One of my young football memories was a match between Manchester City and Derby County at the old Baseball ground. Although the year escapes me, and with that the final result, I clearly remember how City’s keeper was red carded towards the end of the game for bringing down the striker (0maybe Tommy Johnson) in the box, and Niall Quinn was forced to pick up the gloves for the spot-kick.
Dean Saunders, the Rams’ star forward, picked up the ball, marched over to the spot, and struck his shot high to Quinn’s right. Yet, against all the odds, Quinn arched his large frame in the direction of shot, palming the penalty over, leaving an indelible smile on my face.
History has now repeated itself, with Hannover’s midfielder Jan Rosenthal pulling off an equally memorable save last weekend against Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.
With just eight minutes of the game remaining, the home side, leading 2-1, went on the attack. A fine through-ball released forward Edin Dzeko through on goal, and with the striker chasing the pass keeper Florian Fromlowitz raced out his goal to try and avert the threat. The keeper made minimal, if any, contact with Dzeko, who tumbled yards away from the actual foul, and the number one was given his immediate marching orders.
Having used up all their substitutions Jan Rosenthal took responsibility to take the gloves for the thankless task of facing a penalty. But, it a superb twist of fate and the benefit of standing two yards off his line, the makeshift keeper managed to get down to his right and push Dzeko’s penalty onto the post, where it was cleared.
See Jan Rosenthal’s brilliant penalty save here.
(Credit to The Offside)