Tag Archives: Volley

Great Goals: Jermain Defoe – SUNDERLAND vs. Newcastle United (April 2015)

After a spell playing for Toronto FC in the MLS, Jermain Defoe returned to the Premier League in January 2015, signing for Sunderland. He scored this memorable goal in his first Tyne & Wear Derby against Newcastle United.

On a weekend of great goals in the Premier League which had already seen world-class strikes from Charlie Adam and Bobby Zamora, Defoe’s effort ranked right up with these two goals. There seemed nothing on from the long punt up the pitch by goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Steven Fletcher won his aerial battle against Mike Williamson and his header fell into Defoe’s reach. He produced a clean connection on the volley and the ball flew into the top corner of the net.

It was the only goal of the contest as Sunderland continued their winning streak over their bitterest rivals, which means this effort was even sweeter for the Black Cats supporters.


Great Goals: Matthew Lowton – Stoke City vs. ASTON VILLA (April 2013)

Aston Villa looked to be in serious relegation danger going into the penultimate month of the 2012-2013 season. They needed to start winning fast. What their fans probably didn’t expect was a goal of a lifetime strike from a rookie right-back in his debut top-flight campaign.

Matthew Lowton had quietly gone about his business throughout the season but he came into the conscience of Villa supporters with this stunning goal away at The Britannia Stadium against Stoke City. From a Villa corner, two Stoke players, Geoff Cameron and Charlie Adam initially cleared the ball away from danger. When Lowton controlled the ball on his chest, there didn’t seem to be much threat for Asmir Begovic and his defenders.

Having controlled the ball beautifully, Lowton’s second touch was inch-perfect as his dipping volley looped over Begovic and into the net. It was a fitting goal to win an important match and was the spearhead towards an impressive run that secured safety for Paul Lambert’s side.

Great Goals: Muzzy Izzet – LEICESTER CITY vs. Tottenham Hotspur (October 1998)

Going into this match with Tottenham Hotspur, it was widely believed this would be Martin O’Neill’s last match in-charge of Leicester City. He was heavily rumoured to be succeeding George Graham at Leeds United, who had just filled the vacancy at Tottenham Hotspur.

Leicester would win this match 2-1 which was Graham’s first at the helm with Spurs. It needed a lovely goal to settle the contest infront of a full house at Filbert Street and it most definitely got this from Muzzy Izzet.

Steve Guppy’s deep free-kick was cleared by Les Ferdinand. His clearance fell straight to Izzet who produced a tremendous volley from the edge of the penalty area that sped past Epsen Baardsen in the Tottenham goal. His 86th minute strike was a fitting way to settle the match in Leicester’s favour.

Two days later, the Leicester fans got what they wanted. O’Neill confirmed he would be staying as the club’s manager and the Foxes achieved a second successive top 10 finish. Tottenham did get their revenge though, beating the Midlands club in a drab League Cup final at Wembley Stadium in March 1999.

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: Charlie Daniels – AFC BOURNEMOUTH vs. Manchester City (August 2017)

The match between AFC Bournemouth and Manchester City on the third weekend of the 2017-2018 season saw plenty of late drama and an early contender for Goal of the Season.

The home side had lost both of their first two matches against West Bromwich Albion and Watford without scoring, so what a way this was to score their first goal of the 2017-2018 season. After Dan Gosling’s cross had been headed away by Vincent Kompany, the ball dropped to left-back Charlie Daniels. From the corner of the penalty area, Daniels hit a delicious first-time volley that zipped into the back of the net giving Ederson absolutely no chance.

Pep Guardiola’s side came back to win 2-1 in stoppage-time but Charlie’s cracker was good enough to win him both Bournemouth’s Goal of the Season and the first Goal of the Month of the 2017-2018 campaign.

Great Goals: Pajtim Kasami – Crystal Palace vs. FULHAM (October 2013)

Now playing for FC Sion in Switzerland, there are two things Pajtim Kasami is probably known for. One is a brief fling with X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, the other for this amazing long-range volley in October 2013 against Crystal Palace.

It was a London Derby which both sides needed to win as both teams had made slow starts to the 2013-2014 season. Palace had scored early on but this goal from Kasami completely shifted the momentum away from the home side. Sascha Riether claimed the assist as his long ball found Kasami. The Swiss international controlled his pass superbly on his chest and with his second touch, produced an outstanding volley that Julian Speroni had simply no chance of saving.

Fulham won 4-1 and Ian Holloway left his position as Crystal Palace manager two days later. It didn’t quite win Goal of the Season for 2013-2014 but it was a strike that was talked about all over the country.

Great Goals: Glen Johnson – PORTSMOUTH vs. Hull City (November 2008)

Right-back Glen Johnson flourished during his three-year spell on the south coast with Portsmouth from 2006 to 2009. His consistent, attacking-style performances for Pompey made him the regular England right-back following Gary Neville’s retirement.

Defensive quality isn’t always Johnson’s strength but scoring long-range stunners certainly are. Against Hull City in November 2008, he produced this pile driver of a shot.

The game was level at 1-1 in the 63rd minute when Michael Turner, who had scored Hull’s equaliser, cleared the ball from a cross into the box. Johnson raced onto the loose ball and controlled the ball on his chest. Then on his second touch, he launched a marvellous volley which went straight into the top corner of the net.

It was a stunning effort and it won the BBC Goal of the Season award for the 2008-2009 season, even if Portsmouth didn’t take all three points form this particular contest.

Great Goals: Raul Meireles – Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. LIVERPOOL FC (January 2011)

Roy Hodgson’s tenure as Liverpool FC manager was a painful one for many of the club’s supporters but one of the best bits of business he did do was to bring in the Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles from FC Porto.

