Tag Archives: Goals

Iconic Moments: Rooney reaches 200 (August 2017)

In the summer of 2017, Wayne Rooney ended his 13-year association with Manchester United, where he’d won five Premier League titles and become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. He returned to his boyhood home, Everton. It was a signing that got fans excited at Goodison Park.

After making the dream return by scoring on his second home debut with a flying header to beat Stoke City on the opening weekend, Rooney had another milestone he was closing in on when he made his first visit back to Manchester.

Everton’s first away match of the season was at The Etihad Stadium and Rooney achieved a Premier League landmark in the 35th minute. From a sweeping counter-attack, Rooney made a late surging run into the box to meet Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s pass and sweep the ball into the back of the net. It was his 200th Premier League goal, becoming only the second player to achieve the feat after Alan Shearer.

Rooney’s goalscoring tally ended at 208 before waving goodbye to the Premier League in the summer of 2018. He will finish his playing career in the MLS, playing for DC United. He will go down as one of the Premier League’s greatest-ever players.

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Iconic Moments: Lampard becomes Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer (May 2013)

When Chelsea signed Frank Lampard from London rivals West Ham United in the summer of 2001, they knew they were getting a midfielder who was capable of scoring goals. However, no-one at the time could have imagined the achievements Lampard would go on to make in west London.

He would win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. One of the Premier League’s greatest ambassadors, Lampard always had a knack of scoring goals from making runs into the penalty area and also trying his luck from distance and often finding the target.

In May 2013, Lampard was approaching the end of his current contract and also closing in on becoming Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer. Against Aston Villa at Villa Park, Lampard equalled the record held by Bobby Tambling with his 202nd goal for the club. Close to full-time, he made another burst into the box and guided in Eden Hazard’s cross to achieve history. He now had 203 goals for Chelsea, becoming their highest goalscorer in the club’s proud and distinguished history.

It won Chelsea the points that afternoon and he signed a new one-year contract a few days later. He left in the summer of 2014, finishing with 211 goals and his name etched firmly in Chelsea’s history.

Great Goals: James McFadden – EVERTON vs. Charlton Athletic (April 2007)

Charlton Athletic were desperately scrapping for points in their battle to avoid relegation. It looked like they’d rescued a late draw in April 2007 at Goodison Park. Darren Bent had equalised to make the score 1-1. However, their hearts would be broken by this incredible individual goal from Everton’s James McFadden.

Standing on the edge of the area, McFadden delightfully flicked the ball over the head of Charlton defender Majid Bougherra. Then, with his second touch, he provided a wonderful volley to leave Scott Carson totally helpless. The win took Everton into the Premier League’s top five, whilst Charlton never recovered from this late blow and would ultimately be relegated by the end of the season.

Premier League Files: Marc Albrighton

Premier League Career: Aston Villa (2009-2014), Leicester City (2014-PRESENT)

Leicester City’s incredible Premier League title triumph in 2015-2016 saw plenty of heroes. Whilst the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante stole most of the headlines, there were plenty of unsung players who played such a vital part in the greatest story ever played out in Premier League history.

One of those unsung heroes was Marc Albrighton. The Tamworth-born player figured in every single match that campaign and put in the best performances of a career which has flourished in the colours of the Foxes’ after a frustrating end to his time with Aston Villa. He is also in the Premier League record books for scoring the 20,000th goal in the league’s proud history, achieving this feat against Arsenal in December 2011.

Albrighton could have actually started his career out at West Bromwich Albion, who offered him a trial but ultimately rejected him. Aston Villa took him into their academy at the age of just eight and he would spend the next 17 years within their surroundings. His Premier League breakthrough came in 2009. After featuring prominently in pre-season, he made his debut in the top-flight on the opening weekend at home to Wigan Athletic. Wigan might have won the match 2-0 but this was a proud moment for Albrighton when he came on as a substitute in the second half. A month later, he extended his contract at Villa Park by three years and Martin O’Neill admitted he was impressed by his rapid rate of development.

O’Neill left abruptly before the start of the 2010-2011 campaign but reserve team coach Kevin McDonald had every confidence in Albrighton’s abilities and handed him his first start in the Premier League for the opening day match against West Ham United. Villa won 3-0 and Albrighton caught the eye, setting up two of the goals. His first goal at this level came in a 2-1 loss at Tottenham Hotspur two months later and he also found the target with a clinical finish at home to Manchester United when the home side produced one of the best counter-attacking moves of the season.

