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Throwback: Gregory Coupet’s double save

It was October 10th 2001 when Lyon entered the lions’ den that is Camp Nou.

Faced by an FC Barcelona side that was inspired by Rivaldo, it was always going to be a challenge for the French side. However, this game is remembered rather fondly not for the result – more on that later – but for a remarkable double save from Lyon’s goalkeeper.

Gregory Coupet was becoming a household name in France, a reliable figure in goal. No thrills and no spills. So in some respect, his heart rate would’ve been unusually rapid as he backtracked to his own goal, fearing being lobbed his own centre-back.

Unable to touch the ball with his hands for fear of giving away an indirect free-kick in his own area, Coupet backtracks and spectacularly headers the ball onto his own crossbar. However, the drama does not end there with Rivaldo lurking. The ball pings off the bar and hangs in the air.

Meanwhile, Rivaldo is waiting for the ball to drop and head it into an empty net. But, out of nowhere, the French ‘keeper is back on his feet – for a split second at least – and is diving to deny the Brazilian. An amazing succession of saves that are more famous the result. A 2-0 win for Barca, incidentally, despite Gregory Coupet’s best efforts.