As the curtain draws on yet another Premier League season, The Hard Tackle takes a look at some of the most spectacular goals scored this term
As with every season, the just-concluded 2016/17 season also saw its fair share of spectacular goals mixed in with the regular and the sometimes obnoxious. Being the competitive league that it is, each goal is worth its weight in gold.
From THAT Paul Scholes volley against Aston Villa to ‘Aguerrroooo’ from years gone by to goals this season that are so good, they ‘sting’. Some stunning, some mesmerising and some simply out of this world. We look at five of the best this season (in no particular order):
Eden Hazard vs Arsenal (4th February 2017)
We all know what the little magician can do with the ball at his feet, and this goal perfectly demonstrated that very ability.
An innocuous looking forward lob by Diego Costa near the halfway line landed at the Belgian’s feet. The only time the ball then left his feet was when it found the back of the net. On his way to the goal, he made some of the best midfielders and defenders in the world look like they should be playing two leagues below.
The goal is best experienced by watching it all over again:
Henrikh Mkhitaryan vs Sunderland (26th December 2016)
This goal was iconic for more reasons than one – it introduced us to a new form of scoring (in England at least) that went ‘viral’ and that it was replicated by another forward in the same league the very next week.
We are, of course, talking about the first of the ‘scorpion goals’ scored this season. The 2015-16 Bundesliga Player of the Year Henrikh Mkhitaryan showed why he belonged in the Premier League. An audacious, never before seen ‘lob from behind’ goal had the world of football talking. The skill involved, the timing of it and the celebrations after were all just perfect.
Although there was a hint of offside in the scoring of the goal, it cannot take away from the magic involved. A perfectly curled in cross from Zlatan on the right fell to Mkhitaryan. And although he seemed to have overrun it, he managed to lob the ball from behind his body to curl it into the back of the net. Thus began the story of the scorpion kick.
A goal worth rewatching over and over (looks even better with fan cam):
Gaston Ramirez vs Bournemouth (26th October, 2016)
In what turned out to be a disastrous season for his team, Gaston Ramirez was one shining light for the Boro. This particular goal was also when the team were on a good run and looked like they would do enough to survive.
Right from winning the ball back in his own half to finding the back of the net, Ramirez did it all by himself on this one. A run that covered almost three-fourths of the pitch, he used his pace to get away from midfielders and then used his guile to beat defenders to ultimately score a stunner.
We bet you cannot take your eyes off this one (listen for the noise at the end):
Olivier Giroud vs Crystal Palace (1st January 2017)
A striker often maligned for his lack of goal scoring did silence his critics for that week at least. In a week when the Premier League could not stop talking about the ‘scorpion kick’, the Frenchman produced this thing of beauty.
In what started off as a typical Arsenal move, with fast, counter-attacking buildup from defence to midfield to attack, led to Alexis Sanchez finding the ball at his feet on the left wing. Like Zlatan for United, the Chilean appeared to have played the pass a second too late. Not for Giroud though, who produced a stunning scorpion kick, that beat the goalkeeper who was perfectly positioned.
Here is where you can watch it:
Dimitri Payet vs Middlesbrough (1st October 2016)
The man who, even at the end of the season had created more chances for West Ham than any other player. This, in spite of leaving in January for Marseille, tells us two things – the Hammers lost their main man (and their mojo) and Payet was and remains truly world class.
Be that as it may, his goal against Boro will be one for the ages. He started this solo move on the left wing, made his way inside the box, beat five defenders in the process, ran across the six yard box with the ball at his feet and ultimately, finished with his right foot. While the Irons fans may not want to have fond memories of their has-been hero, they sure will miss his quality.
Need proof of his class? Watch this (and count the number of defenders he beats):
Right from Emre Can’s stunning bicycle kick against Watford to Shinji Okazaki’s sweet right foot strike on the volley against Manchester City, there are some goals which had to make do with our consolation prize.
Who can also forget Jordan Henderson’s stunning strike from outside the box against Chelsea, or Andy Carroll’s superb bicycle kick against Crystal Palace was indeed what they call a ‘worldlie’.
It has been one enthralling season yet again in England, and these goals go a long way to justify that apart from being one of the most competitive leagues in the world, the skill level on display is second to none.
Here is your chance to vote for who you think deserves to win the ‘goal of the season’: