Gareth Barry trudged back to the centre circle, the soft St Mary's rain dripping off his furrowed brow, all the while avoiding the laser-beam gaze of Roberto Mancini.

He didn't look puzzled, he looked weary. Weary from keeping up with Manchester United, weary from Southampton's tireless pressing, weary of the relentless chase forced upon him by the constant drumbeat of the Premier League fixture list.

His own goal was a lethargic poke in the wrong direction. He didn't stumble, he didn't scuff, he just did exactly the opposite of what he attempted to do. It was a truly horrible moment for him, his manager, teammates and the 3,100 City fans who made the trip down to Southampton.

And it just might have been one of the worst own goals of the Premier League era. 

Gareth Barry is a good player. Not a great one, but an efficient one. A handy piece of City's Premier League-winning puzzle last year.

But, like so many of Manchester City's players this year, he's struggled. The England international had already cost his side one goal, dallying on the ball in his own half, allowing the Saints winger Jason Puncheon to burgle possession, and ultimately to put the south coast club ahead.

Barry's effort was Saints' third in a 3-1 victory over the defending champions, and it can be see above. 

But how does it rank compared to some other great own-goals of season's past. Here are five of the worst…

5. Lauren - Manchester City v Arsenal, 2003

The Cameroonian fullback charges towards his own-goal like a striker racing onto a through ball. And, with a clinical piece of finishing club-mate Thierry Henry would be proud of, Lauren toe-poked the ball past a befuddled Jens Lehmann.

4. Olof Mellberg/Peter Enckelman - Birmingham v Aston Villa 2002

The Birmingham derby descended into farce after Olaf Mellberg appeared to take a throw-in straight into his own goal.

Peter Enckelman maintained he never touched the ball, but the referee ruled otherwise, and the goal was given.

3. Jonathan Walters - Stoke v Chelsea 2013

 Two for the price of one here, as poor old Jonathan Walters suffered the ignominy of a own-goal brace.

Tony Pulis barking at Walters from the Britannia Stadium sideline is a common sight in the Potteries, but a bit of arm-round-the-shoulder management was needed after this one.

To top of it, he also missed a penalty in the same game.

2. Valeri Aleksanyan - Ireland v Armenia 2011

Republic of Ireland only needed a point to qualify for the Euro 2012 play-offs against Armenia, and they got a huge helping hand when Valeri Aleksanyan haplessly poked into his own net.

 A rival for Gareth Barry, with no pressure on, Aleksanyan panics and stabs the ball into the corner.

1. Chris Brass - Bury v Darlington 2007

Without doubt, the greatest own goal ever scored. As the ball comes over the top, Brass attempts to hook the ball clear.

He precedes to get it horribly wrong, smashes the ball off his own face, breaks his nose, and the ball cannons back into the Bury net. Spectacular own goal.

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Football
Premier League