In honor of Stephen Carr’s howler in Birmingham City’s 2-2 draw at Sunderland yesterday on the opening day of the 2010/11 Premier League season, here is a list of the top 10 Premier League Own Goals:
10. Olof Mellberg/Peter Enckelman vs. Birmingham City
Playing in the top flight for the first time in 16 years, Birmingham City were given a helping hand from Aston Villa goalkeeper Peter Enckelman in the first ever Premier League Birmingham Derby. Clinton Morrison had given the Blues a first half lead, but what would happen quarter of an hour from time would go down in Premier League history. A seemingly harmless throw in from Olof Mellberg back to goalkeeper Enckelman went under the Finn’s foot and doubled Birmingham’s lead on their way to an impressive 3-0 victory.
9. J’Lloyd Samuel vs. Manchester United
Needing a victory at Bolton to keep in last season’s title race, Manchester United were forced to battle it out with the Wanderers in the first half. The home side had chances in the first half with the then defending champions not firing on all cylinders. That changed before half time when Ryan Giggs’ drive cross was coolly slotted home by J’Lloyd Samuel. Unfortunately, he was playing for the opposition, contributing to one of an incredible 12 own goals in Manchester United’s favour in 2009/10.
8. Abou Diaby vs. Manchester United
And the start of the record number of Premier League own goals started at Old Trafford in late August 2009. Arsenal had taken the lead at Old Trafford through Andrei Arshavin’s long range effort in the first half, but had been pegged back through a Wayne Rooney penalty on the hour. Five minutes later, a calamitous own goal from Abou Diaby gave United the lead from which they didn’t look back. Abou Diaby headed Ryan Giggs’ whipped in free kick into the top corner.
7. John Arne Riise vs. Southampton
Liverpool had high hopes of winning the Premier League title for the first time in 2002, but their title chances were unhinged with results like the one at St Mary’s to start the year. Southampton had taken the lead on the hour mark with a James Beattie penalty before Liverpool helped them to a second. A Marion Pahar’s cross from the left wing, with no Southampton players in the penalty area, saw John Arne Riise needlessly head over his helpless goalkeeper, Jerzy Dudek for the final goal of the game. Riise went on to score two other cracking own goals later in his Liverpool career; for Luton Town and Chelsea.
6. Sam Ricketts vs. Blackburn Rovers
It’s very rare to see a headed goal from outside of the 18 yard box. Sam Rickkets is one of the few players to have pulled that off. Unfortunately for the Bolton Wanderers centre back, it was past his own goalkeeper in a fierce Lancashire rivalry. Miscommunication between the the Welsh international and Finnish goalkeeper didn’t go down with the Lancashire locals. At least not the home supporters as it put the game beyond them with Blackburn running out 2-0 winners.
5.Tony Popovic vs. Portsmouth
An early clash between two relegation contenders saw Portsmouth leading 2-1 at home to bottom placed Crystal Palace with five minutes remaining. And with five minutes remaining the three points were in the bag when Tony Popovic spectacularly flicked in a cross with a Gianfranco Zola-like heel flick.
4. Richard Dunne vs. West Bromwich Albion
Kevin Keegan’s Manchester City were hoping to qualify for European football in 2004/05, while Bryan Robson’s West Bromwich Albion were just hoping to stay up. As you would expect, Manchester City were clear favourites to win this end of year clash. The Sky Blues were given a helping hand when Thomas Gaardsoe was sent off in the first half. With the man advantage, Nicolas Anelka duly gave the home side the lead. But they failed to get a second, and even though West Brom failed to have a shot on target during the whole game, they came away with a point when a long ball up field took a horrible deflection off Richard Dunne’s knee outside the penalty area and past the onrushing David James. Come the end of the season, this point was the difference between West Brom staying up and going down.
3, 2 and 1. Frank Sinclair
If there’s one player who’s made a reputation for scoring own goals, look no further than Leicester City’s very own Frank Sinclair. At the start of the 1999/00 season, Leicester City were on course for a good result at Highbury. That was before they headed into stoppage time and an unchallenged Frank Sinclair headed in Arsenal’s winner. Wanting to make it up the following weekend, Leicester City were 2-1 up at home to Chelsea, on course for their second win of the season. That was until the final few minutes when up stepped Frank Sinclair to head home an equaliser for his former club. Two seasons later and Leicester City would drop out of the Premier League. Frank Sinclair would be a big part of the squad who finished bottom of the table. A trip to the Riverside Stadium in March saw Frank Sinclair score the only goal of the game. A beautiful strike from over 30 yards out… into his own net. Along with Jamie Carragher and Richard Dunne, Frank Sinclair holds the joint record for six Premier League own goals.