The Top 5 strangest goals in football history

Sunderland v Liverpool - Premier League

Football can be a strange game. There is undoubtedly no better feeling in the game than scoring a goal. But what happens when you combine the two together?

Over the years, football has treated us to some hilariously unorthodox goals, some of which really ought to have been chalked off.

In fact, with today’s laws and technology, many of them definitely would have been ruled out. It is funny to think that these moments have happened to the biggest teams on the greatest of occasions too.

From inanimate objects deflecting the ball to a referee getting himself an assist, there as been some absolute corkers over the years.

So, without further ado, what are the top five strangest and most famous goals in football history?

5. Referee’s assist

Back in 2001, a fierce fixture pitted together Aston Villa and Liverpool in what should have been an ordinary Premier League clash. Except, the game was far from ordinary and took a rather shocking turn in just the seventh minute.

At 0-0 Peter Schmeichel looked to get his team playing quickly, throwing the ball into the middle of the park. Rather comically – albeit unfortunately – the ball hit the retreating referee, Andy D’Urso, on the back, causing the ball to fall perfectly for a unsuspecting who rather nonchalantly took his chance, stroking the ball into an empty net to put his side in front. The goal, rather astonishingly, stood and Liverpool went on to win the game 2-1.

Under today’s guidelines, play would have been halted, with the referee giving possession back to team who had lost it… too little too late.

4. Patch of mud annoys Flowers

Goalkeeper Tim Flowers was left speechless when Stan Collymore’s weak effort somehow found its way into the back of the net. The attacker had turned away in embarrassment at the shoddy attempt of a long shot he had just performed but turned back after hearing the crowd’s rapturous applause to witness the ball he had just kicked in the back of the net.

He was aided by a lump of turf that bobbled the ball up in the air past a grounded Flowers who looked sure to collect the ball comfortably. It proved pivotal too, with Liverpool claiming a fortunate 3-2 win over a despondent Blackburn Rovers side in 1996. This goal would have totally still stood today, although the state of our pitches has come a long way since the 90s.

3. The paper ball that changed everything

It’s 2009. Rivals Werder Bremen and Hamburger SV have been drawn together in a monumental UEFA Cup semi-final showdown. The former leads the game 2-1 in the 83rd minute but are by no means comfortable. That was until a seamlessly harmless ball hit a tiny paper ball and forced the Hamburg defender to mishit a clearance out for a corner.

From the resulting set piece, the side scored to make it 3-1. The game ended 3-2 and Werder Bremen made it to the final of the competition on an away goal. The deciding own goal: that corner that should never have been. All caused by an inanimate paper ball. Gutting.

2. Beach party

The Premier League has had some absolute stinkers. This is the competitions third inclusion. This case, though, is perhaps the most famous of them all, scored by Darren Bent.

The Sunderland striker struck a well-hit half volley towards Pepe Reina’s goal back in 2009 which the Liverpool goalkeeper looked more than capable of handling. Except he didn’t handle it at all. Instead, the ball struck a Liverpool beach ball that had been chucked onto the pitch by a Liverpool fan… not the best way to show your support.

Sunderland won the game 1-0, leaving Liverpool feeling… deflated.

1. The goal that never was

In 2013, one of the strangest goals to ever be scored (or not scored) occurred in the Bundesliga. Leverkusen were 1-0 up against Hoffenheim and had a corner in the 68th minute. The ball was whipped into Stefan Kiessling, who headed the ball towards the nearer corner, hitting the side netting. The striker even looked away, put his hands on his head as if to say: ‘That was close.’

It was closer than he thought. The ball had rolled around the side netting and slipped through and into the goal itself, sparking celebrations from his teammates. In his celebrations he can be seen laughing, knowing himself it definitely didn’t go in. Strangely, no one else noticed. Not even the opposition goalkeeper who kicked the ball away in frustration. After a brief chat with the referee, the whistle was blown and play resumed at 2-0. Astonishing.

Technology nowadays definitely would have called this off… or even just a good pair of eyes.

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