Feature by Rich Godden
Updated Saturday, 2nd March 2002
Following a number of unique goalkeeping errors this season, Chelsea Mad decided to take a look at some of those moments that had these keepers wishing that the ground would open up and swallow them.
In a Premiership match against Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Tim Flowers was guilty of conceding one of the most amazing goals that you are ever likely to see. Television camera's caught Flowers making a divot in his penalty area to make kicking that little bit easier. Little did he know that when Stan Collymore hit a weak shot towards Flower's goal, the ball would shoot up and over his head. That is exactly what happened to poor old Tim. Collymore was amazed by the whole thing. It took him a while to actually realise that the ball had gone in the net as he had turned his head away expecting the keeper to make a routine save.
When Manchester United signed this little known Italian in 1999, few knew what to expect from him. A month later it was clear for everyone to see that Massimo Taibi was not cut out for the rigours of the Premiership. He had been fairly solid in his first few matches but the real test came against Luca Vialli's Chelsea, a side desperate to finally overtake United as England's top club. However, Taibi had different ideas. Unfortunately, he failed to display any goalkeeping talent as a goal shy Chelsea side hit five past Taibi. Even Chris Sutton managed to get on the scoresheet, scoring his one and only Premiership goal for the Blues. After that debacle, Fergie decided that Taibi deserved one more chance to prove himself. That came against Southampton and Taibi failed again. With United heading for a comfortable 3-2 victory, up stepped Matt Le Tissier, whose daisy cutter embarissingly went straight through the legs of Taibi. The problem, according to Taibi, was that his studs were too long. Sir Alex agreed with us- Taibi was useless. He would soon be shipped back to Serie A.
After a lengthy lay off with a knee injury, David James made his first start in a West Ham shirt for their reserve side. Unfortunately, the game didn't go quite how he wanted it to. After making a routine catch, James spotted a team mate and was about to throw it to him. To the horror of Hammers fans, he only succeeded in throwing the ball into his own net. James was almost guilty of making exactly the same mistake later in the game. Anyone else remember the days of 'Calamity James'?
Fabien Barthez (1)
In a vital Champions League game against Deportivo La Coruna, United were looking to push men forward in search of a vital win. Mystic Meg could not have predicted what was going to happen next- twice! Deportivo had the ball in United's penalty area but the ball squirmed free. Barthez and Wes Brown both left the ball for each other, neither claimed it and Sergio nipped in to give Deportivo a 2-1 lead. Having drawn themselves level, United threw even more men forward. With Deportivo looking dangerous on the counter attack, a long ball was launched forward in search of Diego Tristan. Barthez raced out of his area, slipped, missed the ball and watched in horror as Tristan's magnificent finish gave Deportivo the spoils in this game.
Fabien Barthez (2)
The top two teams for the past four seasons have been Manchester United and Arsenal. So both managers could have expected their players to be at their best. Whilst Arsenal played a magnificent game, Manchester United played poorly. Despite taking a lead into the second half, United were soon pegged back and the game appeared to be heading to a draw. Enter Fabien Barthez. The Frenchman gifted his fellow countryman Thierry Henry, not one, but two goals. The first came from a poor clearance, the second from bad handling of a slippy ball. That is all that the game will be remembered for in six months time. Not many people will remember the fantastic build up to the United goal or the magnificent lob from Freddie Ljungberg to bring Arsenal level. But nobody will remember the five or six crucial saves that Barthez had made prior to his blunders.
Whilst at Chelsea, Dave Beasant was a disaster waiting to happen. When that disaster finally came it turned a 2-1 Chelsea lead against Norwich into a 3-2 defeat. His errors cost the Blues and it wasn't long before he found himself on the sidelines. But his form wasn't the reason behind his spell on the sidelines. Beasant was actually injured after breaking his toe. How did he break his toe, I hear you ask? No it wasn't a crunch tackle or from stubbing his toe- he actually dropped a jar of salad cream on his toe!
In a routine home game against London rivals Charlton, Arsenal produced a lacklustre performance that cost them the game. After taking the lead Arsenal soon found themselves behind and when Richard Wright came out to catch a cross you wouldn't expect him to miss. And true to form Wright did not miss- he actually punched the ball into his own net! That blunder cost Arsenal and they would find themselves on the losing side by 4 goals to 2.
For the past few seasons Liverpool have been renowned for their excellent defensive record. Much of this is owed to two men- Sander Westerveld and Sami Hyypia. So when they took on newly promoted Bolton at the end of August, the Reds could have expected to run out easy winners. The game didn't quite go like that. Bolton held the lead for a large part of the game and when Liverpool drew level they were expected to go on and win the game. But Bolton have been the surprise package of the Premiership and causing upsets has been their strength this year. But even they could not have expected Dean Holdsworth's late effort to creep past Sander Westerveld. Liverpool acted fast and within a week they had signed two new keepers in Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland. After one error, Westerveld found himself lingering as third choice keeper so a move was his only way forward. Real Sociedad obliged.
Leeds went into the year 2002 on top of the Premiership. Unfortunately, there has been a slide down the table that has seen Leeds drop out of the Premiership title race and crash out of both the FA Cup, to lowly Cardiff, and the Uefa Cup, to PSV. So it didn't really help matters when Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium decided to play tricks on Nigel Martyn. With Leeds ahead and looking likely to go on to win the game, Paul Ince hit a shot more out of desperation than anything else. But where the six yard box had been relaid there was a minute gap. Yes, you guessed it, Ince managed to pick out the gap and Nigel Martyn could only watch in horror as the ball looped up and agonisingly beat his despairing effort before nestling in the back of the net. Leeds would retake the lead only to lose it late on.