The Premier League took center stage in the world of football this weekend, as the rest of Europe's top five leagues went on winter break. And with the Premier League in focus, Stoke City's Cameron Jerome stepped into the spotlight.
With Stoke trailing Southampton 3-2 at home on Saturday, Jerome scored a walloping equalizer in the 90th minute to give the Potters a 3-3 draw. This wasn't just any goal, either. This could go down as a contender for goal of the season.
As the final whistle approached, Stoke pushed forward, and lanky forward Peter Crouch controlled a secondary ball with a chest trap. Crouch probably intended to hold onto the ball, but with Jerome approaching at high speed, he backed away and gave Jerome all the room he needed.
Jerome took full advantage, launching piledriver from about 30 yards out. Jerome hit the ball sweetly with the outside of his boot, and the shot swerved wickedly from right to left, past Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis and into the goal off the crossbar.
It was only the second league goal of the season for Jerome, a 26-year-old English forward. Coincidentally, he has scored both goals as a second-half substitute.
This time, he came on as a 55th-minute replacement for midfielder Matthew Etherington. After a strong 35-minute appearance, Jerome had won the appreciation of manager Tony Pulis, who compared the goal to Crouch's famous volley from last season.
"At the time I thought [Peter] Crouchy's was the best goal I've ever seen," said Pulis (via PremierLeague.com), whose team was playing with 10 men after Steven Nzonzi's red card. "I was really, really pleased to see [Jerome] Cameron's go in, let's say that."
We'll probably see Jerome's goal again in the end-the-season lists, but for now, it serves as our Set Piece Goal of the Weekend. Enjoy, and we'll see you in 2013.