Dramatic penalty saves that have changed the course of a match - or a season

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Riyad Mahrez's penalty miss for Manchester City against West Ham ensured the Premier League title race will go to the final day. Provided Liverpool get something from Southampton, of course.

And while Lukasz Fabianski's penalty save may still be lost in the midst of time should the Reds overhaul City on the final day, it nevertheless continues the Polish keeper's record of late penalty interventions. Planet Sport looks back on that and four other recent-ish high-profile penalty saves in the Premier League and EFL.

Lukasz Fabianski vs Fulham (November 2020)

Fabianski has history when it comes to saving late penalties after denying Fulham's Ademola Lookman in the 98th minute of last season's clash between the Irons and Fulham. West Ham believed they had won the game late on after Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek scored in added time. However, there was a late twist, with Fulham awarded a penalty via VAR after Tom Cairney was adjudged to have been caught by Said Benrahma. Ademola Lookman stepped up for the Cottagers but his Panenka was nonchalantly kept out by Fabianski who had stayed where he was. "You can't take penalties like that and he knows that," said Fulham boss Scott Parker of Lookman, who is now with Leicester but presumably a long way from penalty duties.

Manuel Almunia vs Leicester (May 2013)

Not just one of the most dramatic penalty saves in English football but one of the most dramatic 20 seconds of action the game has seen.

Leicester City were a penalty away from progressing to the play-off final at Wembley, only to see their whole world turned around in the space of a few seconds.

With the aggregate scores level, Anthony Knockaert stepped up for the Foxes late into added time. His initial penalty was saved by Almunia with the Spaniard then reacting to deny Knockaert again from point blank range. With Watford fans still celebrating their great escape, the Hornets broke into the Foxes half. A cross was knocked down and there was Troy Deeneeeeeey to crown a truly incredible passage of play.

Hugo Lloris vs Arsenal (March 2019)

Hugo Lloris was the most loved man in north London after denying Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the spot in the 89th minute of this derby in 2019.

Third-placed Tottenham sat four points clear of their rivals but that looked like being cut to a solitary point when Aubameyang was brought down in the box. The striker stepped up but Lloris guessed correctly and got down to his right to deny the Arsenal man. From the rebound, Alex Iwobi fired the ball across the box but heroic defending from Jan Vertonghen denied Aubameyang for a second time.

The match finished all square and Tottenham went on to pip Arsenal for the final Champions League spot by just a point.

David de Gea vs West Ham (September 2021)

DAVID DE GEA of Manchester United during the Champions League football match between Atletico de Madrid and Manchester United
DAVID DE GEA of Manchester United during the Champions League football match between Atletico de Madrid and Manchester United

The 2021/22 season was only a few weeks old when we witnessed something extraordinary as West Ham's Mark Noble was substituted onto the pitch purely to take a penalty. Manchester United's Luke Shaw was adjudged to have handled in the box and with his side trailing 2-1, manager David Moyes introduced Noble from the bench. It was no masterstroke, however, as De Gea guessed right to pull of his first penalty save in 41 attempts. It also proved to be Noble's first miss from the spot in five years. "Do I regret it? Not at all," said Moyes, who was then on the phone to Thomas Tuchel to advise him to do something similar should a cup final ever go to a penalty shootout.

Edouard Mendy vs Man City (May 2021)

With Manchester City 1-0 up against Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea in a game they needed to secure the title, Pep Guardiola's side were awarded a penalty. Sergio Aguero stepped up to take the spot-kick which would surely take the game away from the Blues. However, his Panenka was easy for Edouard Mendy who, having initially started to dive, got back up to pat the tame chip down to the ground.

Chelsea then went on to turn the game around, winning 2-1 courtesy of goals from Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso. City did go on to secure the title but the chance for Aguero to earn himself another title-winning commemorative statue was gone.

The article Dramatic penalty saves that have changed the course of a match - or a season appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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