Kevin Nolan’s best season at Bolton Wanderers was arguably in the 2005-2006 season. He scored a flurry of great goals which saw him linked with a possible England call-up from Sven-Goran Eriksson; a cap he was destined never to receive.
Nolan showed off his acrobatic range with this overhead kick against Portsmouth in September 2005. It was a game low on quality and chances but Nolan did produce a worthy moment to settle the match between the two sides.
After 24 minutes, Henrik Pedersen looped a ball into the penalty area which was kept alive by his strike partner, Kevin Davies. Davies’ header reached Nolan but it was behind him so the midfielder improvised with an awesome overhead kick that left Portsmouth goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown motionless.
Bolton’s 1-0 victory took them to third place in the table and this was part of Nolan’s qualities in his game, especially during this purple patch of form during his spell at The Reebok Stadium.
On the opening day of the 1996-1997 season, David Beckham scored one of the greatest goals the Premier League has ever seen at Selhurst Park against Wimbledon.
Defending champions Manchester United were 2-0 up going into the dying stages of their first match of the season. When Efan Ekoku lost possession in the middle of the field and Brian McClair passed the ball to Beckham, nothing looked to be on for the midfielder. In his vision, he spotted Wimbledon goalkeeper Neil Sullivan had strayed off his goal-line so with nothing to lose and everything to gain, Beckham decided to go for goal.
He measured his shot from inside his own half to perfection. Sullivan scrambled back but didn’t recover in-time as the ball flew over the top of him and into the net. It is a goal that even 23 years on, is still constantly repeated on highlights reels and social media.
It was a phenomenal and magical moment and set its goalscorer on his way to stardom, both on and off-the-field.
Newcastle United needed the three points in their chase of Manchester United in the 1996 title race but they were to be denied these on their visit to The City Ground thanks to a superb strike from one of the best players of the 1995-1996 Premier League season.
Ian Woan enjoyed a brilliant individual campaign and this goal sparked huge cheers across Manchester. Newcastle were leading 1-0 with 10 minutes to go when David Batty carelessly lost possession in the middle of the park. Woan seized the initiative and started running unchallenged towards the goal.
With Newcastle players continuing to back off, Woan decided to launch one of his left-foot specials and his razor-like shot found the back of the net. It was a fantastic equaliser from Woan and earned Nottingham Forest a point. Newcastle missed out on the title by four points, despite holding a 12-point advantage over Manchester United four months earlier.
See the goal here: https://www.facebook.com/premierleague/videos/1690406877650387/
On a wet and murky Saturday afternoon in October 1999, Stephen Carr produced a long-range pile driver for Tottenham Hotspur against reigning champions Manchester United. Driving forward from the right-hand side of the centre circle, Carr had plenty of space to run into as Red Devils defenders, including Phil Neville retreated away from making a challenge.
With this invitation, Carr elected to try his luck from distance and his terrific shot zipped into the top corner of the net. New Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich had no chance to stop this shot but in all honesty, the man he replaced, Peter Schmeichel, would have struggled to keep this effort out too.
Tottenham enjoyed a 3-1 victory on the day and it was one of only three Premier League losses Manchester United suffered during a dominant 1999-2000 season which saw them retain the title by a comfortable 18-point margin.
One of Aston Villa’s biggest-ever Premier League victories was this 6-0 annihilation of hapless Derby County in April 2008. It also saw an amazing strike from the very likeable Bulgarian international, Stiliyan Petrov.
Roy Carroll played his part in it. The Derby goalkeeper’s clearance was poor but Petrov still had a lot to do. He brought the ball down with his chest and on the half-volley and his weaker foot; he went for goal from distance. Carroll was desperately scrambling to get back but the shot flew over the top of him and into the net. It was easily the best goal of the six Villa goals at Pride Park that afternoon.
Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March 2012 which saw his professional career come to an untimely end but he was a marvellous player with an eye for goal from distance which he demonstrated here to perfection.
Although Blackburn Rovers would eventually win this match in December 1994 against Southampton, the star of the game at Ewood Park was Matt Le Tissier.
The magic midfielder had a canny knack for scoring some outrageous goals and this is one which even he has often said is his best strike. With 12 minutes left to play, Le Tissier picked the ball up from teammate Tommy Widdrington on the halfway line. He shielded possession from Blackburn captain Tim Sherwood and turned Mark Atkins inside out. Le Tissier then went for goal from distance and his right-foot shot was inch-perfect. It flew into the top left-hand corner past his former teammate, Tim Flowers.
This goal was rightfully selected as the BBC Match of the Day Goal of the Season for the 1994-1995 campaign.
Liverpool FC’s last Premier League home match before the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster was against Blackburn Rovers. Going for the league title against bitter enemies Manchester United, they made a fantastic start through the genius of Fernando Torres.
During his three-and-a-half year spell on Merseyside, ‘El Nino’ was at his best and was considered one of the best finishers in European football. He demonstrated this with his opener here against Blackburn.
