Video Stars: The best and worst of the week

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Tis the season to be jolly, and nothing provokes mirth like an own goal, particularly from the league leaders. (It's only human nature, don't fight it.)

So let's start with Liverpool's Jamie Carragher tucking home confidently on behalf of Hull. Credit to Carra; after a midfield mix-up he was in the right place at the right time, which is the key to most goals.

Also getting on the opponent's scoresheet was Bolton's Kevin Davies, who did his usual thing – powerfully outmuscling a defender to get on the end of a cross – but this time it was past an understandably startled Jussi Jaaskelainen to Villa's benefit.

Kevin Davies: "Oops" 

Not so Saintly behaviour from Southampton's Chris Perry, another experienced campaigner getting all muxed ip. Hanging out a hopeful leg like many an opportunist striker,  "The Rash" diverted home a Wade Elliott cross to put Burnley one up; within 10 minutes it was 3-0 and game over.

Meanwhile in what used to be Division Three, credit to Hereford’s Dean Beckwith for looping a header into his own top corner to gift Hartlepool an equaliser. Click here and scroll down on the right.


Defenders don't have to score the goals themselves; they can merely set up the oppotision to finish the job. At 35, Chesterfield’s Kevin Austin should know better than to be charged down mid-clearance; visitors Macclesfield went 2-0 up after 25 minutes, Austin was subbed at half-time and manager Lee Richardson copped it from the fans.

Valencia gaffer Unai Emery isn't under threat but he might be if Mestalla legends like David Albelda keep presenting festive gifts like this one to Espanyol’s Roman Martinez, who went on to thrash the ball home from 25 yards.

Finally, it's the defender's version of that nightmare where you're in public naked: Bologna's Marcello Castellini gets his pants pulled down by Roma's Vucinic, who capitalises on sodden-footed hesitancy to wander off and win the game.


Not that defensive interference is always needed; sometimes goalkeepers can cock it up all by themselves. Take Peterborough and England's Joe Lewis, so comprehensively confused by Oldham's training-ground set-piece that he fumbles the ball out for the equaliser.

If that was a bad leveller to concede, consider Scunny's Joe Murphy, who managed to fumble a corner into his own net to allow visitors Northampton to level after being 4-1 down. Oops.

Those krazy kontinental keepers kan also bekome konfused from korners. Take Sochaux goalkeeper Teddy Richert, who came charging out like a sexually frustrated rhino and, by comprehensively failing to deal with matters, gifted Caen a 1-0 lead.

Maybe it was the orange ball that confused Valencia keeper Vicente Guita in their UEFA Cup tie; the keeper embarrassingly fumbled a trundling cross inviting St Etienne striker Illan to score his second of the game. 

Sometimes defender and goalkeeper can unite for a common goal, even if it's the opposition's. Perhaps egged on by Chris Perry's earlier own goal, the often-inspired Southampton stopper Kelvin Davis flapped to gift Burnley a 2-0 lead.

Kelvin Davis: "Oops"

Sometimes, though, keepers have such a bad day they must want to hide in a cupboard in Greenland. Deportivo keeper Daniel Aranzubia suffered against Valladolid. First his throw-out was intercepted by Pedro Lopez, who brilliantly lobbed it back over him from 40 yards to make it 2-0, then he was embarrassed by a speculative Pedro Leon punt from the right wing.


There was much comfy-cardie chuckling on the Match of the Day sofa the other week about the heading ability of Hull's Brazilian striker Giovanni. He'd have been proud of his compatriot Halleson Honorato, whose awful header – unmarked, empty goal, five yards out – put the tin hat on Portimonense's 3-0 defeat to Naval.

Also making Andy Gray sob was Malaga's Fernando, who missed a seven-yard dolly that would have put his side 1-0 up against Numancia.

It's often said that strikers have too much time to consider their options. That may have been the problem for Bristol City's Nicky Maynard when he found himself clean through at Hillsborough only to shank wide (a minute into the clip), but what's the excuse for Crewe's Clayton Donaldson falling over in the six-yard box (50 seconds into the clip)?

Grimsby fans are quite taken with their man Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, and no wonder when even relative airshots like this one end up at the foot of a team-mate who can spank home (again, a minute into the clip).

Down in Australia, some fine work from usually handy strikers trying to keep the Wellington Phoenix-Perth Glory match goalless. First, Perth's Nikita Rukavytsya – who finished off a cracker highlighted in a previous Video Stars blog – scooped onto the bar from five yards before A-League top scorer Shane Smeltz missed a sitter then shaved the top of the bar from six yards.


