Liverpool beat Chelsea to claim the Carabou cup yesterday afternoon after Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga blazed the decisive spot-kick over the bar from 12 yards, prompting our team to consider the top 5 worst penalties of all time.
As you’ll likely know by now, Thomas Tuchel’s decision to sub on Kepa Arrizabalaga for Edouard Mendy for yesterday’s cup final shootout against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool spectacularly backfired.
The Spanish keeper failed to save ten out of ten Liverpool penalties and then skied his kick into Wembley’s row-Z.
The disastrous strike cost Chelsea their chance of lifting a second trophy this season following the club’s FIFA Club World Cup victory earlier this month.
But, to be fair to Arrizabalaga, the Spaniard probably wasn’t expecting to take such a decisive kick of the ball and certainly isn’t the first player to get a simple spot-kick completely wrong.
Take a look at our picks for the top 5 worst penalties of all time below (in no particular order):
Robert Pires & Thierry Henry (ARSENAL vs Manchester City, Premier League, 2005)
Thanks to some of the greatest attacking play ever seen in English football, spearheaded by the likes of Thierry Henry & Robert Pires, the title-winning Gunners went unbeaten in the league in 2003/04, earning themselves the titles of The Invincibles.
So, confidence was obviously still very high a season later when Arsenal took on an emerging Manchester City in the EPL. You can’t fault Wenger’s French contingent for much in the early-mid naughties, but this penalty effort from Pires & Henry certainly warranted a lashing from the manager at the end of the game.
Apparently, the failed routine was something the pair had worked on in training. Pires attempts to pass to Henry but then backs out of the decision late, leading to a moment that has gone down in EPL folklore for all eternity and for all the wrong reasons.
Ademola Lookman (FULHAM vs West Ham United, Premier League, 2020)
When your side is struggling at the foot of the table and you get a chance to level the score late in the game against West Ham from the spot, you simply have to convert…
Well, step forward Fulham’s Ademola Lookman, who clearly didn’t quite grasp the gravity of the situation facing his side when he attempted to score from 12-yards.
Lookman, instead of rifling the ball in to earn a crucial point for his side, opted for a cheeky panenka that was easily saved, earning himself a spot in our list in the process.
Roberto Baggio (ITALY vs Brazil, USA World Cup Final, 1994)
Back in 1994, many felt that Italy’s Roberto Baggio was among the best players in the world and, to be fair to the man, Baggio did have himself quite a tournament.
But, in the penalty shootout against Brazil in the final, the Italian stepped up to the spot to level the scores at five-all and blasted a shambolic penalty high over the bar and into the crowd to gift the trophy to Brazil.
There are 100s of examples of players blasting penalties over the bar. But, none can rival that Baggio miss in the final of the World Cup in the USA in 1994 in terms of magnitude. Hence, the Italian –great player though he was- simply has to make the list.
Bersant Celina (SWANSEA vs West Brom, EFL Championship, 2019)
Two seasons ago, Swansea’s Bersant Celina stepped up to take a kick against West Brom in the EFL Championship.
I’ve just watched this video about eight times and I still can’t adequately explain what the Kosovan was trying to do here – best just to watch the video and see for yourself.
Suffice to say though that Swansea lost the match, 0-3, and Celina was shipped off to Dijon soon after.
Neymar (BRAZIL vs Columbia, Friendly, 2012)
Roberto Baggio and Kepa Arrizabalaga both missed penalties by skying the ball high into the stadium.
But neither player showcased the art quite like a young Neymar did during this international friendly match against Columbia back in 2012.
The PSG-star hit a drive out of the bunker and ended up blasting his effort about 15 feet over the bar, much to the enjoyment of Columbian opposition.