Puncheon, Bonera and the Biggest World Football Blunders of the Weekend
Not every highlight package is of the glorious variety.
Sure, it’s the long-distance screamers, close-control dribbles and spectacular saves that typically catch the eye. However, more often than not, a mistake will have the most to do with the outcome of a match.
Following are five such errors from Saturday and Sunday’s encounters—gaffes that either led directly to the result or caused nervy finishes.
AC Milan’s 4-3 defeat to promoted Sassuolo on Sunday cost Rossoneri manager Massimiliano Allegri his job, and it was Domenico Berardi’s goal just two minutes after the restart that pounded the final nail in the coffin.
Incredibly, Sassuolo had gone into the break leading the seven-time European champions 3-2. However, in the 47th minute, Berardi scored what proved the winner when his shot was deflected into the back of the net by Milan defender Daniele Bonera.
The 4-3 defeat was Milan’s seventh loss of the season, and at the schedule’s midway point, they sit a disappointing 11th in Serie A.
Athletic Bilbao steamrolled Almeria on Saturday and grabbed two of their six goals within the first 10 minutes of play.
Mikel Rico opened the scoring after only six minutes. Four minutes later, the Basque giants were 2-0 to the good after Ander Herrera’s eventual match-winner.
However, it was Sebastian Dubarbier’s mistake in the buildup that will have really grated on Almeria manager Francisco Rodriguez.
Dispossessed by Markel Susaeta, the Athletic midfielder was then able to find Herrera at the far post for the goal.
A surprising Stade de Reims side rose to seventh in the Ligue 1 table with their 2-1 win away to third-place Lille on Sunday.
Odair Fortes and Grzegorz Krychowiak broke a 0-0 stalemate with goals three minutes apart midway through the second half, but an Anthony Weber own goal with just two minutes remaining had the guests sweating as they closed out their victory.
Lille defender Simon Kjaer had looked to pick out an attacking teammate with an ambitious, arching ball into space. However, instead of clearing the danger, Weber headed the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Valenciennes had barely taken the lead at home to Bastia when they were gifted a second—courtesy of Turchini goalkeeper Mickael Landreau.
With the hosts building up a head of steam and probing for a second, Bastia might have cleared the danger on several occasions. Instead, as a cross came in from the right in the 33rd minute, Landreau’s half-hearted swat landed at the feet of Mathieu Dossevi.
The striker completed his brace.
Abdul Waris also went on to score for Valenciennes, who prevailed 3-2 after a late Bastia fight-back.
Tottenham were fortunate to come out of the first half at home to Crystal Palace on level terms after a clumsy 45 minutes that included the concession of a penalty after just eight minutes.
Vlad Chiriches began the gaffe-filled sequence with a giveaway in the attacking third that sent Palace on the counter-attack, and after Moussa Dembele clattered into Marouane Chamakh in front of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot.
Jason Puncheon stepped up to do the business, and while his side would have been good value for the lead, he smashed his effort well over the target.
Spurs went on to win 2-0.