black/Green Glow, 51st minute
Teammate Leandro Bacuna played a cheeky reverse ball to pick out Karim El Ahmadi’s barely onside run in the box. Nike suggested that the Hi-Vis line will enable players to see a flash of color in time to spot the perfect pass, and it happened on this occasion with the two Nike players connecting well for the equalizer.
After running onto Bacuna’s ball, El Ahmadi needed a single touch, a right-footed roller on the grass to the far post, to score the shock equalizer to rapturous applause.
Edin Dzeko, Manchester City, adidas Predator LZ TRX Pride Blue/Running White/Orange, 56th minute
The big Bosnian restored the City lead five minutes later with a spinning header from a Samir Nasri corner kick. Nasri hit the cross with the same adidas Predator that Dzeko used to race in between defenders and get his head to the ball. Teammate Fernandinho also sported the Pride Blue adidas Predator at Villa Park.
Leandro Bacuna, Aston Villa, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Electro Purple/Volt/Black, 73rd minute
Making just his fourth appearance for the Villans, Bacuna further endeared himself to the home support by adding an unstoppable free kick goal to his assist from earlier this match. It was his first goal in the claret and blue.
The 22-year-old Dutchman used the dangerous strike zone and grip-enhancing honeycomb X-Ray texture of the Hypervenom to hit a beautiful curler. He followed up the feat by running to embrace manager Paul Lambert as a thanks for his faith.
Andreas Weimann, Aston Villa, Nike CTR Maestri III Volt/Black/Green Glow, 75th minute
This one sealed a famous victory for Villa, which had lost to Manchester City in sixth of the last seven fixtures. Goalkeeper Guzan’s punt fell in between Manchetser City’s central defenders and Weimann was on hand to stab it past Joe Hart. The ball trickled slowly over the line with defender Matija Nastasic’s racing, sliding attempt too late to save the day.
The goal capped a remarkable afternoon for a spirited Aston Villa side playing without its top attacker, Christian Benteke, who is out for at least a month with a hip injury, and running-mate Gabriel Agbonlahor. This was a historic day to celebrate. What a way to earn your first home points of the season.
Cardiff City 2 Fulham 1, Craven Cottage
Steven Caulker, Cardiff City, PUMA King SL Metallic White/High Risk Red/Black, 12th minute
The 21-year-old former Tottenham Hotpsur player opened the scoring in the post Michael Jackson statue-era at Craven Cottage, telling Fulham players to beat it as he got his early headed goal from a corner kick. Caulker was able to race to the space needed to thump home the ball while donning the lightest cleat PUMA has ever produced at a feathery 5.8 ounces.
Bryan Ruiz, Fulham, adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 TRX Vivid Red/Running White/Electricity, 45th minute
Martin Jol will have enjoyed this majestic goal from his first-half substitute. The Costa Rican forward found space on the counter attack, and hit a curling left-footed looper from outside the box into the back of the net, a strike of such incredible quality that Cardiff City goalkeeper David Marshall didn’t move an inch.
Jordan Mutch, Cardiff City, adidas Predator LZ TRX Pride Blue/Running White/Orange, 92nd minute
The visitors won the match from a superb stoppage-time strike by substitute Jordan Mutch. The 21-year-old hit his shot from nearly the same spot as Ruiz, but instead of curling, he went for power, cannoning the Nike Incyte into the Upper 90. “I just thought, why not?” Mutch said of the audacious strike after the match.
Hull City 1 West Ham 0, The KC Stadium
Robbie Brady, Hull City, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Electro Purple/Volt Black, 12th minute penalty
Rising star Robbie Brady controversially won and smashed home a penalty to take the three points in this affair. Among many features of the Nike speed cleat, Brady took advantage of the low toe box to get his foot underneath the ball and steer it to the back of the net. The 21-year-old Irish winger now has four goals in six games in the league this season.
West Brom 2 Manchester United 1, Old Trafford
Morgan Amalfitano, West Brom, adidas Predator LZ TRX Ray Green/Black/Electricity, 54th minute
Morgan Amalfitano is in his first season at West Brom, but we doubt he will ever score a more beautiful goal for the Baggies than he did on this day at Old Trafford. Playing against the reigning EPL champions, the on-loan Marseille player backed up last week’s goal against Sunderland with a dream-like solo goal.
Sporting the green version of the legendary adidas Predator LZ collected the ball in his own half, ran at the Red Devils defense, nutmegged Rio Ferdinand to go clean in on goal, faked a shot that sent goalkeeper David De Gea to ground and cheekily chipped him, using the shoe’s five lethal zones to maximum effect. Pure brilliance.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Electro Purple/Volt/Black, 57th minute
Was it a shot? Wazza won’t care about his intentions, only that his free kick found the net. He now has five goals in five games wearing his Storelli headguard after receiving a nasty cut in training that caused him to miss England’s recent 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifiers.
On this day, he played in a low, curling cross that beat goalkeeper Boaz Myhill after no one was able to latch onto it. Rooney was able to play the ball as he imagined thanks to the Nike Hypervenom’s All Conditions Control. This was his first match in the Electro Purple/Volt/Black colorway after playing every other game this season in the original Bright Citrus/Black version of the stunning shoe.
Saido Berahino, West Brom, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Electro Purple/Volt/Black, 67th minute
Amalfitano was at the heart of this one, too, backheeling to Berahinho, who pumped a left-footed liner past De Gea from just outside the box to punctuate a flowing West Brom move. Like Rooney, he used the new Hypervenom to add some flair to his first-rate finish. The goal gave West Brom its first win at Old Trafford since 1978.
