Early Doors

Micah Richards took a penalty that was so bad he had to apologise for it

Early Doors

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Manchester City's Micah Richards doesn't often generate much internet buzz. But he did on Saturday night - and sadly, for all the wrong reasons.

The defender stepped up to take a penalty in the shoot-out as City's match against Olympiacos in a ridiculous and meaningless pre-season tournament ended in a 2-2 draw.

But rather than thump the ball into the net, the 26-year-old succeeded in firing it so high over the bar that it made us genuinely suspect that he'd forgotten the rules of football:

Richards himself was hugely apologetic on Twitter - even though he still managed to big himself up a bit even as he said sorry:

Such words are never enough to keep the wolves at bay, however, and even Richards' liberal use of "sad face" icons to denote extra sincerity did not spare him from the meme-makers.

Some made fun of just how high the ball was sent soaring...

...but most seized giddily on the bizarre finishing stance as seen on the screengrab at the top of the page:

Richards' funny spot kick blunder actually spared the blushes of another England fringe player: Rickie Lambert, who had this penalty saved for Liverpool against AC Milan:

Lambert's failure to score would normally have been enough to see him lambasted - not for being a particularly bad penalty, but for the fact that he's the greatest penalty taker in English football.

He hadn't actually missed a spot kick since 2009, including burying every single one of the 34 he took in five years at Southampton. This was his first ever penalty for Liverpool - and it was just his third miss from the spot in his entire career.

Luckily for Lambert, Liverpool still won the match while Richards' far-worse miss led to City losing theirs.

Thus we prove the sole rule of the internet jungle: whenever you mess up, just pray that someone else messed up worse than you.

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