Pires: Penalty mix-up left me red-faced

1 Mar 2018

Former Arsenal midfielder recalls spot-kick shambles against Man City in October 2005

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My favourite match: Robert Pires

Arsenal v Manchester City is a fixture that evokes mixed emotions for Robert Pires.

In October 2005, Pires scored the only goal for Arsene Wenger’s side with a penalty against City.

But the Frenchman is more remembered for his second spot-kick opportunity that was bizarrely fluffed in the same match.

Before taking his second penalty Pires was persuaded by Thierry Henry to pass to him to score, rather than take the more conventional route to goal.

"It was not a joke, because you can do this penalty; I can pass the ball for someone and he can score," Pires explains.

"I said, 'No, we cannot do this, it’s impossible.' "

It did prove impossible for Arsenal's No 7 as he could only skim the ball with his studs when trying to touch the ball on for the onrushing Henry, allowing City to clear.

"It was a very strange moment, especially for me, not for Thierry Henry, but for me it was very embarrassing."

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