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Frame By Frame Breakdown Of The Incredible Tom Heaton Save Against Manchester United

Frame By Frame Breakdown Of The Incredible Tom Heaton Save Against Manchester United
By Balls Team Updated

Today at Old Trafford, Tom Heaton put on a goalkeeping exhibition for Burnley in their unlikely 0-0 draw against Manchester United. The highlight of the game was undoubtedly Heaton's limb-flailing save to deny Zlatan a deserved scissors kick goal. The save nearly broke Heaton's arm but earned him the praise of Peter Schmeichel who called it one of the best ever Premier League saves. In order to appreciate this feat of goalkeeping, we present a frame-by-frame breakdown.

Step One: The cross


Heaton has the near post covered expertly but Zlatan is lurking in all kinds of space.

Step 2: the 'Oh shit' moment

Heaton, still hugging the post, turns midcross to realise that Zlatan basically has an entire goal to work with it. Panic stations.

 

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Step 3: I got this

As Herrera's cross hangs in the air and Zlatan lines up his shot, Heaton has a millisecond to come up with a strategy for stopping the incoming thunderbastard.

 

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Step 4: Transform into a flying squirrel*

Copyright US soccer writer Zach Goldman for the flying squirrel line. He spread his legs and arms as far as they could stretch and prayed for a miracle. Amazingly, his right arm stopped the ball.

 

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Alternative angle #1

Zlatan's view

Alternative angle #2

Just check out the extension of each limb.

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Alternative angle #3

Look at that right hand.

Step #5: Writhe in pain

Heaton required the services of a physio immediately after the save, such was the pain in arm that stopped the shot. He told reporters after the match the ball nearly broke his arm. “I knew I had two men behind me on the line so I thought I’d get out, close the space and spread. Thankfully it has hit me but it nearly broke my arm!” He sucked it up though, and kept his cleansheet.

 

For the save, Heaton earned the plaudits of legendary goalkeepers and punters.

You can watch the save in all its glory here (until the link gets pulled)

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