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You Do It To Yourself: Three Of The Worst Top-Flight Own Goals In England

December 10, 2015

- Grant Whittington

From the perspective of a professional footballer, is there anything worse than scoring an own goal? While some may argue that the loss of a major final or losing a first team place has greater long-term impact, nothing can match the humiliation of scoring at the wrong end and potentially damaging your teams chances of success. From a fans perspective, however, own goals provide huge entertainment (so long as they are not scored by one of their own players!)

So with Christmas approaching, we thought we’d give you a little treat by taking a look at three of our favourite own goals…

Lee Dixon (Arsenal v Coventry City, 1991)

Never prolific from right back, it should come as no surprise that Arsenal’s Lee Dixon scored his most memorable goal at the wrong end against Coventry in 1991. In attempting to play the ball back to keeper David Seaman (in an age where goalies could pick up back passes), Dixon inexplicably lofted a 30-yard lob towards goal and watched in horror as it caught a sudden gust of wind. It duly sailed over Seaman’s head and into the net, handing the Sky Blues a shock 2-1 win at Highbury. With the  bookmakers at Bethut making the Gunners genuine candidates for title success this season, Arsene Wenger will be hoping that his defenders avoid any unnecessary back passes over the course of the next six months.

Jamie Pollock (Manchester City v QPR, 1998)

Picture the scene: it is the penultimate game of the EPL season, and Manchester City are hosting QPR in a crucial relegation clash at Maine Road. Suddenly, midfielder Jamie Pollock gathers the ball in mid-air, flicking it over an oncoming opponent and entering the penalty area. Without breaking stride, he loops a precise header over the keeper and caps a stunning individual effort. Unfortunately, Pollock scored at the wrong end, condemning Manchester City to Division One (and a four-year hiatus from the top-flight) and helping QPR to stay in the league.

Peter Enckelman (Aston Villa v Birmingham, 2002)

Apparently, Peter Enckelman’s incredibly and humiliating own goal against Birmingham in an ill-tempered Midlands derby in 2002 remains a source of confusion for the Finn. In attempting to collect a throw-in from colleague Olof Mellberg, Enckelman allowed the ball to roll under his left foot and into an unguarded net. It appears obvious that Enckelman did not touch the ball, however, and a simple appeal by the keeper or Mellberg may well have saved him his considerable embarrassment. Still, it has gone down as one of the most cringe-inducing own goals, and one that probably still keeps the Finnish keeper awake at night.

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