Even the top players in football can have a bad day, and some of them even have a bad career. Premier League fans are sure to be well aware of the mistakes and blunders that not only players but also referees can make. Check out some of the most memorable blunders in the Premier League with this list of top mistakes.
1. A case of mistaken identity
Everyone loves to hate referees, and there’s no doubt that they make their fair share of mistakes. But for all of the things they can get wrong, it’s not often that they mix up two players. In 2014, in a match between Arsenal and Chelsea, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain deflected a shot away from the goal with his hand. But instead of delivering the red card to him, the referee gave it to Kieran Gibbs.
2. Expensive transfer mistake
Not all footballing blunders happen on the field. Off the field, some of the biggest mistakes that can happen can cost a team in a different way. Expensive transfers are certainly not uncommon, but it goes without saying that clubs don’t want to waste money on players that don’t work out. But that’s what happened when Chelsea spent £30 million on Andrei Shevchenko, who had previously been a great striker but didn’t have such success after his transfer.
3. Sunderland’s two own goal hat-tricks
There are few worse blunders than scoring an own goal, except maybe doing it three times – twice. In 2014 Sunderland managed three own goals in Southampton, but it wasn’t the first time that they had managed it. They did the same in 2003 and incredibly managed all three own goals in under eight minutes, giving Charlton a 3-1 win.
4. Villa concede from a Birmingham throw-in
Some football blunders can also prompt strange reactions. The Second City derby between Birmingham and Aston Villa can be fraught with tension, like other inter-city rivalries. One memorable incident is when keeper Peter Enckelman let teammate Olaf Mellberg’s throw in into the goal. Even stranger was what followed: several fans invading the pitch, including one who was eventually jailed for four months.
5. Disallowed Everton goal
Another memorable refereeing mistake occurred in 2000 when Everton was playing Liverpool in the derby. With neither team having scored a goal as the end of the match approached, Everton managed a last-minute score – but referee Graham Poll disallowed Don Hutchinson’s goal, saying that he had already blown his whistle for full-time. Video footage later proved that he hadn’t, but he didn’t admit he had got it wrong until ten years later.
6. Missed penalty from Pires and Henry
While some football blunders are just mistakes, sometimes players are their own worst enemy and make stupid decisions. After converting one penalty in Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat of Manchester City, Robert Pires teamed up with Thierry Henry to take a risk on another that didn’t pay off. Pires was meant to kick the ball ahead for Henry to run on to, but he didn’t kick it hard enough to move it from the penalty spot.
7. Ronny Rosenthal’s missed goal
One of the most memorable and well-known misses to have ever occurred in the Premier League is one that happened only weeks after the first ever season began. Ronny Rosenthal managed to avoid Aston Villa goalkeeper Nigel Spink and had an open goal ahead of him, but ruined his chance at the last second by hitting the crossbar.
8. Beach ball on the field
It’s not too unusual for things that shouldn’t be on the field to end up there, including animals. But it wasn’t a cat or dog but a beach ball that ended up resulting in a goal in 2009. Sunderland managed a goal when the ball got in the way of Darren Bent, and the deflection distracted the goalkeeper.
9. Another expensive transfer
Expensive transfers that don’t pan out are more common than you might think. Manchester United paid £28.1 million for Juan Sebastian Veron, but his performance left something to be desired.
10. Manchester United lose their lead
Sometimes team start off well and then let a win slip through their fingers. One example is Manchester United in 2012 when they started eight points ahead in the league with six games left, but quickly messed up and allowed City to take their first Premier League title instead.
Even if you make a mistake out on the field, you can make sure that you have the right kit, so you at least look good while playing.