The Panenka penalty is very on trend at the moment. Ball looping. Goalkeeper despairing. Striker cantering into a nonchalant celebration. It looks great, and Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero have both given us two walking tutorials in how to execute the skill in the Champions League this week.
Bersant Celina clearly wasn’t watching. The former Manchester City winger hasn’t really left his mark on English football as of yet. After last night, he will never be forgotten.
Swansea were going into half-time at the Hawthorns 1-0 down after Chris Brunt had put West Brom ahead.
But the Swans won a penalty, and Celina stepped up to surely bring the visitors level on the stroke of half-time.
His run up began with a Harry Kane-esque series of short steps before approaching the ball from an angle. This is a technique that put Panama away with consummate ease in Russia this summer.
🙊Bersant Celina fluffs his lines in spectacular style. pic.twitter.com/fkXSRrJhJ4
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball)
What happened next was far from consummate. We could speculate over whether West Brom are a sterner prospect than Panama, but that still wouldn’t excuse what Celina did next.
Celina’s version of the Panenka was a no-go. Mainly because his standing foot inadvertently became his striking foot. Did he slip? Was it just a lapse in concentration? Only the football gods know that one.
West Brom went on to win 3-0 and pile more misery on Celina. He admitted after the game he’d made a big error.
“I felt that was the key moment, I feel like I have cost the team and the game would have been different” he said.
Fortunately, Swansea are sat in 15th in the Championship, probably safe from relegation and certainly not pushing for promotion. If there was ever a time to make this kind of howler, this was probably it.
Swansea will go into their massive cup tie with Manchester City on Saturday with a clean slate, renewed motivation, and presumably, a new penalty taker.