Goalkeeper howlers are few and far between, but when they happen, they’re spectacular.
And by spectacular, we of course mean painful, cringe-worthy, self-implosions wrapped in sorrow and despair.
That’s clearly how Besiktas goalkeeper Fabricio felt after conceding a late winner to Lyon in Europa League play, although he has every right to credit his defensive line with much of the blame.
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Lyon had just scored an 83rd minute equalizer after a free-kick somehow squirted through the entire pack and fell to midfielder Corentin Tolisso at the far post. Not a minute later, Besiktas winger Atiba Hutchinson found himself in trouble on the ball charging towards his own end-line, and looked to Fabricio for a way out. Bad idea.
As he sent the ball to Fabricio, the entire Lyon front line charged down the goalkeeper at full tilt, while the Besiktas defensive unit stood frozen in place. The Turkish club was forced to watch in horror as Fabricio was engulfed by three Lyon attackers, and Jeremy Morel was there to pilfer the ball and place it uncontested into the back of the net for a winner.
Under immense pressure, Fabricio clearly needed to get rid of the ball as the attackers closed down, but he’ll be furious with his defensive line for putting him in that situation and failing to help bail him out.
Lyon won the match 2-1, and while the tilt is still very much in the balance after the first leg, Lyon will now consider themselves in control. Besiktas had done well to keep hold of its early 1-0 lead despite a 61-39% possession advantage for the French side. Lyon out-shot Besiktas in the match 21-8, but could only manage five of those on target.
The match was marred early on by supporter unrest, with Turkish away supporters raining down fireworks from the upper deck onto the home supporters in the tier below. This caused a delay to the start of the match, as home supporters under seige took shelter on the pitch.