He returned impressive figures of five goals in 29 appearances in 2010-2011 and would make Premier League history the following season. In December 2011, he scored the equaliser at home to Arsenal and therefore, scored the league’s 20,000th goal. Albrighton won a £20,000 cheque from the league’s sponsors, Barclays which he donated to his chosen charity, the Acorns Children Hospice.

Although Arsenal did end up winning the match 2-1, Albrighton knew the significance of his strike. He told talkSPORT: “It’s something to tell the kids and the grandkids. It is a massive thing; the Premier League is one of the greatest leagues in the world, if not the greatest, so to score the 20,000th goal is definitely special to me.”

Unfortunately, his form started to fade at Villa and a throat operation in the early weeks of the 2013-2014 campaign didn’t help matters. He had a brief one-month loan at Wigan Athletic to help regain match fitness. After returning, he figured 19 times so it was a surprise that the club decided to release him at the end of the season. Leicester City wasted no time in snapping him up from their Midlands rivals.

Initially, he looked like a spare part at Leicester too and struggled to break into the starting XI on a regular basis. That changed nearer the end of the season when manager Nigel Pearson started to integrate wing-backs into his formation. Albrighton was used frequently in this position and he scored twice towards the backend of the campaign as Leicester rallied from bottom of the table at the start of April and seven points adrift of safety to finish 14th, winning seven of their last nine matches.

Pearson was sacked by the club’s owners in the summer and in came Claudio Ranieri. This could have put another stumbling block in Albrighton’s career in a summer where he was hit by a personal tragedy. His partner, Chloe Fulford suffered the terrible loss of her mother in the terrorist attacks in Tunisia in June 2015. This was a dreadful shock to the entire family and was a reminder that football was a secondary matter. It did seem to inspire Marc onto even greater levels of performance and he scored on the opening weekend in the 4-2 win over Sunderland. He pointed straight to the sky in his celebration. It was clear who he dedicated that goal to.

In 2015-2016, Albrighton was part of a regular four-man midfield alongside the energy of Kante, the world-class talents of Mahrez and the revival in the form of Danny Drinkwater. Ranieri later said: “He is a great worker who embodies the spirit of Leicester.”

Even when he was scarified from the start of the game at home to Swansea to combat with a Vardy suspension, Albrighton came on and made a big impact, scoring the fourth goal in a 4-0 victory which took Leicester closer to Premier League paradise. He became a title-winner a week later after Tottenham failed to beat outgoing champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Albrighton richly deserved his place in the realms of Premier League winners.

There was more personal success for Marc in 2016-2017. He scored Leicester City’s first-ever goal in the UEFA Champions League, scoring inside six minutes of their Matchday 1 3-0 win away in Belgium over Club Brugge. He later scored in the round-of-16 home leg over Sevilla as Leicester reached the quarter-finals in their maiden Champions League adventure. League form did dip though and reports emerged that Albrighton was one of the main figures to meet the Leicester owner after the first-leg defeat to the Spanish side which ultimately led to Ranieri’s shock sacking as manager.

Albrighton was furious and upset. He put out a strong statement, denying his involvement in Ranieri’s downfall. Part of it read: “At the worst time of my family’s life, the manager helped me achieve something I didn’t think in my wildest dreams would be possible. It helped us to be positive about something when everything was negative.

“The first day I met the manager he told me he believed in me; before the last game of his LCFC reign, he told me the same.

“I will never be truly able to thank him for everything he has helped me achieve and the faith he has shown in me and he knows that I always did my best for him.”

Albrighton has rediscovered his title-winning season form in 2017-2018. He set-up two goals on the opening night in a narrow 4-3 loss to Arsenal and has scored for new manager Claude Puel in positive results against West Ham United and Huddersfield Town.

Marc Albrighton has had to work hard for his success. He had to endure some tricky challenges and always come out of them as a tougher person for these experiences. No-one should forget his role in the 2015-2016 Leicester City fairytale and still only 28, he has plenty more football ahead of him.

Iconic Moments: The greatest Premier League day ever? (February 2011)

There have been some spellbinding days in Premier League history but few can match the goal-filled afternoon fans were treated to on Saturday, 5 February 2011.

