EPL: Is Wayne Rooney's Strike Against Man City Greatest in the Era?

James WalkerAnalyst IMay 5, 2012

EPL: Is Wayne Rooney's Strike Against Man City Greatest in the Era?

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    Wayne Rooney’s decisive overhead strike against Manchester City in the 2010-11 derby has been voted by fans as the greatest goal in the history of the Premier League.

    The acrobatic effort received 26 percent of the total vote, a figure that trumped the 19 percent share Denis Bergkamp’s strike against Newcastle in 2002 received. Thierry Henry’s flick and volley against Manchester United in 2000 ran home third with 15 percent of the overall vote.  

    But is Wayne Rooney’s strike the greatest goal in Premier League history?

    Given the timing, location and significance of the goal it is legitimately remembered as an all-time great effort but, in my humble opinion, it is not the greatest of all time.

    Perhaps my love for Manchester City has swayed my judgment, but before my love for Manchester City comes my love for football. It would be a lie if I said I can remember the formation of the Premier League, I was two at the time, but I can safely say I have followed for as long as I can remember.

    The beauty of football is that every now and then, someone does something that makes you jump up and down in excitement, almost as if you have scored the goal yourself, before thinking “how did he do that?” when the ball is placed on the centre circle for kick off.

    This is a compilation of what I believe are the 10 greatest goals in Premier League history, in order. Not all of the goals were on the list published by the FA.

David Beckham

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    Club: Manchester United

    Opponent: Wimbledon

    Location: Selhurst Park

    Date: 17/08/1996

    Plenty of goals similar to this have been scored since, Maynor Figueroa’s stunning attempt for Wigan against Stoke (click here to see), or Xabi Alonso for Liverpool against Newcastle (click here to see), to name a few.

    Out of all of them, this is one that lives in memory more than any other.

Georgiou Kinkladze

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    Club: Manchester City

    Opponent: Southampton

    Location: Maine Road

    Date: 16/03/1996

    Before David Silva, there was Georgi Kinkladze. And before Manchester City were

    title contenders they were perennial battlers against relegation. Alan Ball, Manchester City's coach at the time, described this mid-March encounter against Southampton as the most important since his arrival at Maine Road at the start of the season. (The Independent)

    Georgi Kinkladze scored twice to help the Citizens beat Southampton 2-1 and move five points clear of the relegation zone. This was the Georgian's second goal, scored after 37 minutes, and what a peach it was.

    He took the ball from 30 yards out and, despite having no obvious options available, tricked Simon Charlton before shimmying around three more Southampton defenders to chip past Dave Beasant.

Paul Scholes

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    Club: Manchester United

    Opponent: Bradford City

    Location: Valley Parade

    Date: 25/03/2000

    Manchester United were playing for fun against relegation-threatened Bradford. Two goals from Dwight Yorke ensured that the Red Devils went into half time with a comfortable lead. Then this rather special effort occurred on the 71st minute.

Eric Cantona

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    Club: Manchester United

    Opponent: Sunderland

    Location: Old Trafford

    Date: 21/12/1996

    In 2001, Eric Cantona was voted "player of the century" by Manchester United fans.

    Given the chance again they may opt to vote for the likes of Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes but, issues aside, the mercurial Frenchman has left an endearing legacy at Old Trafford.

    With goals like this, it is clear to see why.

Wayne Rooney

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    Club: Manchester United

    Opponent: Manchester City

    Location: Old Trafford

    Date: 12/2/2011

    Given the time and given the circumstances, this was a fantastic goal.

    Victory for Manchester City would have moved them to within two points of their intercity rivals with 11 games to go. Victory for Manchester United would have moved them eight points clear.

    Wayne Rooney’s "best ever goal" (BBC Sport) ensured that bragging rights would stay with the Red Devils, for the time being at least.

     

    But come on, guys, it came off his shin!!

Matt Le Tissier

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    Club: Southampton

    Opponent: Newcastle

    Location: St Mary's

    Date: 24/10/1993

    Matt Le Tissier scored so many spectacular goals that one could legitimately argue his 10 best efforts are all worthy of a place on this list. This spectacular solo effort against Newcastle United is the pick of the bunch, though.  

Thierry Henry

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    Club: Arsenal

    Opponent: Manchester United

    Location: Highbury

    Date: 1/10/2000

    Thierry Henry had only just started his second season with the Gunners, but this outstanding effort immortalised his tenure at the club.

    A moment of sheer brilliance from the Frenchman broke the deadlock after he received a pass on the edge of the area from Grimandi.

    He flicked the ball up with his left foot and rotated to volley with his right before finding the top corner of Barthez’s net.

Paolo Di Canio

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    Club: West Ham United

    Opponent: Wimbledon

    Location: Upton Park

    Date: 26/03/2000

    This fine effort from the maverick Di Canio gave Harry Redknapp’s West Ham team the perfect start to their encounter against London rivals Wimbledon.

    The fiery Italian striker gifted West Ham the leader after just eight minutes with this thunderous volley.

Papiss Cissé

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    Club: Newcastle United

    Opponent: Chelsea

    Location: Stamford Bridge

    Date: 2/5/2012

    Did Papiss Cissé mean to do this? Given the fine run of form the Senegalese striker has been in, it would be cynical to suggest he did not.

    This is a goal that can only be scored by a man playing at the top of his game; under no other circumstances would someone attempt such an effort when what his team really required was for him to hold the ball up deep in Chelsea’s final third.

Denis Bergkamp

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    Club: Arsenal

    Opponent: Newcastle United

    Location: St. James' Park

    Date: 2/2/2002

    This is the greatest goal in the history of the Premier League. The graceful Dutchman meant every bit of bit, and unlike many goals on this list, no one can suggest that there was an element of luck to it.