Tottenham, Man United… FIVE embarrassing football routs

Football wouldn’t be football without the odd rout every season or so. We’ve seen plenty in the Premier League over the years, and there’s always one or two flying around on the international stage during periods of friendly fixtures.

Let’s face it, we’ve all witnessed our favourite team being ripped apart and suffering an embarrassing result at the hands of a superior outfit in a game that was so easy it’s just wrong. But what are the most embarrassing?

There’s plenty to choose from, so we’ve picked just five for you to enjoy. Will we see a repeat of any of these scorelines in Brazil this summer?

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Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal – 28 August 2011

Wayne Rooney
The Premier League Champions ran riot at Old Trafford as a makeshift Arsenal side depleted by injuries and suspensions suffered their worst defeat since 1896.

Wayne Rooney bagged the sixth hat-trick of his United career, while Ashley Young netted a superb brace. Danny Welbeck, Park Ji-Sung and Nani also found the net as Arsenal were brushed aside with ease.

It was a result that, in hindsight, wasn’t entirely unexpected given the Gunners’ weakness from the off – at one point they had FIVE academy players on the field at once – but it was still one of the most embarrassing routs in the Premier League era, especially when you consider Arsenal’s previous top-flight dominance.

Tottenham 9-1 Wigan – 22 November 2009


The result wasn’t entirely unexpected, with Spurs chasing a top four spot and Wigan looming just above the relegation zone at the time. But it was the manner in which the result happened that was the most embarrassing for Roberto Martinez’s Wigan.

Peter Crouch’s ninth minute header was all that separated the two sides at the interval at White Hart Lane. The Latics were still in the game and had shown signs of an equaliser before the break.

But a seven-minute hat-trick from Jermain Defoe between the restart and the hour-mark all but ended the tie. Defoe went on to score two more to take his goal tally to five on the evening, while Aaron Lennon, David Bentley and Niko Kranjcar piled on the misery of Wigan’s second-half capitulation.

Paul Scharner’s 57th minute consolation meant the White Hart Lane crowd saw nine goals in just 45 minutes, with the Wigan faithful forced to head back up north with their tails firmly between their legs.

As Adema 149-0 SOE Antananarivo – 31 October 2002

As Adema 149-0 SOE Antananarivo – 31 October 2002

In what was quite literally a cricket score in Madagascar, Adema inflicted a bizarre rout on their arch rivals SOE Antananarivo, although they didn’t score any of the goals.

In a TBH Champions League tie in 2002, SOE’s manager Ratismandresy Ratsarazaka was still reeling from poor refereeing decisions that he felt had cost his side the league title.

So, in retaliation, he ordered his players to keep scoring own goals from start to finish, with Adema players not having a single touch of the ball all game.

The referee didn’t abandon the game for some reason and the SOE players kept going until he called time on the game.

The Madagascar FA subsequently suspended Ratsarazaka for three years, while four SOE players were suspended until the end of the 2002 season.

Middleborough 8-1 Manchester City – 11 May 2008

Afonso Alves

At the time, this wasn’t as much of an embarrassment as it would be today, but it’s the way in which both these sides went soon after that makes it an interesting result.

On the final day of the 2007/2008 Premier League season, both Boro and City had nothing to play for other than the chance to finish one or two league positions higher. Boro had secured their top-flight survival a month earlier and were just going through the motions, while the best Sven-Goran Eriksson’s City side could hope for was a seventh placed finish.

But an Afonso Alves hat-trick helped the hosts to an 8-1 victory at the Riverside, forcing City to react by sacking Eriksson.

That summer, City was bought out by Abu Dhabi United Group and have now become one of the super powers of world football.

Boro were relegated to the Championship the following season and have struggled in the second tier ever since. Funny how things turn out in football, isn’t it?

Australia 31-0 American Samoa – 11 April 2001


Before this game, American Samoa had only won one game in their entire history – against Wallis and Futuna way back in 1983. They were ranked 203rd out of 203 in the world by FIFA and had just been declared ineligible by football’s governing body due to passport issues.

Attempts to replace their first-team with their under-20 players – to face Australia in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers – failed because they had high school exams, meaning they were forced to call up their third choice players, which included two 15-year-olds.

Australia had just come off the back of a 22-0 win over Tonga and were ranked 128 places above American Samoa.

Cue an absolute whitewash as Archie Thompson equaled the world record for the most goals in a game with 13, while David Zdrillic bagged eight.

The Socceroos received a lot of criticism for the way they showed no mercy in the game, though, with Samoa coach Lui saying: “We don’t know what Australia were trying to prove scoring all those goals.”

It was all in vain however, as Australia were eventually beaten in a qualifying play-off by Uruguay, ultimately missing out on the following summer’s World Cup in Japan and South Korea.