It started with the lunchtime kick-off between Stoke City and Sunderland. This was usually a fixture with few goals or talking points but there were five goals in this match with Stoke winning 3-2. Robert Huth scored the winner in the dying embers after the Black Cats had led twice. It was a fine comeback from Stoke but it was to be completely outdone in the 3pm kick-offs.

At St James’ Park, Arsenal travelled to a brittle Newcastle United side that were still coming to terms with the transfer deadline day sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool FC. Their lack of confidence was shown from the outset. Theo Walcott scored inside of a minute and Arsenal incredibly led 4-0 after just 21 minutes. However, a red card for Abou Diaby shortly after the restart changed the course of the match. Joey Barton scored two penalties and with a Leon Best strike, Newcastle had made it back to 3-4. The seconds were ticking away when Cheick Tiote scored an unbelievable equaliser to make it 4-4. It wasn’t just the greatest comeback of the season. It was the greatest comeback in Premier League history.

Arsenal dropped two silly points but there were no such problems for Manchester City. Carlos Tevez hit a first half hat-trick as they brushed aside West Bromwich Albion 3-0. It was a 13th defeat in 18 matches for the Baggies and 24 hours later, they placed manager Roberto Di Matteo on gardening leave.

Louis Saha helped himself to four goals in an end-to-end encounter between Everton and Blackpool. Despite the Tangerines’ leading 3-2 midway through the second half, Saha’s contribution nullified their best efforts. Everton won 5-3. There were seven goals at the DW Stadium where Wigan Athletic edged out Blackburn Rovers 4-3. James McCarthy scored the pick of the goals in this thriller.

There was late drama at White Hart Lane. Despite Bolton Wanderers dominating most of the second half, they were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham Hotspur. Niko Kranjcar scored an injury-time winner. At Villa Park, the goals kept coming. Kyle Walker scored his first Premier League goal but Aston Villa were held to a 2-2 draw by Fulham.

In seven matches, there had been an incredible 38 goals and three more would follow in one of the most surprising results of the season. Manchester United arrived at Molineux for the late kick-off still unbeaten and against a Wolverhampton Wanderers side that were odds-on favourites to be relegated. Nani gave the visitors’ a lead but Wolves fought back superbly. George Elokobi levelled matters and Kevin Doyle’s header was good enough for Wolves to beat the league leaders 2-1.

It remains the highest-scoring afternoon since the Premier League went to 20 teams in 1995 and it will take some total to eclipse what has to be seen as one of the greatest days in Premier League history.

Great Goals: Wayne Rooney – MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Newcastle United (April 2005)

In January 2017, Wayne Rooney overtook Sir Bobby Charlton to become Manchester United’s record goalscorer. It was an amazing feat for one of the greatest English players of his generation.

One of his early goals came in a Premier League match at home to Newcastle United. The Red Devils were 1-0 down 10 minutes into the second half and looked short of attacking input. Rooney was experiencing a frustrating afternoon of his own. He had picked up a knock in the first half and looked like he might be substituted. He answered those doubts in stunning style.

Rooney was having an argument with the referee Neale Barry over not getting an earlier free-kick. He paused from this conversation and latched onto a defensive clearance, producing a confident and cracking volley into the top corner of the net. It was one of the best strikes of the 2004-2005 season and another sign of money well spent by Sir Alex Ferguson.

It was a pure hit and a goal that kick-started Manchester United’s afternoon. Wes Brown’s header in the last 15 minutes ensured the home side won the day 2-1.

Iconic Moments: Schmeichel scores! (October 2001)

During the first decade of the Premier League, Peter Schmeichel was arguably the best goalkeeper seen. He won five Premier League titles with Manchester United and developed an art for spectacular saves. However, he did like to score the occasional goal too.

In 1995, he headed home from a corner in a UEFA Cup tie against Rotor Volgograd at Old Trafford. United went out on away goals so his efforts counted for little. Six years later, he was at it again, this time playing for Aston Villa.

Villa were at Goodison Park, playing Everton and trailing 3-1. Schmeichel decided to come up into the Everton penalty area for a corner and when the Toffees’ defenders failed to clear, Schmeichel smashed the ball into the back of the net with a volley that Thierry Henry would have been proud of.

