Tag Archives: Goal of the Season

Great Goals: Matt Le Tissier – Blackburn Rovers vs. SOUTHAMPTON (December 1994)

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.

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Great Goals: Wayne Rooney – MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Bolton Wanderers (March 2007)

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.

Premier League Files: Maynor Figueroa

Premier League Career: Wigan Athletic (2008-2013), Hull City (2013-2015)

Four years have passed since Maynor Figueroa’s last Premier League appearance but he has continued his career in the United States. The current captain of the Honduras international team is getting ready for another campaign in the MLS, now with Houston Dynamo. In his Premier League time, he made 179 appearances, mainly at Wigan Athletic alongside a two-season stay at Hull City after the Latics relegation from the top-flight in 2013.

Figueroa started his career with Club Deportivo Victoria before moving to Club Deportivo Olimpia in 2003. He became club captain and made exactly 100 league appearances for them. In January 2008 and after interest from several clubs in the United States and Mexico, Figueroa moved to Wigan Athletic, initially on-loan before joining permanently in December 2008. He immediately endeared himself to the Wigan supporters and scored his first-ever Premier League goal in January 2009 with a flying late header to beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at The JJB Stadium.

Figueroa’s greatest Premier League moment was undoubtedly in December 2009. From a long-distance free-kick at Stoke’s Britannia Stadium, Figueroa spotted Thomas Sorensen off his goal-line and struck the ball towards the goal from inside his own half. He hit it absolutely perfectly and the ball flew over a red-faced Sorensen and into the net. It was simply stunning and a very deserving winner of the Match of the Day Goal of the Season for the 2009-2010 campaign.

At the end of that season, Maynor was part of the Honduras team that went to the World Cup finals in South Africa. They enjoyed their experience, even though it ended with the side failing to score in their three group matches and being eliminated before the knockout rounds. Figueroa would also be a senior figure at Honduras’ 2014 adventure in Brazil and took part in three CONCACAF Gold Cups. Figueroa has the honour too of being part of the Honduras men’s squad that took part in the football competition at the 2012 Olympic Games in London as one of the three over-23 Honduran players that were allowed by the regulations. As of March 2019, Figueroa is one cap shy of the magical 150-cap mark for Honduras having made his debut for his country in 2003. He has five goals to his name.

The 2010-2011 Premier League season was a trickier campaign for Figueroa but he still came up with two critical moments. In March 2011, he scored a stoppage-time winner against fellow strugglers Birmingham City. It was a crucial goal as Wigan ultimately survived and Birmingham were relegated. On the final day of the season, Wigan still needed a win to guarantee Premier League safety and again at Stoke, Figueroa did the damage. It was his surging run on the left-hand side and beautiful cross into the penalty area that allowed Hugo Rodallega to score the only goal of the game with 12 minutes left to play.

Figueroa continued to shine for the Latics and has an FA Cup winner’s medal in his collection from their shock victory in the 2013 final against Manchester City. Unfortunately, injured denied him a place in the final itself. Days later, a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal saw Wigan’s exciting and eventful Premier League journey come to an end after eight successive seasons. With his contract expiring, Figueroa left the club that summer.

He joined newly-promoted Hull City, who were managed by Steve Bruce, the man who brought Figueroa to this country during his days as Wigan boss. He played 32 times in the Premier League as the Tigers finished 16th to achieve Premier League safety and for the second successive season, was part of a squad that reached the FA Cup final.

Having been injured in 2013, Figueroa was in the matchday squad in 2014 but an unused substitute in Arsenal’s 3-2 victory over Hull. Bruce decided to change his formation to a 3-5-2 setup and therefore, preferred a third centre-back, his son Alex to play instead of Figueroa. He probably didn’t know it at the time but it was the beginning of the end of his time at Hull.

He returned to Wigan on-loan in October 2014 before being recalled two months later by Bruce. Hull were relegated and with just three league appearances made all season, it wasn’t a great surprise to see the Honduran released at the end of the season. He joined Colorado Rapids in August 2015 and has since gone on to play for FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo, joining the latter in January 2019.

Great Goals: Robin van Persie – MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Aston Villa (April 2013)

In the summer of 2012, Robin van Persie was the finished article in terms of goalscoring ability. After several years of promise which had been stopped by injury, he’d sparkled as captain of Arsenal. The Dutchman struck 30 times in 2011-2012 to win the Golden Boot and sweep the main player awards for the season, despite the Gunners finishing 18 points behind champions Manchester City.

