Three that weren’t (but should have been)
Pedro Mendes (Tottenham v Man United, Premier League, January 2005)
YouTube credit: JensonsBeard
The Portuguese midfielder launched a speculative shot from 50-yards out that should have been an easy catch for Roy Carroll. Instead, the Northern Irish goalkeeper made a complete hash of things when he fumbled the ball over his own goal-line. Carroll scooped it away from a metre inside his goal, but referee Mark Clattenburg felt he had stopped it on the line.
Freddie Sears (Crystal Palace v Bristol City, Championship, August 2009)
YouTube credit: WDDCPFC
This one was a shocker as the young on loan striker applied an emphatic finish to a flowing move from the Eagles, with the ball even hitting the stanchion at the back of the Bristol City goal before rebounding back on to the pitch. Referee Rob Shoebridge failed to spot the goal and didn’t award it. Sears would play 19 times for Crystal Palace without scoring.
Frank Lampard (England v Germany, World Cup, June 2010)
YouTube credit: ClassicEngland
England had just made it 2-1 through Matthew Upson when a shot from Lampard left Manuel Neuer grasping at this air, before it hit the underside of the German crossbar, bounced a couple of yards over the line, and spun back out again. No goal. England were incredulous at losing their ‘equaliser,’ and went on to lose the match 4-1. The ultimate in ‘what might have beens.’
And two that were (but should they have been?)
Luis Garcia (Liverpool v Chelsea, Champions League, April 2005)
YouTube credit: MK46HD
Cut to 20 seconds in…
After a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in the first leg, Garcia swallowed up the rebound after Petr Cech had fouled Milan Baros to give the Reds the lead. The only problem with this was the fact that William Gallas seemed to clear the ball before it had crossed the line. Jose Mourinho fumed, Liverpool celebrated and went on to the final against AC Milan. We don’t quite recall how that went…
Geoff Hurst (England v West Germany, World Cup Final, 1966)
YouTube credit: littlechesney
The most famous of them all, and the goal that made ‘Russian linesmen’ a euphemism for getting away with murder for the next 40+ years. Hurst’s goal was awarded and he went on to score again, as England won 4-2 to give Clive Tyldesley a reason for shameless triumphalism well into the 21st century. The linesman, meanwhile, actually came from Azerbaijan and had a glorious moustache.