Pepe Reina suggests he's still haunted by memory of Darren Bent's beach ball goal against Liverpool in 2009

The strike, which was allowed to stand by referee Mike Jones despite furious protests, has become Premier League folklore

Thursday 18 October 2018 11:16
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Nine years after Darren Bent infamously scored past him with the aid of a beach ball, former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has suggested he is still haunted by the memory.

Bent, then playing for Sunderland, netted what proved to be the winner at the Stadium of Light in the fifth minute when his tame shot deflected off a beach ball thrown from the crowd and wrong-footed a helpless Reina on its way into the net.

Despite the furious protests of the Liverpool players, referee Mike Jones allowed the bizarre goal to stand and the moment has gone down in Premier League history.

On the ninth anniversary of the goal, Reina responded to a tweet referencing it with puzzled and crying emojis as well as the words: “Who the hell put the ball in there?”

It subsequently emerged that the beach ball was thrown onto the pitch by 16-year-old Liverpool fan Callum Campbell, before the wind blew it into the penalty area.

Campbell was subjected to death threats online from other supporters, and said at the time: “I’m so, so sorry. This is my worst, worst nightmare.”

Liverpool went on to finish seventh in the Premier League, seven points adrift of Champions League qualification, leading to the departure of manager Rafa Benitez.

Reina remained Liverpool’s No.1 goalkeeper for another three years before joining Napoli on loan in July 2013 and leaving Anfield for Bayern Munich the following summer.

He returned to Naples in June 2015 and joined Serie A rivals AC Milan on a free transfer in May, acting as understudy to Gianluigi Donnarumma.

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