Darren Bent’s infamous “beach ball” goal against Liverpool was the Reds’ own fault, according to talkSPORT host Adrian Durham.
The former England international netted a winner for Sunderland in a 2009 clash at the Stadium of Light between the two sides thanks to a heavily deflected strike that hit a beach ball thrown on to the pitch by a travelling supporter.
But Durham believes that the Reds caused their own misfortune before the freakish incident.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “What I want to say to Liverpool fans who might be angry about that, you left Darren Bent unmarked in the box.
“What did you think was going to happen?”
"What did #LFC fans expect me to do? I didn't put the beach ball there!"
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 25, 2019
Durham makes a very astute point here, but the fact of the matter is that the goal should never have stood, regardless of Liverpool’s haphazard marking. Mike Jones, who refereed the match, was demoted from the Premier League for his error, but at the time, it did little to ease the pain of one of the most bizarre and memorable goals in recent history. Bent’s is a goal so famous that it was once the subject of a question on The Chase, but more than anything, it shows just how quickly fortunes can change in the professional game. Just a decade later and Liverpool, humiliated by that blow-up ball, are champions of Europe, while Sunderland, beneficiaries on the day, are languishing in League One. It’s a fickle sport, and in the grand scheme of things, the Reds would probably take a dozen beach ball goals if it meant they still came out on top in the end.