16 of football's worst penalties that even Diana Ross would be ashamed of

Harry Arter, Bournemouth

Harry Arter's wayward spot-kick for Bournemouth on Saturday is still making its way back to Earth, we presume. Gregor MacGregor, with help from PenaltyKickStat, analyses some of the most sub-standard spot-kicks of recent times

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

Remember Jason Puncheon’s diabolical shank at White Hart Lane? (So bad it doesn't even fit on the chart above.) 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?

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 exceedingly handsome, 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 shot at White Hart Lane in 2014. As the above graph shows, it wasn't even close.