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Contender for Premier League's worst ever performance

ESPN staff
January 12, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Jonathan Walters was Chelsea's match-winner at Stoke © Getty Images
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What a Wally

Has a Premier League player ever endured a worse afternoon than Jonathan Walters for Stoke against Chelsea? With the scores level at 0-0 in a tight match, the Republic of Ireland striker began an avalanche of bad luck with a diving header that ended up in his own net. Worse was to follow as he then beat Frank Lampard to bury a cross for his second own goal of the afternoon. Chelsea then won a penalty, which prompted Paul Merson on Sky Sports to joke that Walters was begging to take it.

Walters eventually did get his chance from 12 yards with five minutes left, hoping to ease his - and Stoke's - embarrassment with the score now 4-0 in Chelsea's favour. Why Tony Pulis let him take it, only Tony knows. But the inevitable happened, Walters blasted high over the bar, completing one of the worst performances in Premier League history.

Redknapp revenge

When Harry Redknapp was asked if Saturday's game between QPR and Spurs was about revenge (and we don't mean the weekly thriller on E4), he replied: "Revenge? Absolutely not. Spurs is just another game to me. QPR is my team, and we need three points if possible." But consider this: Redknapp has lost just two of his 17 clashes against former clubs as a Premier League manager, winning ten and drawing five.

That's title-winning form, so unless 'Arry's not telling us something, it seems revenge most definitely runs through his cheeky chappy blood. Never hurt him Sandra, you'll regret it.

Not so smashing

A quick poll: Is Harry Redknapp an attacking or defensive manager? Attacking you say? We would tend to agree. So why, then, has the QPR boss registered 60 goalless draws in the Premier League? That's 11 more than any other manager in the top flight.

And let's not forget, he's got talents like Shaun Derry and Jay Bothroyd in that squad.

Saintly spot-kick taker

We thought Matt Le Tissier was good from 12 yards. That boy only ever missed one penalty and gained a reputation as one of the coolest customers in the business. But Southampton may have found somebody even better. Rickie Lambert's successful spot-kick at Aston Villa took his record to 29 out of 29 (31 out of 31 if you include shootouts), and who cares if his buddy took a dive to win it?

By the way, it'll be interesting to see if Jay Rodriguez gets lambasted for cheating like Luis Suarez did following his handball at Mansfield. Probably not.

Comeback of the day

What odds could you have got on Reading beating West Brom at 4.37pm on Saturday? At that time the Royals were bottom of the league, 2-0 down, and had only eight minutes remaining. Cue a remarkable comeback. Jimmy Kebe started it, but they still trailed 2-1 in the 88th minute. Adam Le Fondre then levelled before Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the winner as the Madejski Stadium went nuts.

Imagine if Jon Walters had been playing...

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