Man Utd: Anderson scored a penalty in the 2008 Champions League final with his first touch

Anderson and Mark Noble

A lot was made of David Moyes’ decision to bring on Mark Noble to take an injury-time penalty against Manchester United on Sunday.

Noble, who has an incredible record from 12 yards, was sent on without warming up to take virtually the last kick of the game.

He was supposed to equalise for West Ham but David de Gea, who hadn’t saved a penalty since 2016, saved it to seal a 2-1 victory for United.



Suddenly, the decision to bring on Noble looked like a foolish one.

It was something we saw at the Euro 2020 final with Gareth Southgate substituting on Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho in the final few seconds of extra-time, only for them both to miss in the shootout.

However, despite the result, Moyes insisted he didn’t regret bringing Noble on.

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"Do I regret it? Not at all," he insisted.

"That's what happens in management, you have to make big decisions. Sometimes they go for you, sometimes they don’t.

"I just thought, we have a really good penalty taker on the bench. I’d have been more disappointed if I hadn’t made the decision. If one of the other players had taken it and missed I’d have thought, 'Why didn’t I bring Mark Noble on’?

"He has an incredibly good record on penalties. So with Mark going on, and De Gea not saving many, I’m hoping that is the equaliser."

It led to a debate whether footballers should be brought on without a warm-up for the sole purpose to take a penalty.

However, it has been done before with great success.

In fact, arguably the greatest manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson did it on the biggest stage of them all.

During the 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, Brazilian midfielder Anderson was substituted on in the 125th-minute - the fifth minute of injury-time in extra-time.

He didn’t touch the ball in the few seconds he was on the pitch and was tasked with taking a penalty in the shootout.

He was United’s sixth taker and, after John Terry missed the chance to win the final for Chelsea, he smashed the ball past Petr Cech. A few kicks later, United were celebrating as Nicolas Anelka failed to convert.

VIDEO: Anderson scores with first touch in 2008 CL final

It seems you don’t need to be warmed up to take a penalty…

Why did Ferguson bring on Anderson, who was only 20 at the time?

Well, in his 2013 autobiography, he insisted that he had full faith in him: "I have always respected Brazilian footballers. Name a Brazilian who doesn't excel in big games?

"They were born for the big occasion. They have a special quality: Deep pride in themselves. Great belief."

Meanwhile, Anderson wasn't quite so confident and he told Radio Grenal back in 2017 that he was petrified.

Man Utd's Anderson

"I came on to take the penalty. I hadn't touched the ball," he explained per Goal.

"I was sitting on the bench, Giggs looked and said: 'Get Anderson to take one'. I said 'Oh my'. I took the ball, it was the longest walk of my life.

"I came with the ball, there is no way I wouldn't be shaking. I was already shaking. I was terrified. The story of a club and our fans were on that side.

"I went to the ball, I got the ball, I looked at that goalkeeper, who is a giant. Cech opened his arms, I said "oh, I'm f*****", I'll kick it hard, close my eyes and pray for the ball to go in".

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