Arsenal’s first year at the Emirates Stadium saw the club concede the first goal of matches to many of their opponents. Few were better though than the strike Denny Landzaat produced in February 2007.
It looked like Arsenal had cleared the danger when the Wigan attackers lost possession in a promising position. The ball fell to Landzaat and no-one expected him to produce a shot on goal, let alone one that would hit the back of the net.
The defensive midfielder took a touch and smashed a shot that flew past Jens Lehmann and into the back of the net. Arsenal did their usual late show that season and won 2-1, so ultimately, this goal counted for nothing. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful moment for Landzaat and one of the best goals seen in the early days at the Emirates.
This early season encounter between Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth produced a spectacular effort from the experienced and skilful Czech player Patrik Berger.
Berger had the ability to produce the spectacular and he demonstrated this at The Valley. From a David Unsworth free-kick, he received possession from the defender, spun around ex-Liverpool FC teammate Danny Murphy and launched an unstoppable volley that looped over Dean Kiely who stood absolutely no chance.
Charlton might have won the game 2-1 but Berger’s goal was the moment of this match, without a doubt.
With Wayne Rooney struggling for form after a difficult summer at the World Cup in South Africa, Manchester United turned to Dimitar Berbatov to fill the goalscoring void. Seen as a misfit after struggling to find any serious form in 2009-2010, the Bulgarian could be brilliant on his day. In September 2010 against Liverpool FC, he was outstanding.
Berbatov had already put the home side infront, evading some slack marking from Fernando Torres to head home from a corner. In the 58th minute, he made it 2-0 with a sublime bicycle kick. Darren Fletcher started the move with a long ball that found Nani out wide. Paul Konchesky backed off the winger, allowing the Portuguese to cross the ball into the Liverpool box. It found Berbatov who controlled it superbly in the air. Still with his back to goal, he produced a special overhead kick that left Pepe Reina completely stranded.
A quick-fire double from Steven Gerrard pulled Liverpool FC back into the contest but it was Berbatov’s day. He headed home a late winner to complete his hat-trick. This was his match and a vintage moment from a player who was always capable of the spectacular.
In the very first season of the Premier League, Ryan Giggs was one of the biggest stars. Still only a teenager, the Welshman’s lightning pace and box of tricks made him a nightmare to play against. He scored one of his best Premier League goals in September 1992 when Manchester United made the trip to White Hart Lane.
Still goalless with half-time in sight, Giggs took possession and beat two Tottenham defenders before rounding the goalkeeper and then with the angle tightening, produced a fine finish into the back of the net. This goal demonstrated all of Ryan’s strong attributes as a youngster.
Tottenham did score in the second half to ensure the game finished all-square at 1-1 but this match is only remembered for a wonderful individual effort by Giggs.
Matt Le Tissier was a one-club man and a player who loved to score spectacular goals. Time and again, he would come up with mastery trickery that dazzled opponents and left supporters gasping with shock and delight.
In October 1993, manager Ian Branfoot disagreed. He was unhappy with Le Tissier’s approach, especially when it came to defensive duties and training regimes so he dropped him. This decision angered the Southampton fans who already were rebelling against Branfoot’s negative tactics.
For a televised match at home to Newcastle United, Branfoot recalled the Saints’ hero to the starting line-up and at 0-0 in the early moments of the second half, he scored one of the great individual Premier League goals. Receiving the ball from an Iain Dowie knockdown, Le Tissier took complete control. He flicked the ball over two advancing Newcastle defenders in Barry Venison and Kevin Scott. With both out of the game, this gave the attacking midfielder his moment. Although he scuffed the shot slightly, it easily beat Mike Hooper and Southampton led with a moment to savour from their iconic leader.
15 minutes later, Le Tissier scored another memorable goal which wasn’t quite on the levels of his first goal for skill but even he admits was a cleaner contact in terms of the finishing strike. He netted 25 goals in 1993-1994 as Southampton narrowly avoided relegation. There were many more memorable moments to come in seasons to follow from the ‘Super Saint.’
Leeds United were crying out for a top striker when they went to Germany to sign Ghanaian forward Tony Yeboah from Eintracht Frankfurt in January 1995. Yeboah had scored plenty of goals in the Bundesliga for the Eagles, sharing the ‘Torjägerkanone’ award for the top scorer on two separate occasions.
Having already impressed Leeds supporters in his early months at the club, he scored some devastating goals in the early weeks of the 1995-1996 campaign and this is my favourite of his collection. In the club’s first home match of the campaign, Leeds entertained Liverpool FC and an evenly-matched contest is locked at 0-0 in the 51st minute.
After a scrappy period of play, the ball is played out on the wing to Tony Dorigo. The left-back floats the ball forward to Rod Wallace. Wallace is able to head the ball backwards towards his strike partner. Yeboah has escaped the attentions of Phil Babb and earned some space for the first time in the match. The ball drops out of the air and sweetly onto his boot. His connection is inch-perfect and the ball flies into the net off the underside of the crossbar. It was the winning goal on the evening and still considered one of the best goals of the Premier League in the 1990s.