Only five minutes had been played when from Jamie Carragher’s long ball, Torres controlled the ball brilliantly, turned and struck the sweetest of volleys that flew past Paul Robinson into the far corner of the net. Liverpool won the match 4-0 and although they finished four points shy of winning the title, they ended the campaign as the league’s top goalscorers, helped by special efforts like this from Torres.
Arsenal were looking to equal Nottingham Forest’s all-time top-flight record of going 42 league matches unbeaten when they hosted Middlesbrough in the second match of the 2004-2005 season. However, that record looked to be safe when Boro went into a 3-1 lead early in the second half.
The Gunners showed their championship instincts however and stormed back to win the contest 5-3. The goal which gave them the lead was a special moment for Spanish winger Jose Antonio Reyes. Moments after Robert Pires had equalised, Reyes cut inside Dutch international full-back Michael Reiziger and fired an unstoppable right-footed drive into the far top corner of Mark Schwarzer’s net. It was part of a sequence that saw Reyes score in the first five matches of the season.
He never quite lived up to the £20 million price tag that Arsene Wenger paid for him from Sevilla but he showed moments of quality during his two-and-a-half-years at Highbury and this goal against Middlesbrough to equal a piece of English football history is right near the top of the list.
Harry Kane has loved playing against the old enemy from North London since he made his derby debut in 2015. In March 2016, he produced a glorious shot from the edge of the penalty area to give Tottenham the lead against Arsenal in a game both sides were looking to try and win to close the gap on Leicester City at the top of the table.
The game was delicately poised at 1-1 with goals from Aaron Ramsey and Toby Alderweireld either side of Francis Coquelin being sent off for two bookable offences. Kevin Wimmer played what seemed like a hopeful ball into the corner but Dele Alli hadn’t given it up, beating Per Mertesacker to the ball and back-heeling it into the path of Kane.
Kane cut inside and produced a special curling effort that flashed past David Ospina. Wearing a protected mask after a recent facial injury, Kane ripped it off and raced off into the opposite corner of the ground to be chased gamely by his jubilant teammates. It ranks up with the best-ever North London Derby goals scored at the old White Hart Lane ground.
It wasn’t enough for all three points as Alexis Sanchez found an equaliser for Arsenal and the points were shared in a 2-2 draw. Kane though had demonstrated again why he is considered as one of the world’s best strikers.
In January 2006, Xabi Alonso scored a wonderful goal in a see-saw FA Cup tie away at Luton Town from inside his own half. However, the Spaniard was helped by the fact that Luton goalkeeper Marlon Beresford was way out of his goal having come forward for a Luton corner.
Alonso was never shy of trying his luck from long-range and he even admitted to practising efforts from the halfway line in training. The practice was worth it against Newcastle in September 2006.
Liverpool FC had made a slow start to the season, winning just one of their first four fixtures. They were leading this match through Dirk Kuyt’s first goal for the club but Alonso’s effort took centre stage. Spotting Steve Harper off his goal-line, Alonso decided to go for goal and he judged his strike perfectly. He was helped slightly by Harper slipping as he backpedalled but in terms of execution, it was inch-perfect and any goal from the halfway line shouldn’t be knocked.
Liverpool won the game 2-0 in a campaign which saw only Manchester United leave Anfield in the Premier League with all three points.
This goal from Wayne Rooney was the first time he won the BBC Match of the Day Goal of the Season award. It came in March 2007 during Manchester United’s commanding 4-1 home victory over Sam Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers.
The move began from a Bolton throw-in but it led to nothing and Cristiano Ronaldo gained possession on the edge of his own area. Ronaldo then linked up beautifully with Rooney before the pair started a sensational counter-attacking move. Ronaldo continued motoring down the centre of the park with Rooney on his left and Ryan Giggs on his right-hand side.
Ronaldo then fed Rooney in and he produced the calmest of delicate flicks over the advancing Jussi Jaaskelainen. This was counter-attacking football at its absolute finest with the ball ending up in Bolton’s net just 10 seconds after Ronaldo had won possession. All four corners of Old Trafford applauded a stunning piece of quality from this dynamic duo.
Dennis Bergkamp’s Arsenal career was littered with so many special moments and incredible goals. In the 1997-1998 campaign, the Dutchman’s superb skills saw him help Arsenal to a league and cup double and saw him win the PFA Players’ Player of the Year. One season earlier, he produced a sign of what was to come with a supreme finish in the closing stages of the Highbury North London Derby.
Arsenal had just taken a 2-1 lead through skipper Tony Adams, when Bergkamp finished the game off with this wonderful control. Strike partner Ian Wright seemed to be happy to take the ball into the corner flag to see the game out but he teased Clive Wilson into this trick. He beat the defensive midfielder and crossed the ball to the back post for Bergkamp.
Bergkamp killed the ball with a marvellous first touch which took him inside Stephen Carr. Then, his second touch saw him drive his shot past Ian Walker into the far corner of the net. Arsenal won the game 3-1 and their domination of the North London scene would continue for several years afterwards. Arsene Wenger would only lose one of these games in the next 14 years.