The Best Corner Routines of All Time

UEFA Champions League"Tottenham Hotspur FC v Liverpool FC"
UEFA Champions League"Tottenham Hotspur FC v Liverpool FC" | VI-Images/Getty Images

Wherever you look, you'll find clubs taking set pieces seriously these days. Teams spend hours perfecting free kicks and some even have throw-in coaches, and corners are no exception.

When done wrong, a corner is little more than a wasted cross. However, when done right, a corner can leave defenders baffled and lead to a memorable goal, and there have been plenty of outstanding corner routines in years gone by.

If you're looking for some silky skills to pull off with your Sunday League side, you're in the right place. Here are some of the best corner routines of all time.

Manchester United Catch Chelsea Napping (January 2009)

Manchester United's English forward Wayn
Manchester United's English forward Wayn | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

Wayne Rooney was a step ahead of Chelsea in January 2009. He dribbled the ball over to the corner flag and left it for Ryan Giggs. That was it.

It turned out that Rooney had touched the ball after putting it down to make it 'live', allowing Giggs to pick the ball up and drive right at the unsuspecting Chelsea penalty area. He crossed the ball in for Cristiano Ronaldo to head home, only for the referee to inexplicably rule the goal out. Since then, plenty of sides have pulled this off without being punished.

Referee Howard Webb was left flustered and ordered a retake, from which Manchester United scored anyway.

No harm done.

Arjen Robben Volleys Home From Range (April 2010)

Everyone expects corners to be floated into the box, but Bayern Munich tried something a little different when they faced Manchester United in the Champions League in 2010.

Instead of going central, Franck Ribéry floated a high corner towards the edge of the penalty area, where partner-in-crime Arjen Robben was waiting to connect with a first-time volley which arrowed into the back of the net.

United won the game 3-2, but Robben's volley was enough to tie the score at 4-4 on aggregate, which saw Bayern advance on away goals.

Serbia Under-17s Go Dummy Crazy (September 2012)

Chances are you've seen about seven seconds of the Serbia Under-17s in action, and it was these seven seconds.

In a meeting with Belarus in 2012, the Serbs played a low corner in towards the edge of the box, where three players proceeded to dummy the ball and let in run through their legs. With the defenders sufficiently mind-blown, Andrija Živković ran on to the ball and fired home for an easy goal.

It was one of those routines which was either going to make them look like geniuses or idiots, but Serbia pulled it off to perfection.

Dunfermline's Dance Party (August 2014)

Sometimes, corner routines are just so strange that defenders get completely lost. Dunfermline clearly knew that and took advantage of that against Annan Athletic in August 2014 (skip to 7:45 in the video above).

Already up 4-1 in the dying embers of the game, Dunfermline won a corner and took the opportunity to try something new. Four players gathered towards the edge of the box and proceeded to bounce around in circles, before running towards the goal. With the defence shell-shocked, Lewis Martin stormed in and tapped home a fifth.

If you want to see just how wrong this can go, look up Czech side Příbram's interpretation. It's not great.

Mason Holgate Stars for Everton Under-21s (April 2016)

Mason Holgate has been hugely impressive in Everton's senior side this season, but one of the most impressive passages of play he has been involved in actually came during an Under-21 meeting with Chelsea in April 2016 (skip to 0:50 in the video above).

The Toffees were already 1-0 up thanks to a goal from an earlier corner, but this second one was special. Harry Charsley touched the ball to make it 'live' and charged straight towards the box, allowing Kieran Dowell to find him with a perfect scooped lob.

Charsley crossed the ball and found Holgate at the back post, whose header found the back of the net and sealed this passage of play's status as one of the jammiest corners ever.

Lee Nguyen Curls Home From a Tight Angle (May 2016)

In May 2016, New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen took a short corner and seemingly disappeared instantly, with every single Chicago Fire defender completely forgetting about him.

While the ball was passed outside the box, Nguyen simply ran from the corner flag towards the goal, and he completed the triangle of passes when he received the ball at a tight angle. Without even taking a touch, Nguyen curled the ball into the far corner with ease.

The defending left a lot to be desired, but take nothing away from Nguyen, who knew exactly what he was doing.

Bochum Ride the Love Train (November 2016)

Gareth Southgate's England popularised a tactic which became known as the 'Love Train' at the 2018 World Cup, which was basically to have his players queue up and separate at the last minute in the hope that the ball would find its way to Harry Maguire's £80m-rated head. Southgate is obviously a Bochum fan.

In a 2-2 draw with Dynamo Dresden, the Bochum attackers formed an orderly queue and flew towards the ball, flicking it on and setting up a straightforward tap-in at the back post.

It's something we've seen from Lincoln City in the past as well, so Southgate has clearly been doing his research.

Corner Taken Quickly... (May 2019)

Here we are at probably the single most-famous corner in recent history - the moment Trent Alexander-Arnold's quick-thinking earned Liverpool a spot in the Champions League final.

Already three goals into an iconic comeback against Barcelona, Alexander-Arnold was ready to walk away from the corner, before spotting Divock Origi in an ocean of space in the box. Then...


And the rest is history.