Everton held on to claim all three points on the day but it was the Dane who made all the headlines afterwards. In its 10th season, Schmeichel had become the first goalkeeper to score a goal. He ended his career in 2003 with Manchester City, having scored nine goals professionally at club level. Not a bad achievement for a player who was an expert at keeping them out at the other end.

Premier League Files: Darren Bent

Premier League Career: Ipswich Town (2001-2002), Charlton Athletic (2005-2007), Tottenham Hotspur (2007-2009), Sunderland (2009-2011), Aston Villa (2011-2013, 2014), Fulham (2013-2014)

In February 2018, Darren Bent will turn 34. His experience will come in handy for his current club, Derby County in the second half of the SkyBet Championship season as they look to try and end their Premier League exile.

Bent has already played for six sides in the Premier League and his form at a number of these teams earned him England recognition on 12 occasions, scoring four times for the Three Lions. When he was in peak form, there were few better strikers in the land than Darren Bent.

After considering a possible career in athletics, Darren decided to go down the football route and began at Ipswich Town, joining their youth system at the age of 14. In 2001, he made his Premier League debut for The Tractor Boys in a 2-1 home defeat to Bolton Wanderers. Just 17 at the time, Bent got a brief taste of Premier League life before Ipswich’s 2002 relegation, appearing seven times and even scoring a winning goal against Middlesbrough in April.

His exceptional development continued at Ipswich, improving his goalscoring tallies with every passing season. Their failure to escape the First Division though led to him seeking his future away from Suffolk and it was Charlton Athletic who signed him in the summer of 2005, paying £2.5 million for his services. Bent took to his new surroundings like a duck to water. He scored in his first four appearances as Charlton beat Sunderland, Wigan Athletic, Middlesbrough and Birmingham City to sit joint-top in the table. His excellent beginning also won him the Premier League Player of the Month award for August 2005. Charlton’s form dipped dramatically afterwards and they finished only 13th but Bent’s didn’t. He was the highest English scorer in the division with 18 goals and was only outscored by Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2005-2006. He was desperately unlucky to miss out on England’s 2006 World Cup squad, with Sven-Goran Eriksson bizarrely picking the untried Theo Walcott instead.

He added another 13 goals in 2006-2007 but Alan Curbishley had gone as manager and three managers that season said it all about how life went at The Valley after his departure. The Addicks were relegated at the end of the season. Charlton knew they had to sell Bent following their Premier League demise. West Ham United had a bid accepted but the move was turned down by the player. Instead, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur for £16.5 million.

Whilst his Charlton stint on a personal basis was a qualified success, life proved much tougher in the capital. He only managed eight goals in his first full season at White Hart Lane and was an unused substitute in the 2008 League Cup final win over Chelsea. With Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe also available on the striking roster, Bent found it difficult to establish himself. When they all left, Bent became the main forward for the 2008-2009 campaign and was their top scorer in the Premier League with 12 goals in 33 matches. However, Harry Redknapp was not a fan of the player when he succeeded Juande Ramos.

In a game at home to Portsmouth in January 2009 and with the score at 1-1, Bent put a header wide of the post when he really should have scored. Redknapp said afterwards: “You will never get a better chance to win a match than that. My missus could have scored that one.” 

Feeling unloved at Tottenham, Darren moved to Sunderland in August 2010 for £16.5 million despite some frustrating delays in the negotiations between the clubs. 2009-2010 would be his best campaign. Bent’s goals were valuable to keeping the Wearsiders away from the relegation battle. In a struggling side, he scored 24 times, incredibly 50% of their Premier League total for the season. Among the highlights were a hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers, a winning goal at home to Liverpool FC which struck a beach ball on its way in and two goals in a home victory against former club Tottenham Hotspur in April.

He scored another eight times in the first 20 matches of the 2010-2011 season, including a double at Anfield to earn a point and a stoppage-time penalty to beat Manchester City. However, he surprisingly left the club in January 2011 after submitting a transfer request to force a move through to Aston Villa. Villa paid Sunderland £18 million, potentially rising to £24 million with add-ons to secure the services of the player. He made a brilliant start to his Villa career, scoring a second winner for the season against Manchester City and two goals in a 2-1 away success at Arsenal in May. Despite only joining the Villans in January, he ended as the club’s joint-top scorer with Ashley Young on nine goals apiece.

