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Thursday, November 10, 2005

What are the most memorable goals?

When it comes to goals, I wondered what the criteria of the BBC panel was when they chose the Goal of The Month. Sometimes I see spectacular goals fly in in one month, only for a simpler tap-in or a header is judged to the the winner; other times a goal flies in at such a rate that it is a wonder in itself and clearly wins. I wondered which goals have caught your eye and for what reason.

1. Jon Harley, Fulham 2 Aston Villa 1, 8th February 2003, Craven Cottage

Jon Harley picks onto a loose ball some 35 yards out and hits a dipping, swerving effort right over Peter Enckleman on 36mins. Harley was a big prospect for Chelsea yet he has fallen down to the lower league. Rufus Brevett was sold to West Ham and Harley found his chance to shine, and how. Superb strike.

2. Samuel Eto'o, Barcelona 5 Panathinaikos 0, 2nd November 2005, The Nou Camp

It's Barca's last goal in a game where they could have clearly scored more, 4-0 up in the first half, in the second half Argentine Lionel Messi is found on the left, and he passes slowly to Eto'o on the wing, the Cameroon striker coolly strokes the ball first time high and dipping, right over Croatian keeper Mario Galinovic. It was a rout.

3. Stan Collymore, Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3, 3rd April 1996, Anfield; Robbie Fowler, Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3, 10th March 1997, Anfield

Voted as the Premier League's 'Match of the Decade', Kevin Keegan's Newcastle came to Anfield that April, where no one could have envisaged the kind of game that would enfold over the next 90mins+. We went ahead and then Newcastle pegged us to 1-2. We equalised in the second half but Faustino Asprilla put them into the lead, Collymore equalised and it seemed to end in a draw. But Steve McManaman found Collymore on the left in the dying seconds and the former Forest, Villa and Leicester man scored from a tight angle. The camera panned tot he Newcastle bench where Keegan hid his head behind the advertising boards. Anfield was in uproar.

The odds on the same thing happening again would have paid off a mortgage. And it did. Happen again, that is. Kenny Dalglish was manager of Newcastle this time. Liverpool went ahead 3-0 through McManaman, Fowler and Patrik Berger. Then David James happened, spilling a Keith Gillespie effort and running out to be lobbed by Asprilla. Warren Barton made it 3-3 and it looked,t his time, to be a 3-3 draw, but the hope of deja vu came true. John Barnes and Ian Rush played one-two and then Barnes found Fowler running up on the left (that left side again!) and the young striker headed in from a diving header. Anfield was in uproar again.

The two goals go together because they were very similar.

4. Alan Shearer, Manchester United 5 Newcastle 3, 22nd November 2002, Old Trafford

Another cracking game. Man Utd were 3-1 up at half time, and Newcastle were looking second best until Olivier Bernard was fouled by Solskjaer some 35 yards out from goal. Gary Speed rolled it to Shearer and the former England captain unleashed a shot that literally went like a firework. Fabien Barthez in goal was routed.

5. Alan Shearer, Newcastle 2 Everton 1, 1st December 2002, St James' Park

Everton were performing very well at this time. I believe they were 6 games unbeaten, hadn't even conceded in the last five leading up to this game, and they held Newcastle in the 17th minute through Kevin Campbell. Joseph Yobo was sent off for a professional foul on Craig Bellamy five minutes later and Everton held strong with the 10 men, until 4mins from time. A high ball was won by Shola Ameobi against David Unsworth, the ball coming down in the vicinity of Shearer. From 25 yards out or so, Shearer let fly a ferocious volley that dipped over Richard Wright. This goal gave hope to the Magpies, and they won it with Bellamy hitting across near the goalline and Li Tie's intervention pushed the ball into the net. Superb textbook volley.

6. David Beckham, England 2 Greece 2, World Cup Qualifier, 6th October 2001, Old Trafford

I remember this match very well. England were playing at about 70% playability and the Greeks were not giving us an easy match. they went ahead twice, either side of Teddy Sheringham's equaliser after coming on for Robbie Fowler. Deep, deep into injury time we looked to be heading for the play-offs when a foul was given some 25-30 yards from their goal, in other words Beckham territory. Old Trafford, Man Utd player, captain, David Beckham, there isn't any other scenario you'd wish to be in, much less scoring a crucial effectively winning goal in. Though he was becoming renowned for his free kicks, it wasn't safe to bet on it going in. But when it did, my friends and I were ecstatic. We didn't deserve to win the match but we had the players who deserved to go to the Far East. The goal was so important, it was the equivalent of winning the lottery when you're repossessed and bankrupt.

