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By ESPN Staff
Oct 24, 2005

Pires manages to laugh off Highbury penalty fiasco

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has tried to laugh off the bizarre penalty fiasco during the Premier League victory over Manchester City at Highbury on Saturday.

Pires and fellow Frenchman Thierry Henry bungled a cheeky penalty attempt in which Pires was supposed to roll the ball forward for Henry to convert.

However Pires, who had already scored from the spot in the 1-0 win, scuffed the ball twice allowing City's defenders to clear before referee Mike Riley awarded City a free kick.

The incident caused embarrassment for the Arsenal pair and some anger among the City players who thought it showed a lack of respect.

However, speaking on Canal Plus on Sunday, Pires said: 'We put some humour into soccer, it's not that bad.

'When I was about to kick the penalty, there was a little moment of panic in my mind.

'However, I thought the referee would ask us to kick it again as the ball was still on the penalty spot.

'Anyway, it makes us laugh now. Especially because we won.'