In the closing weeks of the 2004-2005 campaign, Liverpool FC’s attentions were firmly on their historic UEFA Champions League run. Their league form had been inconsistent all season and they were a goal behind to Middlesbrough early on at Anfield.
For so long, it was skipper Steven Gerrard who would drag the Merseysiders back into matches. Gerrard scored many special goals in his career with the club. This was certainly in his top 10 at least. Spotted in space by John Arne Riise, Gerrard traps the ball and it sits up for him to launch a shot on goal. His dipping volley flies into the roof of the net, giving his future teammate Brad Jones no chance.
The match finished 1-1 but it was the platform for a historic month in Gerrard’s career which resulted in his mega individual display in the Istanbul final that helped Liverpool FC become Champions of Europe once again.
Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp produced some classical moments for Arsenal during his glorious 11-year stay at Highbury. He was one of football’s best players when it came to skill, intelligence and link-up with strike partners.
He demonstrated his sheer quality at St James’ Park in 2002. Early on into this match against a fellow title contender, Bergkamp produces an outrageous piece of skill, back heeling the ball on the edge of the area and spinning past a rather confused Nikos Dabizas.
This put Dennis in on goal and he showed extreme coolness to place the ball beyond the reach of Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given. It is one of the all-time Premier League great goals and easily one of Bergkamp’s absolute best from a classy career.
The first day of 2017 saw one of the Premier League’s best goals of the calendar year. Olivier Giroud was often used as a substitute during the 2016-2017 campaign but he got a rare start at home to Crystal Palace and he produced a goal which you won’t tire of seeing again and again.
Arsenal launched a counter-attack in the 17th minute. Typically, it is Alexis Sanchez leading the charge. The Chilean picks out Giroud who runs across the near post and delightfully produced a ‘scorpion kick’ to flick the ball from behind him, up and over Wayne Hennessey off the crossbar on its way in.
The goal came just a few days after Henrikh Mkhitaryan produced a similar kind of goal on Boxing Day for Manchester United against Sunderland. Both goals were rightful Goal of the Season contenders and in most campaigns, would have won the award.
Arsenal won the clash with their London rivals 2-0. Giroud will do well to beat this kind of effort for the rest of his career.
West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur have played out a bruising and enthralling contest at Upton Park which is locked together at 2-2. To win the game, it needed either a big mistake or a moment of utter brilliance. It received the latter from the untouchable Gareth Bale.
Bale might have gone onto win big silverware in Spain with Real Madrid but it was Tottenham who gave him the platform to become the world’s most expensive footballer until Paul Pogba transferred back to Manchester United in the summer of 2016. He begins this move with another of his slalom runs before being tackled. The ball breaks to Gylfi Sigurdsson who finds substitute Tom Carroll.
Bale is back on his feet and beckons the ball from Carroll. The youngster duly obliges. Bale is given the time to assess his options but West Ham defenders probably didn’t expect what he would do next. The Welshman hits a special curling effort that leaves Jussi Jaaskelainen completely stranded. Tottenham win the game and once again, Bale is the decisive difference.
On transfer deadline day in August 2015, Manchester United paid big money to sign Frenchman Anthony Martial from AS Monaco. Once all the instalments eventually go through on the deal, Martial will become the most expensive teenager of all-time.
He started on the bench for his debut match. Manchester United welcomed arch-enemies in Liverpool FC to Old Trafford and the first half was a drab affair between two teams who had both seen better days. Martial was introduced to the game at half-time and made a solid impression to start with as United went into a 2-0 lead through goals from Daley Blind and Ander Herrera. The visitors’ were back in the game through a wonderful goal of their own by Christian Benteke before Martial’s magical moment.
From the wide position, he cuts inside, teasing and scaring the life out of Martin Skrtel. Martial beats the big Slovakian and then produces the perfect finish, not only securing United’s victory but immediately becoming a fan favourite. Welcome to the Premier League Anthony Martial!
On the final day of the 1993-1994 campaign, only a win would definitely keep Everton in the top-flight and they got into a grim situation against in-form Wimbledon, trailing 2-0 inside 20 minutes.
Graham Stuart had pulled a goal back via the penalty spot but the situation was still not looking good for Mike Walker’s side. They needed a goal from somewhere, anywhere and what they got was something out of the ordinary.
Welshman Barry Horne was not a prolific goalscorer. In fact, he only scored three goals in his entire Everton career so this was some way to make his mark. Receiving possession in the middle of the park, the ferocious ball-winner decided to try his luck from 30-yards out. The ball smashed into the back of the net. Hans Segers received criticism for the Everton winner that day but he could do nothing about this. It was a fine goal and just what the club needed. Stuart got the winning goal but had it not been for Horne’s strike, the club would have been relegated.