The Leeds United forward missed a golden opportunity to score — dubbed "The Miss of the Century" — but bounced back and went on to earn praise from his manger and fans.
Varney's epic miss came in the 14th minute of Tuesday's Capital One Cup game between Leeds and Southampton.
El-Hadj Diouf created the perfect opening for Varney to score his first goal since early August by running onto a pass inside the penalty area and sliding the ball across the face of goal to his teammate.
Varney was one yard away from the goal line when the ball reached him, and the goalkeeper was out of position leaving the entire goal at the Leeds forward's mercy. Yet somehow Varney managed to slide his shot back toward Diouf wide of the goal.
The Yorkshire post spoke to the 30-year-old about the blunder, which Leeds manager Neil Warnock called "The Miss of the Century."
"What do you mean 'miss'?" Varney joked. "I passed the ball back to Dioufy and was disappointed he didn't put it in the net!"
Varney was battling an illness that day and, to his credit, he played a key role in propelling Leeds to a 3-0 win over Southampton. Warnock even said Varney was his man of the match, and Leeds fans reportedly chanted "Who needs [Robin] van Persie, we've got Luke Varney" as he walked off the field.
Marvel at Vareney's miss in the video below.
Thumbnail photo via Dailymotion