Toppo’s Top Tens – Own Goals

In Pod 21 the lads talked about own goals, probably every footballer’s worst nightmare. Just ask Richard Dunne, he’s scored nine goals for the opposition whilst playing in the top flight, making him the Premier League’s all time top scorer of own goals. His teammates must wish he was just as potent at the other end of the pitch.

There are many others who have shared Dunne’s anguish at sticking one past his own ‘keeper, sending their team’s plans array as they gift goals to their opponents. Here are ten memorable own goals, ranging from the spectacular to ridiculous – but always comical.

10. Jamie Carragher – LIVERPOOL v West Ham United, FA Cup Final 2006

Just behind Richard Dunne on the top own goalscorers chart is Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher with eight. He’s a man who knows how to put the ball in the net….his own that is. In the 2006 FA Cup Final the defender gave West Ham the lead with this OG after attempting to clear a cross by backheeling it away. He failed miserably because the ball ricocheted into the goal off his standing foot as he fell forwards, face buried in the Cardiff turf.

9. Lee Dixon – ARSENAL v Coventry City, League Division One 1991

Now we know where Nayim and Ronaldinho got the idea of lobbing David Seaman from, they saw Lee Dixon do it with style. In a match at home to Coventry, the Gunners defender had the ball midway in his half and attempted to pass back to his goalkeeper, totally misjudging it and chipping over ‘safe hands Seaman’ from 30 yards. Sublime skill.

8. Djimi Traore – Burnley v LIVERPOOL, FA Cup 2005

Another bang average Liverpool full-back from the past decade does himself justice here with an incredible own goal in an FA Cup 3rd Round defeat at Burnley. This was the moment he thought he was Zinedine Zidane, but realised he’s just Djimi Traore. Six yards from his own goal line the defender attempted a drag-back turn as the ball came toward him and conspired to tap it into the net. I hear he’s lined up for the next series of Strictly.

7. Wayne Hatswell – FOREST GREEN ROVERS v Morecambe, FA Cup 2000

Staying with the FA Cup and here’s a goal from an earlier round of the competition which proves it’s not just the top-end pros who make themselves look stupid. In 2000 Forest Green’s Wayne Hatswell managed to score an own goal clearance from three yards out. His goalkeeper parried a shot across goal and the ball fell to Hatswell who just had to clear it to safety. Instead he sliced it into the top corner of his net to the disbelief of his teammates.

6. Frank Sinclair – LEICESTER CITY v many opponents

Frank Sinclair is a player who will always be remembered for scoring own-goals, aided by the fact he scored two in consecutive weekends for the Foxes in 1999, against Arsenal at Highbury one week with a great leaping header and at home to Chelsea the week after, putting through his own net again with a header, losing Leicester’s 1-0 lead. Worse still, the two goals dropped points for his team.

His best was to come in 2002 during a crucial match away at Middlesbrough. Leicester were battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League and in desperate need of some points. However Sinclair gifted the hosts the perfect start after just four minutes, beating his own goalkeeper from 30 yards with a misguided back pass. The sight of Ian Walker sprawling across the pitch in a vain attempt to get to the ball always causes a chuckle. Here’s that goal, and Frank’s other OG’s for your enjoyment.

5. Peter Enckleman – Birmingham City v ASTON VILLA, Premier League 2002

During a hotly contested Birmingham derby at St. Andrews – the first in the league for 16 years – Peter Enckleman was guilty of a hugely costly gaffe, probably the worst thing to do against your fierce local rivals.

Aston Villa’s defender Olof Mellberg took a quick throw in towards his goalkeeper which was innocuous enough, until what happened next. Finnish international Enckleman failed to control the ball rolling towards him, allowing it to slip under his foot and into the net to extend Birmingham’s lead to 2-0. There have been doubts over the goal as Enckleman claimed he did not touch the ball, however there’s no doubt it was an embarrassing moment for the goalkeeper and anyone associated with Villa.

4. Goran Rubil – HAJDUK SPLIT v Lokomotiva, Croatian League 2010

An ferocious strike from Goran Rubil here for Hajduk Split against Lokomotiva – shame it was in the wrong net. At a crucial stage in the Croatian League, the two rivals met with much at stake as they were part of a four-way tussle for Europa League places.

In the ninth minute of the match Lokomotiva were given the advantage as midfielder Rubil attempted to clear the ball but ended up smashing it beyond his own goalkeeper from 20 yards out, the sort of strike the likes of Gerrard, Kaka and Messi would all be proud of. Unfortunately for Rubil the goal set his side up for a 2-0 defeat, but what a hit.

3. Franck Queudrue – LENS v Bastia, French League 2001

Franck Queudrue had spells with Middlesbrough, Fulham and Birmingham City in England and is remembered as a full-back with a strong left foot, we just didn’t realise how strong it was. He started his career in France with Lens and whilst playing for them in 2001 he managed to lob his own goalkeeper from 35 yards out with said left peg.

The goal is an absolute beauty. Opponents Bastia had the ball in the middle of the park trying to start an attack and it was played forward where Queudrue was waiting to take possession. Rather than control the ball he decided to wallop it up in the air on the volley towards his own goal, sending it flying over the head of the despairing ‘keeper. Spectacular to say the least.

2. Jamie Pollock – MANCHESTER CITY v Queens Park Rangers, Division One 1998

Jamie Pollock scores a goal here with all the poise, control and composure of the world’s finest footballers, just in the wrong net. In the late stages of the 1997/98 season City and QPR met at Maine Road in a relegation six-pointer, and Pollock became a hero amongst Rangers fans for this effort which effectively consigned City to the third tier of English football.

Running onto a loose ball, Pollock flicked it up in the air over two players, before casually nodding it beyond his on-rushing goalkeeper. Reminiscent of Paul Gascoigne at Euro 96, if you’re ever going to score an own goal, this is how to do it.

1. Chris Brass – Darlington v BURY, League Two 2006

It’s not the most spectacular or crucial of own goals but it’s by far and away the funniest. During a match against Darlington, defender Chris Brass attempted to clear the ball out of his penalty area with an overhead clearance. Unfortunately for the Bury man his clearance went wrong as the ball smashed off his face and into the net. To make things worse, he suffered a broken nose for his trouble. A famous own goal and a deserving number one.

Are there any other memorable own goals? Get in touch at www.twitter.com/steven_toplis or www.twitter.com/optajokepodcast.

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