Valencia and Chelsea met today in the UEFA Youth League, which is basically the Kiddie Champions League. The Round of 16 match came down to penalties, and Chelsea were declared winners after scoring all five of their spot kicks. Problem is, Valencia never actually missed any of their penalties, either.
Here’s the video of Valencia’s first penalty attempt, which was declared a miss:
Depth issues being what they are, it’s hard to tell exactly what happened there. The ball appears to sneak between the keeper and the goalpost, ricochets up in the air somehow, and then lands outside of the goal. The penalty taker appeals to the referee afterward, obviously believing he had scored, but the ref doesn’t respond. The penalty did not count and Chelsea went on to win.
This second angle proves that the ball did in fact cross the goal line, and took that strange bounce not because it hit the post itself, but rather a little bar inside the goal:
The club, some players, and even the senior team manager, Gary Neville, expressed their understandable indignation on Twitter. Chelsea even admitted that the replay proved that the ref got the call wrong. All of this means nothing, of course, as the game had already been decided.
Normally, this wouldn’t be any great tragedy. The UEFA Youth League doesn’t actually matter in the grand scheme of things. However, this is the same Valencia team whose player, David Ruiz, appeared to pull off one of the most egregious dives in the history of the game, take a bunch of shit for it the world over (including by this very site), only to later have it come out that he’d actually torn his ACL on the play. Not only that, but Valencia’s official match report says some of the players were actually crying out there after the game.
Poor, sad soccer teens. Shame on that mean little bar for doing them like that.