Barzagli, Bolton Wanderers and the Biggest Football Blunders of the Weekend
Sometimes a gaffe is an individual mistake; sometimes it’s a team effort.
Whatever the case, we’re almost as drawn to blunders as much as we are to the highlight reel, whether because of schadenfreude or simply the spectacle of the mistake.
Following are five such errors from the weekend’s matches—gaffes that led directly to the end result, caused nervy finishes or embarrassed the club in question altogether.
5. Andrea Barzagli
Juventus looked to be cruising to a comfortable win at home to Sampdoria when defender Andrea Barzagli gave the Serie A leaders something to think about.
Ahead 2-0 thanks to goals from Arturo Vidal and Fernando Llorente, Juventus were surely fancying their chances of a clean sheet when Barzagli, just returned from suspension, directed Manolo Gabbiadini’s cross past goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and into his own net with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
Thankfully for the Bianconeri, they were able to restore their two-goal lead just three minutes later when Vidal got his second from the penalty spot before Paul Pogba and Gabbiadini rounded out the scoring in Juventus’ 4-2 win.
4. David Rozenhal, Simon Kjaer and Vincent Enyeama
Lille may have the stingiest defense in Ligue 1, but the second goal they conceded in a 2-0 loss away to Saint-Etienne, Friday, was second- or third-division stuff.
Already trailing after Brandao’s opener for the hosts, both of Lille’s central defenders—David Rozenhal and Simon Kjaer—failed to clear the ball as it ping-ponged around the area in the 61st minute. After goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama could only palm the ball back in front of him after Brandao’s ambitious cross, Franck Tabanou had the most basic of finishes to complete the scoring at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Despite the defeat, Lille remain third in the French top flight with 40 points from 21 rounds—three points clear of fourth-placed Saint-Etienne.
3. Andrea Lazzari
Carrying a 2-1 lead into the final eight minutes of their match at home to Lazio, Udinese will have no doubt been hoping to keep things clean in front of goal in order to scrape the narrow win.
But in the 82nd minute, and with the Rome side pressing, goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic could only parry Senad Lulic’s cross into the back of Andrea Lazzari’s leg, then watch helplessly as it rolled into the back of his own net.
To make matter worse for Udinese, Brazilian midfielder Hernanes scored a late winner with an unstoppable drive to the far corner.
2. Pedro Jesus
Sometimes a penalty shout is so debatable, it takes several re-runs of the replay in order to reach a verdict.
Of course, referees don’t have the luxury of such technology, although on many occasions they’re in a good enough position to make the sensible call.
Pedro Jesus did exactly the opposite in the 19th minute of Saturday’s Primera Division match between Elche and Rayo Vallecano when he pointed to the spot following what he thought to be a foul on Elche’s Coro by Vallecano’s Raul Baena.
It was clear at the time that no contact had been made—as the officials were reminded of by the travelling supporters through the remainder of the match.
Edu Albacar scored on the resulting penalty for the hosts, who added an insurance-marker in the 79th minute through Javier Moreno Marquez.
1. Bolton Wanderers’ Social Media Staff
At first, it was meant to be a bit of entertaining buildup.
Bolton Wanderers were scheduled to face Reading in a Saturday Championship encounter at Madejski Stadium and the person in charge of the club’s Twitter account decided to have a bit of fun.
"Flashback, #ReadingFC won’t thank us for this. Fabian de Freitas scores late on in the 1995 play-off final," read the trolling tweet, accompanied by a video of the goal.
And after an exchange between the accounts of both clubs, Bolton issued the following challenge: "Okay, let’s settle this once and for all. Us, you, 3pm, tomorrow."
Reading proceeded to thrash the Trotters 7-1.