‘Either you’re lying or you believe I’m stupid,’ Pepe Reina said after the Liverpool ‘freak accident.’
Today is an anniversary that Liverpool supporters may prefer to forget.
The Reds were defeated 1-0 by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on October 17, 2009, thanks to Darren Bent’s historic beach ball goal.
Andy Reid’s right-wing cross found Bent at the back post, and his seemingly innocuous effort cannoned off the inflatable to beat Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal, giving Steve Bruce’s side an early lead.
The beach ball had been thrown onto the pitch by a Liverpool supporter from behind the goal, but no player was quick enough to remove it, and Bent was content to claim the goal in front of the jubilant home crowd.
However, it consigned Rafa Benitez’s side to a contentious – and much repeated – loss.
Later, Liverpool goalkeeper Reina admitted that he had seen the additional ball on the field but was enraged when the assistant referee ignored his protests.
“Even today, when I see replays of it on TV, I can’t believe it occurred,” he continued, “even though I can’t stop laughing at the silly, ridiculous expression I made when the ball went in.”
“I’ve been questioned why I didn’t kick the beach ball off the pitch as soon as it was tossed on, but I didn’t realize it was there in front of me until Andy Reid crossed the proper football into the box and there it was.”
“I was yelling at the linesman,” says the narrator. ‘I’m sure you’ve seen it!’ I became enraged and screamed at him. He claimed, however, that the ball had not been deflected.
“‘You’ve got to be f***ing kidding,’ I said. ‘It was impossible to look away from it.’ ‘Either you’re lying to me or you believe I’m a moron.’ It didn’t make any difference. The goal remained intact. Our season was symbolized by the beach ball.” Meanwhile, defender Jamie Carragher later admitted that he couldn’t grasp what was going on as the ball went into the net.
“When you think about it, that’s insane,” he told The Athletic in 2019.
“I’ve never lost a football game in unusual circumstances.” What the hell was it doing, anyway?” The summary comes to a conclusion.”