I don't have top goals, the above are some of the ones that stand out the most when I ponder. Shearer had scored a ferocious freekick for England one time, a match we won 0-2 and I'm sure it was away, his goal was the second goal but I can't remember the opposition. It may have been Bulgaria, but I remember Shearer running up and hitting it with some venom from a tight angle and it was another superb goal. Realistically, if I were to list every goal I remember that stood out, I'd need two hard drives to contain them in. There have been some fantastic goals, shots from distances, 6-7-8 passes that led to a goal, solo efforts, some that have happened at the expense of another's blooper. They are part of the reason why football is such an attractive, entertaining sport.



Blogger BlindJak said...

I think the BBC use two different criteria. One is for the obviously spectacular from rage and hitting the top corner like some kinds guided missile and then there are team goals with excellent passing and movement finally resulting in a non spectacular goal.

Here are some others I would add to the list.

Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 4 Norwich 0, 16th Jan 2002 Stamford Bridge
Late in the game Chelsea got a corner which was fizzed in about knee height. Zola glided in front of his marker, jumped to meet the flight of the ball and while air born let the ball though his legs to back heel it into the top corner. Only mildly spectacular but a goal of exceptional technical ability.

Alan Shearer England 4 Holland 1, June 18th 1996 Wembley Stadium
A lovely team goal. Nice build up passing before the ball reaches Gazza who beats his man and tees up Sheringham who shapes to shoot but sells the Dutch defence a terrific dummy as he more or less squares it to a now unmarked Shearer who crashes it into the roof of the net.

Wayne Roony Utd 2 Newcastle 0, 24th April 2005, Old Trafford
From disinterested moaner to hitting a thumping volley with what can only be described as sheer venom.

Also there must be loads from Henry who seems to score mainly spectacular efforts but two that stand out in my mind are the back heel from 6 yards out with a defender trying to get inside his shirt and one he scored against us in the cup where latching only a through ball he met Cudicini on the edge of the Chelsea area and pirouetted/spun around Carlo with the ball under control to slide the ball into an empty net.

11/11/2005 9:31 am

Blogger BlindJak said...

Also forgot to add Ronaldiniho sublime goal against us in the CL last year. Three defenders standing in front of him on the edge of the box, he waves his foot in the air a couple of times and the just toe punts the ball through the crowd just inside the post. Quite literally a goal from nowhere and undefendable.

11/11/2005 9:34 am

Blogger Abdul said...

Really really enjoyed reading this Redsman. No matter what the merits are of great defending and tenacious tackling, its goals that are the most captivating aspect of football.

The goals described by Redsman and BJ are still so vivid in my mind - thats when you know they are great goals.

I would like to add a few of my favourites as well:

I cant believe that Ryan Giggs' solo effort in the FA Cup semi against Arsenal hasnt got a mention yet. Not only was it a great goal in its own right but it also shaped football history - it gave United the impetus to go on and win the treble.

Beckham v Wimbledon - a goal that brought him to the world's attention and launched a glittering career.

Bergkamp's hat trick of great goals v Leicester City - the best hattrick I have ever seen.

Saeed Al Owairan for Saudi Arabia v Belgium at the 1994 World Cup. Owairan ran from his own penalty box through the entire Belgian team and put his shot into the top corner. If this goal had been scored by a Brazillian - Owairan would be a household name.

Henry seems to score a sublime goal every week...but his goal against Inter at the San Siro was cracking.

I could go on and on. Thanks for reviving some good memories Redsman.

11/11/2005 9:55 am

Blogger T said...

Yes,Yes,Yes! Love all the goals mentioned so far.

Some of mine to add are:

Magic Man Merson with a top corner equaliser from 28 yards out(we were two goals down) in FA Cup fourth round match against Leeds at Highbury in 1993 (I think this was the year)...

Zidane against Leverkusen in Champions League final- the World's best scoring a spectacular left foot swivel volley in the biggest club match of the year- breathtaking....

