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  • Writer's pictureWill Brown

Was Ademola Lookman's penalty the worst in Premier League history?

When Fulham were awarded a late penalty by VAR at the London Stadium this weekend, Ademola Lookman had a chance to win his side a vital away point with the last kick of the game. Instead, his feeble Panenka attempt drifted comfortably into Lukasz Fabianski’s gloves. Inspired by Lookman’s shocking attempt, we’ve looked back through Premier League history to find some of the worst misses we’ve seen from 12 yards out.

5. Wayne Rooney vs Chelsea, 2011

First on this list is an Old Trafford miss for Manchester United against their biggest rivals at the turn of the decade in Chelsea. With John Terry watching on, Rooney emulated his national team captain's fall in Moscow, with a slip that sent his spot kick flying wide. This game is famous for another shocking miss, when Fernando Torres rounded David de Gea only to miss the target with the goal gaping.

4. Jason Puncheon vs Tottenham 2013

Jason Puncheon gained notoriety in 2013 when he left the St Mary’s pitch mid-game in order to relieve himself, and this spot kick did his reputation no favours either. The camera is perfectly positioned - Puncheon’s effort starts out wide and only drifts wider. Having missed the chance to take an early lead, Palace went on to lose 2-0 at White Hart Lane.

3. Riyad Mahrez vs Liverpool, 2018

According to Opta Joe, Mahrez’s effort two years ago at Anfield was the most recent Premier League penalty to miss the target until this weekend. In the most competitive title race in recent years, the Algerian had a late chance to take all three points from City’s rivals, but ended up blazing it over Alisson’s crossbar. By season’s end, Mahrez could breathe a sigh of relief as his side pipped Liverpool to the title by a single point.

2. Ruud van Nistelrooy vs Arsenal, 2003

The early 2000s saw some of the most intense clashes the Premier League has produced, as Arsenal and United vied for the title. In the most heated of these contests, van Nistelrooy had a chance to win “The Battle of Old Trafford” in the dying seconds. Ruud instead thumped the ball against the woodwork, and got an earful from the Arsenal defence for his trouble. A United win would have stopped the Invincibles’ historic run in its track.

1. Robert Pires & Thierry Henry vs Manchester City, 2005

Despite combining brilliantly for multiple seasons for one of the Premier League’s greatest ever sides, the moment that most clearly comes to mind with the French duo is this calamitous routine. Pires was meant to roll the ball to Henry, but inexplicably seemed to forget his role and City ended up winning a free kick. Thankfully for Pires, he had already slotted one penalty away to give Arsenal a narrow win.

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