And now, almost grudgingly, from the ridiculous to the sublime. There must've been something in the water up in Lancashire this week, as both Bolton's Johan Elmander and Wigan's Emile Heskey dragged near-post back-heelers past horrified goalkeepers. And Incey, you know the jig's up when Emile's scoring a Zola-goal against you.

If that was a proper old-fashioned English centre-forward scoring a continental cracker, the reverse was true when Boro's Jeremie Aliadiere scored a good old diving header against his old club. Arsene didn't teach him that...

What Arsene does teach his players is how to counter-attack devastatingly, as Hleb and Henry proved for Barcelona by setting up the clinching late goal against Real Madrid - a personal triumph for Leo Messi, who'd been kicked up and down all game.

Messi: "Yessi!" 

There was another great team goal from Hertha Berlin against Karlsruhe, finished off by amusingly-barneted Swiss bloke Fabian Lustenberger.

But the story of the week was in France. Having halved the deficit against Caen after coming on as a sub with 20 minutes left, Sochaux's Guyanese teenager Sloan Privat – awarded his first pro contract on Tuesday and thrown on with 20 minutes left with Sochaux two down – equalises with an 89th-minute overhead kick.

Friday's helping of chips is delivered by Getafe's Uche against struggling Mallorca; L'Orient's Vahirua, doing a wonderful impression of Phillipe Albert with this stunning lob against Le Havre; and Pedro Lopez of Valladolid, who dinked home this 45-yarder against Depor.

Now we're in the mood for long-rangers, let's rip through them with the frenzied ferocity of a present-prising child on Christmas morn.

There were two belters at Almeria-Racing: Madrid loanee Ezequiel Garay put the hosts in front with a 30-yard hammer-blow which was cancelled out by the crispest of 18-yard volleys from Santiago Acasiete.

As usual, the Italians showed they can strike from range. Roma's Totti broke the deadlock against Cagliari with a 20-yard left-footer, although the Sardinians later returned with a Jeda 20-yarder.

Meanwhile, Christian Ledesma completed Lazio's remarkable three-goal fight back against Udinese with a crisp low 25-yarder and Chievo's Sergio Pellissier reduced the arrears at Inter to 2-1 with a 30-yard bottom-corner job.

Back in Blighty, Yeovil's Smith and Warne each scored 20-yarders to put Yeovil 2-1 ahead against Stockport, who then scored twice in first-half stoppage time to lead 3-2 at the break and eventually win 4-2.

Michael Leary put Barnet 1-0 up with a stunning long-ranger against Gillingham, Leicester’s Andy King scored a 20-yard boomer to equalise at Carlisle and Scunny's Gary Hooper hit a 25-yarder to make it 2-0 vs Northampton.

Bordeaux's Chalmes scored from way out on the wing against Le Mans – probably a cross but let's applaud his first goal in six years – while FC Porto’s wonderfully-named Hulk knew exactly what he was doing while curling home a left-foot pearler from 25 yards against Amadora.

Heerenveen's Roy Berends scored his and their second against De Graafschap by leathering past the goalkeeper from a narrowing angle, Monchengladbach conceded a 20-yard cracker to Dortmund's Mohamed Zidan – who's among the new Ones To Watch on our sister site Talentspotter. Do go there, it's lovely.

There were splendid free-kicks from Hoffenheim's Selim Teber against Schalke, to make sure the minnows spend Christmas atop the Bundesliga, and Colchester's Mark Yeates against 10-man Leeds at Elland Road.

Valenciennes' Djamel Belmadi hit a powerful volley perfectly into the top corner against AS Monaco, Zlatan Ibrahimovic made the game safe at 4-2 with a full-force first-time finish and Queensland Roar's Sergio van Dijk brilliantly turned in a cross from Danny Tiatto (yes, him!) for a late winner against Newcastle Jets.

Finally, to the Club World Cup. Regular readers will know from last week's Video Stars blog that Adelaide United's Cristiano can finish (see his opportunism in Defenders Of The Faith). And how: out at Japan's club beanfeast, he's sent a 25-yard rocket into the top corner in a shock victory against Egyptian side Al Ahly.

It pays to watch your videos, as Pamela Anderson knows. So on that terrible joke we'll wish you a merry Christmas and hope to see you again next year.

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