Arsenal

Dodgiest Penalties – The Dives!

"Sometimes I dive, sometimes I stand.... but I do not dive..."

Sometimes, there are penalty decisions so contentious that major inquiries get launched and a lot of proverbial can hit the fan – although in this day and age, fines just mean one less night of fun and games for the likes of Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney. So here are some of the most blatant dives ever to fool the moronic ref.

At five…

5. Anders Limpar – Everton 3-2 Wimbledon (1994)

This was the classic “Great Escape”. After a dismal season, Everton had to beat a mustard Wimbledon side containing the likes of Vinnie Jones, John Fashanu and Dean Holdsworth on the final day. After going 2-0 down early on, Everton were awarded a penalty after Swedish winger Anders Limpar was “upended” by Peter Fear, but replays showed that Fear had made no contact with Limpar. Nonetheless, Graham Stuart stuck it away as Everton mounted an impossible comeback to survive.

4. Martin Olsson – Burnley 0-1 Blackburn (2010)


This was the day Burnley were effectively relegated, with a home defeat to rivals Blackburn, and a tough run-in looming after. But matters were made more insulting as Martin Olsson’s theatrics, not a decisive and valiant touch of sportsmanlike class, was the deciding factor in this crucial East Lancashire derby. Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen’s legitimate tackle was hurdled by Olsson who then hit the deck. Olsson was admonished for his actions by Sam Allardyce after admitting to diving – lucky they can’t relinquish results once they are registered eh?

2. Didier Zokora – Tottenham 2-1 Portsmouth (2006)

Back when ‘Appy ‘Arry managed Portsmouth, a knife-edge encounter stood at 1-0 when Pedro Mendes put in a fair challenge on Didier Zokora, who fell like a sack of the proverbial. Jermain Defoe made no mistake from the spot, and this win kickstarted Tottenham’s poor start to that season.

(Then) manager Martin Jol had only this to say:

“I think Didier was anticipating Mendes’ tackle and maybe lost his balance. But I don’t think he did it on purpose. We don’t want that sort of thing but I think this was something different.

‘Ave a word…

3. Ryan Babel – Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal (2008)

Arsenal (having never won the Champions League in their history) were safe and through to the semi finals on away goals with the score deadlocked 2-2 at Anfield in a pulsating clash with five time winners Liverpool. As Kolo Toure and Ryan Babel went for the same ball, there was some fair jostling in the penalty area, but there was no illegal contact with Babel just before he went down in the area. A penalty it was, and Liverpool would go on to win 4-2 – although they lost to Chelsea in the semi-finals.

1. Fabio Grosso – Italy 1-0 Australia (2006)

Australia surprised everyone in 2006 after procdeeding from a tough group containing Brazil and Croatia, but it all counted for nothing as they were eliminated by eventual winners Italy courtesy of this injury time penalty – the last kick of the game. Australian defender Lucas Neill had merely fallen over as he jostled with Grosso, who in turn fell over Neill’s body all too easy for a penalty.

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