Penalty Saves To Savour

by Mike Taylor

Joel Robles’ penalty stop against Bournemouth at the weekend will live long in the memory of the 2,120 Evertonians who made the long journey to Dean Court.

The save crucially kept the game goalless before Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku later registered on the scoresheet to set up an FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Chelsea.

But it certainly wasn't the first time an Everton goalkeeper had produced heroics to deny the opposition from 12 yards.

We asked you on social media which saves stood out for you, with the five most popular shouts featured below…

1. Neville Southall v Coventry City
Everton’s greatest ever goalkeeper Neville Southall may have spent 16 years with the Toffees but, unfathomably, it's difficult to remember an obvious penalty save during that mammoth stint at Goodison Park.

Indeed, former skipper Kevin Ratcliffe once revealed Southall’s defence would rarely make a desperate tackle in the area, such was their confidence in the Welshman.

One save that does stand out, however, was when Everton visited Coventry City in September 1988, Southall’s stop from Brian Kilcline inspiring a 1-0 away victory over the Sky Blues.


2. Andy Rankin v Borussia Mönchengladbach

After beating Icelandic outfit Keflavik 9-2 on aggregate in the 1970 European Cup first round, Everton set up a two-legged tie with Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Howard Kendall’s second-half equaliser earned the Toffees a 1-1 away draw in the first leg, before another 1-1 draw was played out at Goodison Park a fortnight later.

That meant the first penalty shootout in European Cup history was required - and the hero of the night proved to be the Blues' Andy Rankin.

The keeper, who made 107 appearances for the Club between 1963 and 1971, produced an excellent save to deny Ludwig Muller, ensuring a 4-3 victory for Harry Catterick's side in the process.


3. Tim Howard v Manchester United
Following a goalless draw at Wembley, Everton made the worst possible start to the 2009 FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout against Manchester United as Tim Cahill blazed the Blues' first spot-kick over the crossbar.

But former Red Devil Tim Howard quickly restored parity, saving Dimitar Berbatov’s laboured effort with his feet.

And the USA international made another stop - a world-class save to his right - to keep out Rio Ferdinand’s effort as David Moyes’ men marched on to the final.


4. Richard Wright v Sunderland
Richard Wright made amends for a shaky start to his Everton career with a penalty save to earn a vital 1-0 win at Sunderland in August 2002.

Wright sensationally blocked Kevin Phillips' second-half strike from the spot, before scrambling backwards to catch the loose ball before it crossed the line.


5. Tim Howard v Tottenham Hotspur
After fighting back from two goals down to make it 2-2, Everton were dealt a hammer blow when they conceded an injury-time penalty against Spurs in December 2009.

But Tim Howard came to the rescue with a magnificent save from Jermain Defoe to spark wild celebrations around Goodison Park.


Are there any other penalty stops you remember fondly? Let us know using the comments box below.


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