It took Meireles a little bit of time to settle into the Premier League but he scored a flurry of goals in January and February 2011 and this was his best strike – a cracking volley away at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Liverpool were leading 1-0 thanks to a first half strike from Fernando Torres when Meireles tried his luck five minutes after the interval. A long ball over the top was headed away by a Wolves defender. Meireles watched the ball all the way and connected sweetly as it dropped from the sky. Wayne Hennessey could only stand and watch as the ball hit the back of the net.

Liverpool FC won 3-0 and it was the first win in the second managerial reign for Kenny Dalglish. It was part of a run that saw Meireles score in five of the next six matches but he would leave the club surprisingly in the summer of 2011, joining Torres at Chelsea to win the UEFA Champions League a year later.

Great Goals: Gary Cahill – ASTON VILLA vs. Birmingham City (April 2006)

The Second City Derby is one of the most passionate rivalries in English football. This match in April 2006 was of massive significance to both Aston Villa and Birmingham City. Neither club was safe from relegation. With Portsmouth’s improvement in form; it was becoming more likely that one of these sides would finish the campaign in the bottom three.

The game was finely poised at 1-1 after Milan Baros and Chris Sutton had exchanged goals in the first half. In the 56th minute, a tame header from Olivier Tebily started a pinball battle in the Birmingham penalty area. Kevin Phillips had two attempts blocked. The ball span in the air and youngster Gary Cahill then improvised – in breathtaking fashion.

He leapt highest in the air and produced a sensational volley that flew past Maik Taylor. He was mobbed by his teammates and supporters and rightly so. It was the perfect time and place for him to score his first Aston Villa goal. David O’Leary’s side eventually won 3-1. They stayed up and Birmingham went down at the end of the season.

Premier League Files: Matt Ritchie

Premier League Career: Portsmouth (2010), AFC Bournemouth (2015-2016), Newcastle United (2017-PRESENT)

After the briefest taste of Premier League football with Portsmouth in 2010, Matt Ritchie was part of AFC Bournemouth’s historic first campaign at this level and is back in the top-flight this season as he looks to play a role in keeping Newcastle United away from relegation.

Ritchie got his big break with Portsmouth. A part of their academy since the age of 13, Ritchie made his Premier League in April 2010. It was largely down to the club’s crippling injury list and the huge financial strain they were in too. He played 79 minutes in the defeat to Wigan Athletic and admitted it was a dream come true to make his debut for the club where he’d done all of his education with.

It looked like he was set for a bright future at Fratton Park but soon had a disagreement with new manager Steve Cotterill and was frozen out of his plans. He was loaned out to Swindon Town, making 16 appearances before the Robins’ agreed to make the loan move a permanent deal. Although Swindon were relegated to League Two at the end of the campaign, he was awarded the club’s Player of the Season award.

Ritchie remained a Swindon player until January 2013 and worked under Paolo di Canio, who was the club’s manager. His performances raised eyebrows with higher-profile clubs and AFC Bournemouth were among those admirers. Di Canio insisted he would not be sold, claiming he was worth £2 million. In March 2012, Ritchie won the League Two Player of the Year and was one of Swindon’s two players in the PFA Team of the Year.

Bournemouth eventually got their man in January 2013, after Swindon’s board decided their offer was too good to turn down. Di Canio was furious with the hierarchy and ultimately, Ritchie’s departure would turn out to be the catalyst for his exit from the County Ground. Ritchie joined a team in peak form and his first goal for the club in a 4-1 win over Bury starting a run of eight successive victories, shooting the club towards the Championship.

In 2014-2015, Matt won international recognition from Scotland. Despite being born in Gosport, Ritchie qualified to play for the Scots through his Scottish father and he made his debut in a friendly match against Northern Ireland. In club football, he had a sizzling campaign, scoring 11 times and setting up 13 further strikes for his teammates. Bournemouth went up as champions and would be playing Premier League football for the first time in their history – just six years after being close to relegation to the Conference.

His first top-flight strike was a venomous volley to help the Cherries beat Sunderland 2-0 in September 2015 and earn them their first home win in the Premier League. A month later, Ritchie scored the club’s fastest goal of the season, netting inside a minute against Tottenham Hotspur although it ended in a horrid 5-1 home defeat.

Bournemouth finished 16th in their first Premier League campaign, with Matt chipping in with four goals, so it was a surprise to see him drop down a division to Newcastle United in July 2016, signing a five-year deal to move to Tyneside. He scored 16 goals in all competitions, only being outscored by Dwight Gayle as Newcastle comfortably earned promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

As of January 2018, Ritchie has featured 23 times for Newcastle in the Premier League and has created more chances for his teammates than any other Magpies’ player this season. He has the quality to change matches with dangerous crosses and inch-perfect passes. However, he hasn’t scored yet this season and it will help Rafa Benitez out in their relegation battle to see him rediscover his goalscoring touch as the season progresses.

Great Goals: Robin van Persie – Charlton Athletic vs. ARSENAL (September 2006)

Robin van Persie has scored some special goals in his career and many of them were in the Premier League. This was probably his best strike in the colours of Arsenal.

Arsenal had made the trip across London to face Charlton Athletic and the score was 1-1. It looked like it was going to take something special to settle the stalemate between the two sides and Van Persie most definitely produced it.

It was a nice build-up from the Gunners, involving Justin Hoyte, Gilberto and Emmanuel Eboue. Eboue produced the cross but there was still plenty for Van Persie to do. His volley was magnificent and it was fitting to win the match for Arsene Wenger’s side.