Football News

The worst Champions League goalkeeping display ever? Antonio Adan had 23 minutes to forget against Marseille

By Ben Green

The ‘unholy’ trinity — Antonio Adan makes two howlers & sees red in one of the worst goalkeeping displays in UCL history

Published: 19:45, 4 October 2022

To say it wasn’t Antonio Adan’s night in Marseille would perhaps be the understatement of the century.

It was all going so well for Sporting as they broke the deadlock in their Champions League match-up against Marseille. Francisco Trincao required less than a minute to put Ruben Amorim’s men in front. However, fast forward 30 minutes and the complexion of the game had shifted quite drastically.

It took Sporting’s goalkeeper, Adan, just 10 minutes to swing the pendulum firmly in Marseille’s favour. On the 13th minute, his nonchalant clearance ricocheted off Alexis Sanchez to restore parity, before another lax boot up the field fell into Matteo Guendouzi’s path, who quickly initiated a Marseille attack that resulted in Amine Harit making it 2-1.

Things didn’t get much better from there. Already licking the wounds from two costly errors, Adan then completed his ‘unholy’ trinity of mistakes by handling the ball outside his area in the 23rd minute. Referee Davide Massa had little choice but to send off Adan and compound what was an utterly miserable night.

Of course, being so early into the contest, Sporting then suffered another hammer blow just before half-time, as Adan’s replacement, Franco Israel, produced his own moment of madness. Having been on the field for just five minutes, Harit swung in a Marseille corner which saw Israel come careering off his line and into no man’s land. Leonardo Balerdi had the simple task of nodding into an empty net.

It was quite an unbelievable first 30 minutes in an empty Stade Velodrome (with Marseille carrying out a stadium ban by UEFA because of crowd trouble). It almost felt a little bit wrong that no spectators were there to witness such a ridiculous sequence of events.


Some have branded Adan’s performance as one of, if not the worst goalkeeping displays in Champions League history. Certainly, if you consider he made two major howlers that led to goals before collecting a straight red for a comical hand ball in just 23 minutes, then it’s up there.

For the neutral, it was pure bliss. For Amorim, it was probably the most stressful 20 minutes of his managerial career.

As far as the early kick-offs in the Champions League were concerned on Tuesday night, many perhaps would have predicted that the worst goalkeeping display would have come from Marian Tvrdon, who had the unenviable task of trying to keep a lid on Bayern Munich in Bavaria.

Viktoria Plzen ultimately fell to a 5-0 defeat by Bayern, who have continued their impressive Champions League group-stage streak of not losing since 2017, but Tvrdon will be grateful that no-one is focusing on his form between the sticks, but rather, that man Adan.