By 90Min
July 26, 2017

It's been a long time coming, but finally one of the greatest mysteries of our time has been explained. It is, of course, the mystery of why Phil Jones opted to go for the crawling headed tackle in order to halt the opposing striker.

Jones, famed for his gallery of bizarre facial expressions, made the notorious tackle in a game against Arsenal in May 2015, and the strangely impressive moment has entertained fans ever since. 

Two years after that infamous encounter, during an interview with MUTV the 25-year-old said, "It was one of those things. I misjudged the ball from a goal kick. The ball bounced, I slipped. I tried to get up, I slipped again. The only thing I could do was improvise and try to head the ball away because Giroud was through on goal. 

"It looked silly at the time, but it did the job. Looking back on it, it was the ‘slipping and trying to get up’ stage – that was the funny part. All my mates take the mick out of me for it! It was just improvisation. You do what you have to do as a defender. You have to put your neck on the line."

​​While the tackle appeared ridiculous and has since cemented itself as one of the stranger things committed by a Premier League defender, the improvisation behind the tackle was actually very good.

Jones miscalculated the height of the overhead ball, and subsequently allowed Giroud in on goal. But suspended somewhere between standing and falling, the defender managed to crawl almost as quickly as Giroud could sprint and was able to head to ball into the Frenchman's feet, and watch the ball go out for a goal kick. An ingenious piece of defending that we'll likely never forget! 

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