Roberto Carlos reverse swerving free-kick in Le Tournoi (I enjoyed this tournament)...

George Weah in an AC Milan shirt running the length of the field beating man after man in a Serie A match...

Van Basten hooked volley from extreme angle againt Soviet Union in final of 1988 European Championship- first major tournament that I watched from start to finish....

Ray Parlour with two top corner strikes: one against Chelsea in 2002 Cup Final; and a mintue after an equaliser he hit a thunderbolt (we were one down at half-time) against Valencia at Highbury in 2001 Champs league quarter final which erupted everyone connected with Arsenal...

And although I have many more to mention I'll end with Owen's second goal against Argentina in World Cup 1998... insanely exciting that an English 18 year old could score a goal like that on an occasion like that!

P.S. Redsman, didn't Barnes and Rush set up Collymore, and Macmanaman set up Fowler?? Also must add that the 3-3 match between Liverpool and Man Utd which saw Man Utd lose a three goal lead contained great goals from both sides (and excellent Clough celebration after second goal in front of the Kop).

11/11/2005 11:53 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

T - Excellent recall, now that I've thought about it. Rush and Barnes did set up Collymore, therefore McManaman did the same for Fowler the following season. Thanks for clearing that up.

BJ, abdul - my goodness, those goals. And there are so many there should be DVDs for Xmas with 1,000 great goals selling right now. Rooney's goal for Man Utd, when you notice he is protesting to possibly Graeme Poll and they're both jogging along with the action, then a header comes Rooney's way, where he naturally just whacks it, scores, and jogs up to the crowd as if vindicated! Hardly a smile. Superb.

Henry's back heel I believe came against Charlton at home last season, where he was marked poorly by Jon Fortune, who had his legs open and holding Henry's arms, and the Frenchman duly obliged a back heel that went in. And his first for Arsenal in that FA Cup tie, whe he span around the advancing Cudicini, it was typical Henry.

Zidane against Leverkusen, well. It's Zidane. I remember the ball coming across from the elft and the Frenchman hooked it well. Ideal match for such a goal.

Bergkamp's hat-trick against Leicester at Filbert Street, his last came while Matt Elliott came charging out at him. Bergkamp turned him and guided the ball wide of the keeper.

Beckham against Wimbledom from just inside the half way line, over Neil Sullivan. Nuff said.

Others like John Arne Riise scoring his freekick against Man Utd at Anfield, another rocket launcher. Even Leeds' Tony Yeboah cracked a few goals with some power, one against Liverpool from 25-30 yards, great technique.

So many of them over the years, amazing.


11/11/2005 12:58 pm

Blogger T said...

Oh Boy, Tony Yeboah! He also scored that goal against Wimbledon when he controlled a bouncing ball on his knee, then in virtually the same movement and in a blur of speed he stepped forward and crashed a volley on the full from thirty yards into the top corner... now we're talking!!

11/11/2005 6:46 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gazza's freekick against Arsenal for Spurs in 1991 FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley.

There is of course that other Gazza goal in Euro 96...

A few of Le Tissier the fat bastards mind-bogglingly amazing goals...

and for sheer stop, rewind and figure out what the hell just happened kudos...and for the fact that it brought stunned silence to the stadium when it happened..Ranaldinho against Chelsea last season.

11/14/2005 1:10 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

Goal 1: Maradona against England (86)

Goal 2: Owen against Argentina

Goal 3: Rooney against Arsenal, remember the name..

11/14/2005 6:28 pm

Blogger T said...

Nice additions anon... Le Tiss did score a range of phenomenal goals... his shooting techinque was ultra-world class.

As an Arsenal fan, the Gazza free-kick falls into the same category for me as 'Nayim's from the half-way line': I wish they were scored against a different team!

11/14/2005 6:39 pm

Blogger Berry said...

1. Bergkamp's goal against Argentina in 1998. Great control. Great touch. Great finish.

2. Gerrard's goal against Olympiakos in 2005. Last chance. In or out. First time shot. History.

3. Di Canio's goal against wimbledon. Too far out. Impossible angle. No chance. What a kick!.

11/15/2005 2:35 pm

Blogger SKG said...

as a liverpool fan nothing beats gerrard's stunner against olympiakos last season. simply gerrard!

11/15/2005 5:49 pm


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