The Rundown

Top 10 incidents that show why we need goal-line technology

The Rundown

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Goal...? We'll never really know for sure.

The debate about goal-line technlogy has once again reared its head after Chelsea were awarded a goal that never should have stood in their FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham on Sunday night.

Referee Martin Atkinson has been widely derided for awarding a goal - though some of the still images released after the match suggest that tricks of perspective played by the TV cameras at least made his blunder much more understandable.

Not that the rights or wrongs of the situation change anything: Atkinson was mortified after the blunder, apparently telling Spurs boss Harry Redknapp that "I feel worse than you do" about what happened.

FIFA are already investigating bringing in technology to prevent such situations, with two systems on trial and next year's Club World Cup expected to be the first high-profile tournament to use the new gadgetry.

Until that day dawns such incidents will remain part of the game - though as our Early Doors blogger pointed out this morning, the new systems will likely bring problems of their own.

One day, when technology causes NFL-style 30-second delays for even minor decisions, we well might even think back fondly on the days when the ref's decision was final.

So with that in mind here are our pick of football's top 10 'phantom goals'  - starting with an eerily familiar example of Chelsea getting the benefit of the doubt against their London rivals:

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1. Frank Lampard's shot that didn't cross the line, Chelsea v Tottenham (2011)

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Heurelho Gomes attempts to prevent Chelsea's Frank Lampard's shot from crossing the line

Lampard may have lost out at the World Cup, but the Karma was levelled up - a little, at least - when he was awarded a goal for Chelsea against Tottenham last season that kept the Blues in the title race.

Lampard's dipping 40-yard shot squeezed through the arms of Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes and dribbled goalwards, but the Brazilian scrabbled back to stop it crossing the line.

That's what he thought, at least, though the match officials didn't agree and gave the goal. Chelsea won 2-1, a result that kept them in the title race.

"You can talk about the goals and the ifs and buts but I think our character and the way we played deserved to win it," said an unrepentant Lampard. "I was due one... you get what you deserve, we created enough to win the game."

2. Clive Allen hits the stanchion, Crystal Palace v Coventry City (1980)

Shockingly for Palace fans, Freddie Sears's disallowed effort (see 'goal' 7) wasn't the only time that the club has been on the wrong side of a dodgy goal-line call.

It was early in the 1980-81 season when the Eagles striker scored as fine a free kick as you'll ever see, but the perfect strike was a victim of its own purity. It thundered back off the stanchion and back out into open play, with the referee and linesman both agreeing after a brief conference that it had come back off the post.

The decision caused outrage - not least because the angle at which the ball ricocheted back out of the net would have been impossible had it hit the crossbar, as the officials believed - and many clubs actually redesinged their nets as a consequence.

It was too late for Palace, however: they ended up losing the match and going down at the end of the season.

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Geoff Hurst scores - or did he? - against West Germany

3. Geoff Hurst's goal off the underside of the bar, England v West Germany (1966)

Tofik Bakhramov is one of the most famous match officials in football history after he became the infamous "Russian linesman" who awarded a third goal for England against West Germany deep into extra time of the World Cup final in 1966. Bakhramov, who was actually Azerbaijani, informed referee Gottfriend Dienst that Hurst's strike had hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line, before bouncing back out.

The Germans complained in vain to Bakhramov, who spoke neither German nor English, but to no avail and the goal stood.  England won the match, with Hurst adding another with almost the last kick of the match as his side hit on the break following a last-ditch German attack.

Subsequent scientific analysis has never come up with a definitive answer as to whether the ball crossed the line or not. In the traditionally obtuse and contrary spirit of all revisionist history, several German scientists have proven that it did, while English boffins have often claimed that it didn't. Geoff Hurst claimed recently that he didn't think it had gone in, though given that he was spinning and falling after losing his balance hitting the shot it's hard to give his view too much credibility.

The referee, incidentally, stood by his decision ever after, citing probably the clearest evidence of all. Hurst's team-mate Roger Hunt, the best-placed man on the pitch, merely turned away to celebrate rather than tapping the ball in to remove any doubt.

4. Paddy Connolly's shot ricochets off stanchion, Dundee United v Partick Thistle (1993)

The Dundee United striker scored a classic poacher's goal as he latched on to a corner to volley home, with the ball coming back off one of the supports in the back of the net. The players all stopped and began heading back upfield for the restart - but then were amazed as referee Les Mottram waved play on.

Even more of a sickener for United was that defender Martin Clark actually caught the ball after it came back out of the net, and handed it to goalkeeper Andy Murdoch. If not a goal, then it should at least have been a penalty.

