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Friday 13th: Coral’s 10 unluckiest moments in football

| 13.11.2015

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | November 13, 2015

Friday 13th doesn’t come around often, but the date is synonymous with bad luck. That got Coral writers thinking, so we have provided a list of 10 unfortunate moments in footballing history.

Phil Babb: The nutcracker

Former Liverpool defender Babb not only failed to prevent Chelsea’s Pierluigi Casiraghi scoring his only goal for the Blues in 1998, but his attempted block resulted in him sliding into the post, groin first. The Reds are now 11/5 chances to finish in the top four this season.

Edinson Cavani: Bicycle kick disallowed v Barcelona

Uruguay star Cavani scored perhaps the goal of his life for former side Napoli against Barca in a pre-season friendly in 2011 when the score was 0-0, but his audacious effort was disallowed after an offside call in the build-up. The Catalan club went on to net five times, but at least Cavani caught Gerard Pique in the head as a consolation.

Steven Gerrard: Premier League title-losing slip v Chelsea

Liverpool entered this game at Anfield on April 27th 2014 on a run of 11 straight wins and sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League. All they needed was perhaps a point from this encounter, but captain Gerrard of all people slipped after a routine pass and let Demba Ba net to help the Blues on the way to a 2-0 victory. Manchester City capitalised on this and went on to claim the title.

Frank Lampard: World Cup goal that wasn’t against Germany

England arguably would’ve lost the match anyway at the 2010 finals, having been outplayed throughout, but Lampard smashed a strike past Manuel Neuer off the bar, which would’ve brought the scores level. The referee adjudged the shot to not have crossed the line, though, and as a result goal-line technology was introduced, so it wasn’t for nothing.

Pedro Mendes: Roy Carroll fumble

Then-Tottenham and Portugal player Mendes thought he got the winner from a screamer just inside Manchester United’s half in the dying minutes, after Red Devils keeper Carroll fumbled the shot in 2005. However, the linesman failed to see the ball cross the line and the game finished 0-0.

Pepe Reina: Darren Bent beach ball incident

One of the more bizarre moments in football, and once again at the expense of Liverpool, this time in 2009. This is the only time a beachball has scored, to our knowledge, after being assisted by Sunderland’s Bent.

Republic of Ireland: Thierry Henry handball

The Green Army came agonisingly close to upsetting France in a World Cup qualifying play-off in 2009, but former Arsenal great Henry infamously laid on the winning goal for William Gallas after he kept the ball in play with his hand, to send Les Bleus to the finals. Let’s hope the Irish have no such bad luck this time around in their Euro 2016 play-off with Bosnia and Herzegovina, who they are 7/2 to beat in the first leg.

Paul Robinson: Gary Neville back pass hits bobble

In this Euro 2008 qualifier, England succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Croatia, after a back-pass from Neville hit a bump, to deceive the unlucky keeper Robinson. The Three Lions later failed to make the finals after another loss to the Blazers, in a match more famous for Steve McClaren’s being the Wally with a Brolly.

Karl-Heinz Rummenige: Wonder goal v Rangers wrongly disallowed

Former Bayern Munich and West Germany icon Rummenigge once said his greatest ever goal came against Scottish giants Rangers in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup. The technique he used to guide the ball in the net was out of this world, but the referee disallowed it for some reason.

Goal 1.54…

Jan Vertonghen: Ridiculous linesman decision

The most recent unfortunate incident of this list comes in the 2014/15 season in a game between Spurs and Sunderland, who seem to have had the most luck from our picks. Belgium defender Vertonghen was roughly 12 feet onside behind the halfway line before picking up the ball to score, but the linesman thought differently. Tottenham (5/4 top four chances) did win the game, though.



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.