20 Best Premier League Goals of December

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2013

20 Best Premier League Goals of December

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    The Premier League excelled during December 2012.

    The festive period was crammed with stunning goals of every type. We witnessed stunning strikes from long range, subtle moments of skill and plenty of individual brilliance.

    I've compiled a rundown of the month's top 20 goals. Forget recent memories of Christmas turkey—this selection will really make your mouth water.

20. Steven Whittaker vs. Swansea

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    Date: December 8, 2012

    Score: Swansea City 3-4 Norwich City


    Incisiveness is everything for this goal. Steven Whittaker's decision to burst forward from the halfway line paid off. The former Rangers player latched onto a pass, created space and slotted his shot beyond Gerhard Tremmel in unstoppable fashion.

19. Christian Benteke vs. Liverpool

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    Date: December 15, 2012

    Score: Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa


    As we'll see with many goals on this list, giving lethal players too much time isn't a particularly inspiring tactic. Christian Benteke continues to spearhead any Aston Villa success. Against Liverpool, he opened the scoring with an accurate strike from outside the area.

18. Sandro vs. Fulham

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    Date: December 1, 2012

    Score: Fulham 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur


    Sandro isn't known for his goal-scoring prowess. When the Brazilian does net, it's usually in superb style. The defensive midfielder's long-ranged shot against Fulham appeared to be going wide. Deadly whip saw the ball outstretch Mark Schwarzer's reach, giving Spurs the lead.

17. Ben Arfa vs. Fulham

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    Date: December 10, 2012

    Score: Fulham 2-1 Newcastle United


    Hatem Ben Arfa's season continues to be halted by injury. The French playmaker hasn't strung together a consistent run of form in the current Premier League season. Ben Arfa's rare appearance against Fulham indicated exactly why Alan Pardew's side are missing the 25-year-old so much.

    His confidence on the ball and ability to slam a strike towards the top corner is severely lacking at St James' Park right now.

16. Fernando Torres vs. Sunderland

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    Date: December 8, 2012

    Score: Sunderland 1-3 Chelsea


    Fernando Torres improved massively across December. Perhaps Rafa Benitez's installation as interim Chelsea manager was the right decision after all.

    What happens when you give Eden Hazard too much space? He delivers a ball of real quality to the front line. Fernando Torres spotted an opportunity and burst into the box, delightfully using his studs to give Chelsea the lead. Check this goal out from a minute into the video.

15. Demba Ba vs. Manchester City

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    Date: December 15, 2012

    Score: Newcastle 1-3 Manchester City


    Demba Ba is likely to move away from Newcastle in the next month (via The Guardian). The prolific Senegalese striker's pure finishing ability will be sorely missed if he does decide to move on.

    As we saw against Manchester City, give Ba a sniff at goal and he's likely to capitalise.

14. Eden Hazard vs. Aston Villa

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    Date: December 23, 2012

    Score: Chelsea 8-0 Aston Villa


    Is the perfect finish possible? Eden Hazard certainly thinks so. The 21-year-old superstar twinkled his way into the Aston Villa box with one thing on his mind. A hop and a skip later, Brad Guzan was picking a criminally accurate shot out of his overworked net.

13. Robin van Persie vs. West Bromwich Albion

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    Date: December 29, 2012

    Score: Manchester United 2-0 West Bromwich Albion


    The decision to bench Robin van Persie was a strange one. With Wayne Rooney also missing through injury, West Brom decided to try and take the game to Manchester United.

    Sir Alex Ferguson decided to throw van Persie on for the last quarter of the match. The Dutchman came off the bench to curl home a wonderful second goal. Watch him demand the ball, skip around any incoming challenges and send West Brom packing.

12. Hal-Robson Kanu vs. Manchester United

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    Date: December 1, 2012

    Score: Reading 3-4 Manchester United


    Reading have been involved in some ridiculous matches this campaign. It's lucky Brian McDermott is already bald, as he would have pulled plenty of hair out across the last few weeks.

    One example of painful defeat came against Manchester United. Hal Robson-Kanu brilliantly volleyed the Premier League new boys into a 1-0 lead. His unstoppable strike set the tone for a match that underlines the absurdity of current English football.

11. Robin van Persie vs. Manchester City

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    Date: December 9, 2012

    Score: Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United


    Robin van Persie's injury time winner against Manchester City isn't a particularly special goal. His free kick is technically sound and definitely on target.

    Unfortunately for his former Arsenal teammate, Samir Nasri, United benefited massively from Joe Hart's flimsy wall. Narsi stuck out a cowardly leg, directing the ball just beyond his goalkeeper's reach.

    This goal makes the list for being one of the most important moments of the season so far.