Van Persie elected not to sign a new contract that summer and with 12 months left only to run on his current deal, Arsenal had to cash in on their prized asset. Both Manchester clubs courted his services. Van Persie ultimately chose Manchester United.

In what turned out to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s swansong, he won the Golden Boot again, his one and only Premier League title and the Goal of the Season award for this spectacular volley on the night the Red Devils were crowned Premier League champions for a 13th time.

Wayne Rooney was provider with a delicious long ball over the top of the high defensive line Aston Villa were playing. Van Persie watched the ball all the way and connected first time as it dropped out of the night sky, thumping a beautiful volley beyond Brad Guzan. It was a picturesque goal and a fitting way to earn the Premier League prize back for Manchester United. For the record, RVP scored a hat-trick on the night in United’s 3-0 victory.

Great Goals: Jamie Vardy – West Bromwich Albion vs. LEICESTER CITY (March 2018)

Jamie Vardy has a happy habit for finding the back of the net on his trips to The Hawthorns. In four Premier League visits to West Bromwich Albion’s ground, Vardy has scored on every single visit there – three of them turning out to be decisive winning goals too.

However, this one was his best against the Baggies in March 2018 and the technique used saw it voted by BBC pundits as the Match of the Day Goal of the Season for the 2017-2018 campaign. West Brom were 1-0 ahead when Vardy rekindled the telepathic understanding he and Riyad Mahrez enjoyed for several seasons.

Mahrez produced a long pass and Vardy made the run behind Craig Dawson. Knowing where the goal was, Vardy watched the dipping ball fall out of the sky and with a first-time shot on the volley, drove the ball beyond Ben Foster. Leicester would go on to win the game 4-1 and drive West Brom closer to relegation.

The pass, the vision, the skill and the shot were all first-class and that is why Vardy is one of the best English strikers of recent times in the Premier League.

Great Goals: Sofiane Boufal – SOUTHAMPTON vs. West Bromwich Albion (October 2017)

In his two seasons with Southampton, Sofiane Boufal has only shown flashes of the promise he demonstrated whilst playing in France. The Moroccan though did produce this exceptional piece of solo brilliance in a fairly sterile game against West Bromwich Albion.

The game on the south coast looked like it was petering out towards a pretty ordinary 0-0 draw when Boufal took centre stage in the 85th minute. The tricky winger, who had only arrived into the contest as a substitute four minutes earlier, he twisted past Allan Nyom in his own half before using his speed to leave Jake Livermore trailing in his wake. As Boufal continued his surge towards goal, he bamboozled past Craig Dawson. Desperate to keep up having been the first man beaten, Nyom ran into Dawson and both hit the turf. Gareth McAuley was the next defender who backed off and was beaten and lastly, goalkeeper Ben Foster couldn’t stop his neatly-placed effort into the bottom corner.

It was a goal fitting to win a tight match between two sides who would ultimately spend the majority of the campaign at the wrong end of the table. It didn’t sparkle Boufal’s season into life though. He was left out of Morocco’s squad for the 2018 World Cup finals and was recently excluded from the Saints’ pre-season tour of China by new manager Mark Hughes. His future at the club looks bleak.

However, this tremendous solo goal was voted by fans as the Carling Goal of the Season for the 2017-2018 campaign.

Great Goals: Dalian Atkinson – Wimbledon vs. ASTON VILLA (October 1992)

Aston Villa were one of the most exciting Premier League teams in the 1992-1993 season and they pushed Manchester United very close in the title race. Ron Atkinson’s side produced great entertainment and they were spearheaded by a formidable attacking partnership of Dean Saunders and Dalian Atkinson.

At Selhurst Park in October 1992, Atkinson scored the Goal of the Season and it was all his own work. He won possession in his own half and went on a mazy run through the heart of the pitch, evading three Wimbledon defending challenges. He had options, including Saunders to his left-hand side but Atkinson was only interested in scoring himself.

Spotting the goalkeeper slightly off his line, he then produced a delicious chip which found the back of the net. It was a goal extremely fitting to win any contest when Dalian was at the peak of his powers.

Dalian Atkinson died on 15th August 2016. He was just 48-years-old. His legacy will always be marked by this world-class goal.

Great Goals: Dietmar Hamann – LIVERPOOL FC vs. Portsmouth (March 2004)

A month earlier, Liverpool FC had been dumped out of the FA Cup by Portsmouth. Gerard Houllier’s side were keen for revenge and they achieved this with a routine 3-0 victory at Anfield. The scoring was opened in spectacular fashion from Dietmar Hamann.

The German midfielder didn’t score many in his career but when he did find the target, they often flew into the top corner of the net. This was another of those unstoppable efforts. Michael Owen was the provider on this occasion. It was his cross from a corner which hadn’t been cleared properly and Hamann met it with a fantastic volley that sped into the goal.

It was crowned Goal of the Season for the 2003-2004 campaign by viewers of ITV’s ‘The Premiership.’

Great Goals: Steve Froggatt – COVENTRY CITY vs. Everton (November 1998)

Not usually a regular goalscorer, Steve Froggatt produced a memorable strike at home to Everton in November 1998. The ex-Aston Villa player was impressing with his consistently strong displays for Coventry City in the early weeks of the 1998-1999 campaign. His form was so good; Glenn Hoddle was considering calling him up for the next England squad before his own sacking in February 1999.

Midway through the first half, he collected possession and went on an advancing forward run. The Everton players back off, tempting him to have a shot from distance. They paid the ultimate penalty. Froggatt launched a spectacular drive that flew into the top corner of the net. It was his first goal for Coventry and quite probably the greatest goal of his career. Coventry would record an impressive 3-0 victory.

The strike was voted the Premier League Goal of the Season for 1998-1999 by Sky Sports viewers.

Great Goals: Shaun Bartlett – CHARLTON ATHLETIC vs. Leicester City (April 2001)

Charlton Athletic were enjoying a comfortable campaign in 2000-2001 and were destined to finish in the top half of the table. On April Fools’ Day 2001, there was no fooling around this shot from Shaun Bartlett which was the rightful winner of the Goal of the Season award.

The Addicks were already 1-0 ahead in this match with Leicester City when this magical goal occurred. Graham Stuart played an inch-perfect pass over the top of the Leicester defence. Bartlett watched the ball all the way on its journey in the air. As it dropped down towards ground level, he hit the strike first-time on the volley which headed straight into the net.

Charlton won the game 2-0 and Bartlett had launched himself onto the Premier League stage in the grand manner.

Great Goals: Rod Wallace – LEEDS UNITED vs. Tottenham Hotspur (April 1994)

On his day, Rod Wallace could produce the absolute spectacular and this was undoubtedly his greatest goal in his Leeds United career.

Against a Tottenham side in April 1994, Wallace took on all the opposition defenders and beat the lot of them. Receiving possession from around 60 yards from his goal, Wallace went towards the touchline and then jinked past two Tottenham defenders who couldn’t prevent him from going into touch.

His weaving run took him to the edge of the penalty area. By then, he had support in the box but Wallace’s eyes were focused on the goal and nothing else. He then produced a finesse curling shot to defeat the Spurs goalkeeper and take the acclaim of the Elland Road crowd.

This was voted the Goal of the Season by BBC viewers in 1994 and has also come out on-top in a FourFourTwo website vote too. This is a goal that has stood the test of time.

Great Goals: Thierry Henry – ARSENAL vs. Tottenham Hotspur (November 2002)

Voted as Goal of the Season by viewers of ITV’s ‘The Premiership’ during the 2002-2003 season, this was Thierry Henry at his absolute best as Tottenham couldn’t live with him in the North London Derby.

Just over 15 minutes had been played when Henry controlled the ball inside his own half and turned past Matthew Etherington. The Frenchman started running away from Etherington and burst past the centre circle. He had options in Dennis Bergkamp and Sylvain Wiltord but Henry only had one thing on his mind and that was to score.

Drifting away from Stephen Carr and Ledley King, Henry found the space to shoot and beat Kasey Keller to complete one of the greatest solo goals we’ve seen in this classic rivalry. He promptly completed his long-distance run with a long-distance celebration back to his own half to celebrate with the Gunners’ supporters.

Arsenal won 3-0 in a period when they were the class of north London.