Olivier Bernard isn’t one of Newcastle‘s greatest ever players, but he helped create one of the finest moments in Premier League history.
Take yourself back to the early Noughties. To a simpler time, when Donald Trump was just a mildly amusing Wotsit-faced sexist, and when Tatu‘s All The Things You Said was considered a good song.
It was also a time when Laurent Robert and Olivier Bernard played for Newcastle United. The French winger had a propensity to score spectacular goals, throw the odd tantrum, and had a left foot that could open a can of tuna. Or knock a team-mate out.
And that’s exactly what happened when Newcastle played Leicester City. Take a look if you don’t believe us:
Near the left side of the pitch, Bernard tangles with a Leicester player before shifting the ball back to Robert. The Leicester player leaves a bit in on Bernard, who semi-reacts, turning to confront his attacker.
Meanwhile, Robert – for reasons still unknown today – sees fit to boot the ball as hard as he can in the direction of the two players.
The ball flies into the face of Bernard before ricocheting out of play. For the split seconds after the ball has struck, Bernard looks like he’s weathered the blow from his old pal Robert.
But then it becomes clear that all is not well with the great Olivier Bernard. Bernard, after a perfectly-timed delay and with a look of sheer bewilderment on his face, staggers and stutters, before hitting the deck like a sack of spuds.
Like Vic and Bob or Laurel and Hardy, Robert and Bernard combined to create slapstick comedy of the highest order. Who said the French weren’t funny?