On this in 2010, one of the most infamous goals in English football history was scored… but not awarded.
England had not had the best World Cup in fairness, slugging out draws against the USA and Algeria before edging past Slovenia in their final group match. Branded boring by the press back home, all of this had to be forgotten when they faced the old enemy, Germany, in the knockout rounds.
The Germans were having their usual summer stroll, unphased by anything before them and so, when they met the red shirts of England, they played it like any other match. And their newfound goal machine Thomas Müller was inspiring them, too, looking like a good bet for the Golden Boot. What could England do to stop them?
Well, not a lot as it goes. Miroslav Klose did what he does best by opening the scoring before Lukas Podolski smashed home a second first half-goal for Germany. But later, Matthew Upson, a defender in for the injured Rio Ferdinand who had already been found out by Klose, scored an unlikely goal and suddenly, England was back to life.
The tempo shifted and that doubt evaporated, replaced by a sense of either belief or the realisation that there was nothing to lose. So on they went and, by the time the ball fell to Lampard on the edge of the box, it was inevitable what was to come next. Chelsea’s all-time leading goal scorer, in his range… GOAL.
Off the underside of the bar and in, the scenes of joy began around the country and on the pitch for those in red in South Africa. But, then the great juxtaposition. Joy turns to despair in the amount of time it took for the referee and linesman to confer and decide, that what they had just seen was not a goal.
Replays showed otherwise and a nation groaned in unison. Goalline technology debates re-sparked whilst England lost their spark, whittling out to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Germany and leaving South Africa shortly after. In fairness, Germany fully deserved their win, Lampard goal or not, but the goal that never was will always be a reminder of what could have been…