Southampton 2 Crystal Palace 0, St. Mary’s Stadium
Pablo Osvaldo, Southampton, Nike CTR Maestri III Volt/Black/Green Glow, 47th minute
The Italian international broke his Premier League duck after moving this summer from Roma. A Johnny Depp lookalike, Osvaldo did well to power home a left-footed strike that helped Southampton move to fifth in the table.
Rickie Lambert, Southampton, Nike CTR Maestri III Current Blue/Volt/Black, 49th minute
Like his strike partner, Lambert plays in the CTR Maestri III, but he favors the previous colorway to the new Hi-Vis model. The 31-year-old Three Lions player struck a long-range free kick off the post and in to grab all three points for the vistors on their trip to London.
Arsenal 2 Swansea 1, Liberty Stadium
Serge Gnabry, Arsenal, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Sunset/Total Crimson, 58th minute
Serge Gnabry, Arsenal, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Sunset/Total Crimson, 58th minute
Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity. Filling in out wide for the Gunners, with Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all on the treatment table, the teenage German was up for the task all day.
Wearing an old colorway of the Mercurial Vapor, Gnabry was ready when his chance came from a classic Arsenal build-up to beat Michael Vorm at the far post with a right-footed low smash. After his day of glory, Gnabry was seen sporting the Nike Hypervenom Hi-Vis in training Monday.
Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal, adidas Predator LZ TRX Pride Blue/Running White/Orange, 62nd minute
Rambo is absolutely on fire this season and made it nine goals from 11 appearances, five in his last four, with a boomer in this contest. Displaying confidence in front of the net, the Welshman, a former Cardiff City player who was booed all day by vials Swansea, Ramsey blasted the ball into the roof of the net from a counterattack after Olivier Giroud dropped it off to him.
Ben Davies, Swansea, adidas Predator LZ TRX Pride Blue/Running White/Orange, 81st minute
The 20-year-old Swans midfielder gave the Liberty Stadium faithful hope by cutting in from the left flank, playing the ball into substitute striker Wifried Bony and continuing his run for the Ivorian’s scooped return ball and knocking it in first time. It set up a frenzied finish, but ultimately was too little to get any points off of EPL leading Arsenal.
- Sunday, Sept. 29
Norwich 1 Stoke City 0, Britannia Stadium
Jonathan Howson, Norwich City, Nike CTR Maestri III custom, 34th minute
In a match that’s actually more fun to read about than to have witnessed, Jonathan Howson used his unique white and blue Maestri’s to power home a right-footed strike past Bosian shotstopper Asmir Begovic, who really ought to have done better with the near-post blast. The two teams now are mired in a cluster of five teams with seven points from the season’s first six matches.
Liverpool 3 Sunderland 1, Stadium of Light
Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Bright Citrus/Black, 28th minute
Daniel Sturridge carried the Reds during Luis Suarez’s 10-game ban, and he kept it consistent in this match, wearing the original Hypervenom colorway and scoring yet again as his Uruguayan teammate made his way back into the starting XI. The England striker found himself unmarked in the six-yard box and used what appeared to be his arm to score and get this game going from a corner kick. They all count the same.
Luis Suarez, Liverpool, adidas F50 adizero TRX Electricity/Hero Ink/Metallic Silver, 36th minute, 89th minute
Suarez’s picked up where he left off in the English Premier League. A natural-born goalscorer, Suarez got himself into good positions to tap home two low crosses from Sturridge and bag a brace on Liverpool’s travels. The men from Anfield maintained their 2nd place post in the Premier League.
Emanuele Giaccherini, Sunderland, adidas F50 adizero TRX Electricity/Hero Ink/Metallic Silver, 52nd minute
Italian manager Paolo Di Canio was sacked last week, but the compatriot he recruited to join the Black Cats from Juventus this summer was there to pull one back for Sunderland on Sunday. Giaccherini raced in to collect a rebound spilled by Simon Mignolet and lifted it over the prone Belgian goalkeeper.
- Monday, Sept. 30
Everton 3 Newcastle United 2, Goodison Park
Romelu Lukaku, Everton, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Volt/Black/Bright Citrus, 5th minute, 37th minute
On-loan Lukaku is on a mission to prove to Jose Mourinho that he was wrong to send him away from Stamford Bridge for the season.
The Belgian striker, getting his first start for Everton after scoring the winner as a substitute last week, made his case Monday by taking just five minutes to lose the Newcastle defenders in the box, racing in with the Mercurial Vapor and slotting home expertly with his right at the near post.
He gave the Toffees a 3-0 first half advantage when he tracked down a clearance from his American goalkeeper Tim Howard to find the back of an empty net.
Ross Barkley, Everton, Nike CTR Maestri III Volt/Black/Green Glow, 25th minute
Someone should tell 19-year-old Ross Barkely that life in the English top-flight isn’t supposed to be this easy. After scoring in the season’s curtain lifter against Norwich, Barkely has started every EPL contest for Roberto Martinez.
On Monday, he doubled Everton’s lead when Lukaku spotted his run on the counterattack and played him in. England’s rising star outmuscled defenders and use his right to beat goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle, Nike CTR Maestri III Volt/Black/Green Glow, 51st minute
A fine finish from the Frenchman as the Magpies tried to fight back in this affair. Cabaye used the Hi-Vis CTR Maestri III to full effect, smashing a strike into the side netting from well outside the area.
Loic Remy, Newcastle, Nike Tiempo Legend IV Sunburst/White/Total Crimson, 89th minute
Making it three goals in his last two EPL games, French international Loic Remy gave Newcastle hope of stealing a point in the match when he bullied his way through the Everton defense to beat Tim Howard from close range. Sadly for Toon supporters, the late goal wasn’t enough to overcome a dismal first-half performance.
What was your favorite goal of the weekend? Do you think Nike Hi-Vis players will continue to dominate the scoring next week? Tell us in the comments section below.