To blast it into the top corner or place it neatly into the bottom? Wait for the keeper to move first or pick a corner and stick with it? These are the age old questions that have plagued footballers for decades. These days however, players seem to be taking more “contemporary” penalties, namely by running up to the ball, stopping, dummying the goalkeeper into diving the wrong way before prodding it in.

When it works, it looks audacious and the striker receives plaudits, but when it fails, and it so often does, the player is left with egg on his face, an angry manager and a set of frustrated fans to answer to.

We have seen many of these penalties both work and fail over the last few seasons, most recent was Nani’s ridiculous penalty miss against Galatasaray last night. Not only could it have cost his side the match, after United just edged out a nervy 1-0 home win in the Champions League, but it also ranks in the top five worst penalty misses of the year.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg for a year of inadequate penalty misses so far.

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This article was first posted on September 20, 2012