16 appalling penalties that even Diana Ross would be ashamed of

Simone Zaza penalty

Following Teo Gutierrez's hilariously bad effortGregor MacGregor - with help from PenaltyKickStat - analyses some of the most sub-standard spot-kicks of recent times

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If you haven't seen it, you'll want to watch it - though we're fairly sure Colombia forward Teo Gutierrez would be happy if he never had to see it again. His jaw-droppingly miscued penalty for club side Junior this past weekend led to the 32-year-old being immediately substituted, presumably so he could try to make sense of what had just happened.

At least he had an excuse - one shared by Bournemouth's Harry Arter who had his own epic miss last season - that the pitch clearly did him no favours. This was Harry's horror show.

According to PenaltyKickStat's data, collected since 2009/10, Arter's penalty was the worst of the 2016/17 Premier League season – and right up there among the 26 that feature in the chart below (compiled before Gutierrez's masterpiece).

Remember Jason Puncheon’s diabolical shank at White Hart Lane? What about Dejan Lovren’s spectacular hoik in Liverpool's Europa League loss to Besiktas? Or possibly any of Lionel Messi’s recent blunders from the spot? (There really are a lot.)

We now have a way to partly answer which bodged spot-kicks are worst thanks to the Twitter account above, which has tracked some 6,400 penalties since 2009. By using the below mathematical formula (don't worry, we’ve no idea what it means either) to measure the distance from goal, it’s possible to highlight a few of the worst kicks ever. 


The results are plotted below.


Messi’s effort in the bottom right immediately stands out, but that spot-kick was actually passed to Luis Suarez in Barcelona's 6-1 thrashing of Celta Vigo last season. 

The same happened to Russian midfielder Pavel Mamaev, who also took an indirect penalty for Krasnodar against Terek Grozny in 2016.

Penalty at 0:54

For full-on incompetence, Lovren’s aforementioned miss against Besiktas takes some beating; high, wide and ugly, although the camera angle chosen for broadcast perhaps saves the Croatian defender from further embarrassment.

Meanwhile, few Crystal Palace fans will be able to erase the memory of Puncheon’s awful effort at White Hart Lane in 2014. As the above graph shows, it wasn't even close.