In 2011-2012, he became the 21st player in Premier League history to reach the milestone of 100 goals in the competition after scoring an equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Queens Park Rangers in February. Three weeks later, he ruptured ankle ligaments at Wigan Athletic which ended his campaign and lost him a decent opportunity of making the EURO 2012 England squad. Nevertheless, he still finished as Aston Villa’s top goalscorer with 10 goals.

Christian Benteke’s arrival in the summer of 2012 pushed Bent down the pecking order at Villa Park, as new manager Paul Lambert preferred a partnership of Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor in attack. Despite being named the club’s interim vice-captain, he only featured 16 times and moved to Fulham on-loan for the 2013-2014 campaign. He scored a late winner against Stoke in October 2013 and also struck a late equaliser to earn a creditable point at Old Trafford in February 2014. However, his spell at Fulham was disappointing as they were relegated to the Championship. He returned to Aston Villa that summer and sporadically featured seven further times before dropping down to the second tier, first for a brief loan spell with Brighton & Hove Albion and then joining Derby County permanently in the summer of 2015.

Bent has scored 22 league goals for The Rams but a torn hamstring in pre-season has meant he hasn’t figured yet this season for Gary Rowett’s side. He will be hoping to make a contribution to their promotion push in the second half of the campaign.

A sharp shooter and combative player to face upto, Darren Bent has made a career out of scoring goals and he has done it very well throughout his time in the Premier League.

Premier League Files: Charlie Adam

Premier League Career: Blackpool (2010-2011), Liverpool FC (2011-2012), Stoke City (2012-PRESENT)

Charlie Adam has now been a fixture in the Premier League for over eight years. Currently at Stoke City, the Dundee-born midfielder has experienced the highs of scoring infront of The Kop for Liverpool FC and the pain of relegation with Blackpool despite some inspirational individual performances in 2011.

Scottish international Adam joined the books of Glasgow giants Rangers aged just 17 and made his first-team debut for the club against Livingston in 2004. However, it wouldn’t be until 2006 before he became a regular player in their matchday squads. In amongst this gap, he had loan spells with Ross County and St Mirren. During his time with Rangers, he scored in Europe’s premier club competition against VfB Stuttgart twice and was part of the Gers’ side that made the 2008 UEFA Cup final, although he was an unused substitute in the showpiece event against Zenit St Petersburg.

In February 2009, Charlie moved south of the border and joined Blackpool on a temporary deal. It wasn’t a great start. He was sent off on his debut against Doncaster Rovers. However, he impressed on his return from suspension and eventually, a deal was done for Adam to head to Bloomfield Road on a permanent basis.

He was named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year and was instrumental in Blackpool’s play-off matches in 2009-2010. He scored a matchwinning penalty to defeat Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals, before striking in the final over Cardiff City from a trademark free-kick. Despite finishing sixth, Blackpool’s dramatic 3-2 victory with Adam as the creative lynchpin meant they were heading for the realms of the Premier League.

He continued to star, especially in the first five months of Blackpool’s Premier League adventure. He scored a penalty in the club’s famous win at Anfield and produced a series of special free-kicks, including strikes away from home at Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United. His head was turned in January 2011 by interest from several leading Premier League sides. Liverpool FC had a £4.5 million bid turned down and Tottenham Hotspur were also heavily linked with the player. Although he handed in a transfer request, Blackpool turned it down and he got on with the job of trying to keep the Tangerines’ in the Premier League. His performance levels though did inevitably drop following the speculation. Despite his best efforts, which included 12 goals and a nomination for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, Adam couldn’t stop Blackpool avoid an agonising relegation on the final day of the season.

In July 2011, Liverpool FC finally got their man after seeing two earlier bids by Blackpool rejected. Charlie started strongly on Merseyside, swinging in a free-kick on the opening day against Sunderland that was guided in by Luis Suarez. Two weeks later, he scored his first goal for the Reds’ infront of The Kop in the 3-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for the central midfielder. A silly red card at Tottenham, injuries and a loss of confidence from the penalty spot meant he didn’t have the impact he’d hoped for at Anfield. Kenny Dalglish was sacked and Brendan Rodgers decided Adam wouldn’t fit into his plans. He moved to Stoke City in August 2012.

