The Panenka has become passé. For years, it was the most popular method of provocative penalty craftsmanship. But players have found new ways of deceiving goalkeepers.

At the end of one of last weekend’s strangest games—Leicester City’s 5-2 evisceration of Manchester City, perhaps the most remarkable of an astonishing run of results—arrived perhaps the strangest moment of all. 

Leicester were ahead 4-2, thanks mainly to three goals from Jamie Vardy, and were given a penalty. With Vardy already on the bench, having been substituted following an afternoon of particularly hard work, the responsibility for scoring it now fell to the Belgium international Youri Tielemans. 

So Tielemans placed the ball on the penalty spot, stepped back a few paces, and that’s when the strange thing happened: Tielemans jogged forward and struck that penalty in a way that we almost never see. Instead of smashing the ball to the right of Manchester City’s goalkeeper, Ederson, as Tielemans’s body language suggested that he would, he sliced his right foot quickly across the base of the ball, slashing it to Ederson’s left. Tielemans disguised his intention so brilliantly that, as the ball seared into one corner of the net, Ederson soared in the opposite direction.

 It was a masterpiece of deceit and not the only one that we would see from the penalty spot all weekend. Continue reading

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