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5 times ballboys have taken centre stage

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho praised the actions of a ballboy who helped ignite Tuesday’s 4-2 comeback win over Olympiacos in the Champions League.

Here, the PA news agency examines the incident alongside four other examples of notable interventions by ballboys.

Tottenham 4 Olympiacos 2, November 2019

By retrieving the ball quickly early in the second half, the ballboy enabled Serge Aurier to release Lucas Moura with a clever throw-in and the Brazilian set up Harry Kane to level the score at 2-2.

Yeovil 3 Bromley 1, September 2019

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Referee Aaron Jackson felt compelled to send off all eight ballboys with five minutes remaining at Huish Park after seeing repeated instances of delays in giving the ball back to Bromley players.

Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0, May 2019

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Another quick throw from a ball boy enabled Liverpool to book their place in the Champions League final after overturning a 3-0 first-leg deficit. Trent Alexander-Arnold received the ball and his quick corner caught Barcelona napping and allowed Divock Origi to tap home the winner.

Swansea 0 Chelsea 0, January 2013

Eden Hazard was shown a red card for the incident

Eden Hazard was shown a red card for the incident (Nick Potts/PA)

Eden Hazard was shown a straight red card for kicking the ball from underneath a ballboy as Chelsea crashed out of the Capital One Cup semi-finals 2-0 on aggregate. The boy had fallen on the ball and was struck by Hazard as the Belgium playmaker attempted to dislodge it.

Tottenham 6 Anorthosis Famagusta 1, September 2007

Tottenham Hotspur in action against Anorthosis Famagusta in 2007

Tottenham thrashed Anorthosis Famagusta in 2007 (Sean Dempsey/PA)

In an incident beloved by Spurs fans, a ballboy directed his throw straight into the lower midriff of Kostas Louboutis, who winced in pain before glaring at the retreating culprit.