'Ghost goals' of the modern era

Apr 17, 2012, 14:23 IST | PA Sport

After a 'ghost goal' by Chelsea's Juan Mata was awarded by the referee on Sunday, we take a look at some other recent goal-line controversies.

It is seven years since Jose Mourinho described a goal scored by Liverpool's Luis Garcia against his Chelsea side in a Champions League semi-final as: 'A goal that came from the moon.'

Juan Mata
Juan Mata celebrates his goal. Pic/AFP

Mourinho doubted that the ball had crossed the line and on Sunday Chelsea were again involved in a similar incident, with Juan Mata's strike in their FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham being given by referee Martin Atkinson, despite replays suggesting his shot may have been blocked on the line.

Tottenham Hotspurs players protesting the decision to award Chelsea the goal. Pic/AFP

The incident is sure to reopen the debate surrounding video technology and here, we look at goals that were and were not given, when the opposite decision could have been forthcoming.

In a Champions League semi-final, Liverpool's Luis Garcia sent his side through when his hooked effort was awarded by referee Lubos Michel, despite Chelsea defender William Gallas claiming he had cleared it from under the bar. Liverpool progressed to win the final, with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho left to say: "It was a goal from the moon or the Anfield Road stand, I don't know where."

World Cup ties with England and Germany are notoriously tense and this was no different. With England reeling from an early German barrage, they thought they were back in the game when Frank Lampard took aim from 20 yards and appeared to score when the ball bounced down off the bar. The officials disagreed and, although replays showed Lampard had scored, Germany went on to win 4-1.

Chelsea midfielder Lampard was involved again, this time profiting from a decision. His edge-of-the-box strike was fumbled by Heurelho Gomes and, although the keeper scrambled back to halt the ball on the line, a goal was given. "It's not the linesman's fault," said Spurs manager Harry Redknapp. "He's not done it purposefully, looking to give Chelsea a goal. But if you're in doubt you shouldn't give it. He's gambled." 

An innocuous Reading corner hit Watford midfielder John Eustace and flew wide of the goal. Play broke down and the players returned to their positions, only for referee Stuart Atwell to wrongly believe the ball had hit Eustace and gone in.

In a battle between two relegation-haunted sides, Clint Hill thought he had given QPR the lead when he headed a Joey Barton cross in. Goalkeeper Adam Bogdan scrambled behind his line to save and, although replays showed Hill had scored, linesman Bob Pollock assured referee Martin Atkinson he had not and Bolton went on to win.

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