United won the match 4-0 in any case, though Connolly was denied a hat-trick by the astonishing mistake. It didn't slow Mottram down: he was given the honour of refereeing at the World Cup in America the year after.

5. Dorinel Munteanu's disallowed goal, Bulgaria v Romania (1996)

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Dorinel Munteanu

Hristo Stoichkov's early goal at St James' Park put Romania on the back foot in Euro '96, but Dorinel Munteanu appeared to have kept Romania in the match - and in the tournament - with a thunderbolt that hit the bar, bounced over the line, and back out.

Referee Peter Mikkelsen merely waved play on, however, and Romania went on to lose the game 1-0 - a defeat which sent them out of the tournament.

Current Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp was actually in the crowd that day, and later said that it convinced him there and then that goal-line technology was needed in football.

"It went in the net by about two feet. It was on the screens in five seconds," said Redknapp. "It happens in tennis almost immediately. It takes seconds now."

6. Stephen Hunt's "Ghost Goal", Watford v Reading (2008)

Referee Stuart Attwell and his assistant Nigel Bannister were at fault during this Championship match at Vicarage Road. Stephen Hunt's  corner was headed wide of the goal but Bannister wrongly informed Attwell that the ball had crossed the line.

The referee awarded the goal, much to the surprise of everybody - even the Watford players, who hadn't even considered trying to claim the goal.

Very sportingly, Reading manager Steve Coppell allowed the two teams to replay the match, which finished 2-2 because of the phantom goal, but the League stepped in to block that from happening.

Less sportingly, the linesman Nigel Bannister asked Hunt after the incident if the decision had been correct. "I was like, yeah, it's a goal, you've given the goal," he said.

7. Freddie Sears disallowed goal - Bristol City v Crystal Palace (2009)

On-loan striker Freddie Sears seemed to have scored a legitimate goal for Palace against Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Julian Speroni's long clearance up-field was flicked on by Alassane N'Diaye into the path of Sears.

The forward neatly volleyed into the net but the ball rebounded off the stanchion and back out into play. Sears and the rest of his team-mates wheeled away in celebration but referee Rob Shoebridge consulted his officials before disallowing the goal.

Even Bristol City boss Gary Johnson admitted that it should have stood. "It was a goal of course," he said, "but I don't see what I could have done about it at the time."

City went on to snatch a late winner, and Palace only survived relegation by winning a head-to-head showdown against Sheffield Wednesday on the last day of the season.

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Roy Carroll

8. Roy Carroll drops ball over the line, Manchester United v Tottenham (2005)

Nobody in the stadium thought there was any danger of a goal when United keeper Roy Carroll tracked back to catch a speculative long-range lob by Pedro Mendes. Yet instead of catching the ball, Carroll somehow let it bounce off his chest, over his shoulder and a clear two yards over the line before he desperately clawed it back out into the field of play.

Somehow neither referee Mark Clattenburg nor his linesman Rob Lewis that day spotted it - despite the fact that it was obvious to just about all of the 67,962 people in the crowd that day.

Carroll's furtive glances at the match officials said it all: he couldn't believe he'd gotten away with it and denied Tottenham a first league win at Old Trafford in 16 years.

Lewis claimed that the Spurs players bore him no ill will after the blunder. " I was disappointed because I always like to get decisions right," he said. "The Tottenham players were brilliant - they were shaking my hand and saying there was no way I could give a decision where I was."

But the game ended 0-0, and Spurs have still yet to beat United in a league match in Manchester since Gary Lineker netted a winner against them just before Christmas 1989.

9. Bryan Hamilton's disallowed goal - Everton v Liverpool (1977)

With the scores tied at 2-2 and the clock ticking down the final moments, the FA Cup semi-final between the Merseyside rivals at Maine Road appeared to have been decided when Bryan Hamilton fired an unstoppable shot into the back of the net.

Players and linesmen alike began trotting back to the half-way line, but notoriously blunder-prone referee Clive Thomas never saw a thing. The match finished 2-2, prompting a replay which Liverpool won 3-0 to make it to Wembley.

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10. Frank Lampard's shot that crossed the line, England v Germany (2010)

Germany got their own back for the 1966 World Cup final some 44 years later. England had been dazzled by Germany's fast start in their World Cup last-16 match in 2010, but Fabio Capello's men quickly pulled one back through Matthew Upson and looked to have equalised just before the break when Frank Lampard's shot from 20 yards looped over German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The ball ricocheted off the bar and bounced at least a yard over the line (see main photo), prompting celebrations from the England players that were cut short when referee Jorge Larrionda signalled that the ball had not crossed the line and waved play to continue.

England had looked convincingly like getting back on terms with their foes, but had to chase the game in desperation in the second half, with the cavernous holes in their defence seeing them lose 4-1.

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