Things started shaky at Stoke, despite winning goals against Queens Park Rangers and Fulham. He was given compassionate leave after the tragic death of his father but didn’t fit into Tony Pulis’ tactical plans. A crucial winning goal against Norwich City in April 2013 was enough to ensure Stoke weren’t dragged into a relegation scrap. It was an emotional moment for Charlie, who dedicated the goal to his late father. However, his mediocre season ended with yet another red card against Tottenham Hotspur.

2013-2014 was a much better season with Mark Hughes having replaced Pulis in the Stoke hotseat. Adam scored seven goals, including two goals against Manchester United which set Stoke up for their first win over the Red Devils in 20 years. He matched this goalscoring tally the following season which included a special strike from over the halfway line in a 2-1 loss to champions Chelsea. He later described his goal at Stamford Bridge as a “once in a lifetime goal.”

His last two seasons haven’t produced the same total in terms of goal return but Adam is still very much a part of the first-team squad at Stoke. Whilst he isn’t a guaranteed starter every single week, he still will always pose a threat from long-range and will remain as committed as ever in the tackle.

Iconic Moments: The fastest Premier League goal (December 2000)

Over the years, there have been many contenders for the fastest Premier League goal in history. You might think that one of the top forwards holds the record like Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Thierry Henry or Wayne Rooney?

Well you’d be wrong. It is a defender who holds the record and the honour goes to Tottenham stalwart Ledley King. He achieved the feat in December 2000 when Tottenham Hotspur visited Valley Parade to play bottom-placed Bradford City.

From kick-off, Tottenham played a long ball forward which the Bantams’ defence struggled to clear. 20-year-old King, playing in a defensive midfield role on the day, decided to try his luck and it was his day. His shot deflected in from 20-yards out to beat Matt Clarke and give Tottenham a very early lead. The goal was timed at just 10 seconds, a shade quicker than Shearer’s effort for Newcastle against Manchester City in January 2003.

Iconic Moments: Jensen scores…at last! (December 1994)

Arsenal midfielder John Jensen developed a cult reputation. He joined the club only weeks after his spectacular goal in the 1992 European Championship final playing for Denmark. He was seen as a replacement for the popular David Rocastle, who was moving to reigning champions Leeds United.

Although he won the FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup whilst at Highbury, he became more known for his inability to find the back of the net. 97 games and over two years had passed before Arsenal hosted Queens Park Rangers on a dreary New Years’ Eve afternoon. George Graham’s side hadn’t won at home in two months and his side put in a dire performance and lost the game comprehensively 3-1. However, QPR’s win is not remembered by many.

That is because in this match, the unthinkable happened. John Jensen scored a goal for Arsenal! It was the equaliser and it came in his 98th match in all competitions for the north Londoners. Whenever he got near goal, Arsenal fans urged him to ‘shoot!’ This time, he was spot-on, bending a shot into the far top corner in front of the North Bank.

T-shirts were printed in Jensen’s honour. One of the tabloid newspapers ran the following headline in their sports section: SOUVENIR SPECIAL: After 98 games, 2 years, 4 months, 2 weeks, 2 days, 1 hour and 19 minutes, JENSEN SCORES!

He left in 1996 to return to his native Denmark after 138 games but achieved cult hero status for this goal.

Iconic Moments: Friedel denied (February 2004)

Not many goalkeepers have had the honour of scoring goals in the Premier League. Brad Friedel is part of an exclusive club which consists of just four other shot-stoppers.

The American was playing for Blackburn Rovers when he scored his only goal in professional football, although there would be no overall celebration for Friedel. Blackburn were playing away at The Valley against Charlton Athletic and made a horrible start. Carlton Cole opened the scoring after 10 minutes and before half-time, Jason Euell had doubled the Addicks’ lead.

Graeme Souness made some tactical readjustments at half-time and brought on both Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, who made a difference. Cole reduced the deficit 16 minutes from time when he intercepted a wayward backpass. Blackburn pushed forward for the equaliser and they got it in stoppage time from the most unlikely source. In a goalmouth scramble, Friedel’s left-footed shot ended up in the back of Charlton’s net. It looked like the visitors had snatched a draw but heartache would follow.

Happy with the draw, Blackburn suddenly backed off and Charlton were clinical. From 25-yards out, Claus Jensen’s delicate volley evaded Friedel’s grasp and left him devastated. Charlton’s three-game losing streak was over as they won 3-2. It was a personal milestone for Brad Friedel but he probably didn’t feel like celebrating about it too much afterwards.