Desperate times call for desperate measures, or so the saying goes. But AFC Bournemouth defender Steve Cook pushed cliché to its extreme outer limit Saturday, potentially costing the Cherries in their Premier League relegation fight during a 1-0 loss to Norwich City.
Canaries striker Teemu Pukki was in on goal in the 31st minute at Carrow Road, and Ondrej Duda attempted to score on the ensuing rebound. Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale was off his line, so Cook desperately stretched his left hand to push Duda's shot off the near post.
Were it legal, it just might have been the save of the season.
UNBELIEVABLE 😂 pic.twitter.com/CxFNi4AINQ— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 18, 2020
Of course, such a play is decidedly illegal, and Cook was sent off with a red card. His attempt to save a goal cost Bournemouth a player, and proved to be a moot point: Pukki buried the ensuing penalty.
Bournemouth and Norwich, respectively sitting 19th and 20th in the Premier League table, both needed wins Saturday as they try to avoid relegation. Cook staying on wouldn't have guaranteed a Cherries comeback, but it did effectively guarantee his side would drop points against the Canaries.
A 1-0 deficit against the Premier League's leakiest defense would have been far more manageable for Bournemouth with 11 men on the pitch. But just as they will for the remainder of the season in hopes of staying up, the Cherries instead faced a difficult uphill climb.