10. Glen Johnson vs. West Ham

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    Date: December 9, 2012

    Score: West Ham United 2-3 Liverpool


    Glen Johnson thrives against his old employers. Both West Ham and Chelsea have fallen to the Englishman's pace across the last few years.

    The Hammers once again failed to deal with Johnson's dribbling ability, allowing him far too much time on the edge of the box. A congested penalty area made no difference to the energetic right back. Johnson smashed the ball towards the top corner in stunning fashion.

9. Martin Skrtel vs. Fulham

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    Date: 22 December, 2012

    Score: Liverpool 4-0 Fulham


    Martin Skrtel is always capable of latching onto corners. He dominates the air and often puts in headers for goals. Against Fulham, the Slovakian monster didn't settle for such predictability.

    Instead, he thumped the ball with an unstoppable volley. Skrtel showed superb finesse and skill to blast Liverpool into an early advantage. Rumours suggest his alternative career as a demolition expert is progressing well.

8. Juan Mata vs. Norwich City

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    Date: December 26, 2012

    Score: Norwich City 0-1 Chelsea


    Juan Mata continues to galvanise his position as Chelsea's most valuable player. He scored a match-winner once more against Norwich. This tight fixture didn't produce too many clear opportunities—and indeed—was settled through a moment of brilliance.

    Picking up the ball on the edge of the area, Mata drove a low shot towards Mark Bunn's goal. The Spaniard threaded his attempt through a tiny gap and into the back of the net without a second look.

7. Tom Cleverley vs. Sunderland

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    Date: December 15, 2012

    Score: Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland


    Tom Cleverley isn't known for his finishing skills. Right now, the Manchester United midfielder seems to only capitalise on difficult chances.

    His movement set this goal in motion. Picking up the ball and quickly passing it on, the energetic 23-year-old sprinted towards the area with real purpose. As Michael Carrick played a delightful pass back into Cleverley's route, a neat side-footed finish ended Sunderland's hopes of an upset.

6. Anthony Pilkington vs. Sunderland

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    Date: December 2, 2012

    Score: Norwich City 2-1 Sunderland


    Anthony Pilkington is one of the Premier League's unsung heroes. His goal against Sunderland sums up a player who deserves a greater amount of praise from the masses. Just watch as he twists and turns in the box before rifling a cannon shot beyond the grasp of Simon Mignolet.

5. Kenwyne Jones vs. Southampton

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    Date: December 29, 2012

    Score: Stoke City 3-3 Southampton


    An excellent goal is often a subtle goal. Kenwyne Jones doesn't get much of a touch on Ryan Shotton's brilliant cross. The physical Stoke forward manages to delicately flick the ball into Southampton's net with his back to goal. At full speed, it's quite an incredible finish.

4. Adam Johnson vs. Chelsea

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    Date: December 8, 2012

    Score: Sunderland 1-3 Chelsea


    Adam Johnson appears to be settling in at the Stadium of Light. He scored a handful of terrific goals throughout December, and his effort against Chelsea was the most impressive.

    The English winger has the knack of creating something special from nothing. His shot against Petr Cech shouldn't have troubled the experienced keeper. Instead, it whistled into the back of the net with an almost reckless efficiency. Watch the video from three minutes in to see this fantastic strike.

3. Theo Walcott vs. Newcastle United

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    Date: December 29, 2012

    Score: Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle United


    If Lionel Messi achieved what Theo Walcott did against Newcastle, the world would be dancing with approval. Arsenal's winger/contract rebel/striker completed a fine hat-trick with a memorable solo effort against the Magpies.

    The Englishman skips into the box, bypasses two challenges and is quickly knocked off the ball. He springs back up and chips Tim Krul with a coolness that seems to have been added to his game since the season began.

2. Jonathan Walters vs. Liverpool

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    Date: December 26, 2012

    Score: Stoke City 3-1 Liverpool


    Jonathan Walters was one of the Premier League's star performers during 2012. Against Liverpool, the hardworking forward underlined his key attributes with one swift move.

    Powering towards the box, Walters received a dodgy cross at full speed. He managed to control the ball in the air and stretch far enough to produce decent contact. Despite his best efforts, Pepe Reina had no chance.

1. Cameron Jerome vs. Southampton

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    Date: 29 December, 2012

    Score: Stoke City 3-3 Southampton


    Who needs finesse or skill? Hoofing the ball is perfectly acceptable.

    For Cameron Jerome, the decision to do just that resulted in nicking a point from Southampton. The former Birmingham striker fired this shot with so much velocity you may see Tony Pulis' hat jump straight off his head. A fantastic moment of opportunism and worthy winner of this month's best goal.

    Do you agree with my choices? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on Twitter: