Premier League 2009—10 Goals of the Season
As we enter the last week of the 2009-10 Premier League campaign, I take a look back at the six greatest goals scored this season, and ask you readers which of them you consider the goal of the season.
There have certainly been some fine goals scored throughout the campaign from both the usual suspects, but also from some unlikely sources.
Back in December, Maynor Figueroa's stunning free-kick from within his half lit up a cold, dark afternoon at Stoke.
More recently, Danny Rose set Spurs on their way to a first league win against Arsenal in more than a decade with a fierce 30-yard volley on his debut, rocking White Hart Lane.
I will look at five goals that have caught my eye in particular and make a case for choosing each one as the best goal scored this season.
My choice may prove controversial, but I am open to other suggestions.
I hope you enjoy the show, and look forward to starting up a debate about what makes a truly memorable goal: is it a long-range strike, a moment of inventive genius, or a goal of real significance?
Goal One: Craig Bellamy
Who: Craig Bellamy
When: 20 September 2009, Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City, 51st minute
What: Bellamy collected possession on the left-hand touchline before drifting infield on his right foot and unleashing an unstoppable 20-yard shot from the edge of the box that flew past United's goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Saar and into the top corner of the goal.
Why: This was the first clash of the season between the upcoming 'nouveaux riches' Blues and the Red Devils and, despite United eventually prevailing 4-3 thanks to a 96th minute goal from Michael Owen, the quality of City's performance—and Bellamy's goal in particular—made neutrals around the country stand up and take notice.
Wow factor: 7
Goal Two: Cameron Jerome
Who: Cameron Jerome
When: 9 Nov 2009, Liverpool 2-2 Birmingham City, 48th minute
What: Jerome took a long-range Scott Dann header expertly in his stride just in front of the centre circle under pressure from Javier Mascherano. Having taken the ball away from the Argentine's reach, Jerome unleashed a powerful 35-yard drive which flew over Pepe Reina and into the roof of the net.
Why: Despite going into first-half stoppage time level at 1-1, newly-promoted Birmingham had been outplayed by the Reds for much of the half. Nevertheless, Jerome's audacious shot exemplified Birmingham's ambitions to take the game to Liverpool at Anfield where possible and create an upset.
Wow factor: 9
Goal Three: Maynor Figueroa
Who: Maynor Figueroa
When: 12 December 09, Stoke 2-2 Wigan, 72nd minute
What: When Scott Sinclair was challenged unfairly by Rory Delap on the half-way line, it seemed that Wigan would push a few defenders forward and launch a free-kick into the box. However, Honduran left-back Maynor Figueroa, beginning to make a name for himself in the league, had other ideas and launched a spectacular 60-yard free kick over Thomas Sorensen and into the back of the net.
Why: Just like Beckham against Wimbledon in 1996, Figueroa had the vision and bravery to try something extraordinary. The goal lit up an otherwise insipid match played out in the rain.
Wow factor: 8
Goal Four: Didier Drogba
Who: Didier Drogba
When: 31 October 09, Bolton Wanderers 0-4 Chelsea, 90th minute
What: Nicolas Anelka, isolated on the left touchline, chipped the ball towards the edge of the box where Deco chested it on to Lampard. Lampard impishly backheeled a pass over a tiring Bolton defence to Drogba, who cooly half-volleyed the ball low into the bottom corner.
Why: This was a goal straight from the Gods, one which you may be lucky to see on the training ground, let alone in a league match. Beautiful, imaginative, stylish football with an end product. A truly breathtaking goal from a team about to be deservedly crowned champions.
Wow factor: 9
Goal Five: Robbie Blake
AND FINALLY...THE WINNER:
Who: Robbie Blake
When: 18 October 09, Blackburn 3-2 Burnley, fifth minute
What: Andre Bikey drilled a ball from right-back low into Stephen Elliot, who chested it down in the centre circle, turned and surged forward into the Blackburn half. He then fed the ball to Blake on the left side 40 yards from goal. Blake cut infield and headed for the "D" of the area, before smashing a wonderful strike into the near corner.
Why: A 12-second move which saw Burnley score a goal of real power, simplicity and skill, and involved just two passes and three players. To score such an outstanding goal away from home in a local derby after just four minutes defies belief.
Wow factor: 10
Other Notable Mentions
Danny Rose v Arsenal, stunning 30-yard volley on his league debut
Hugo Rodallega v Aston Villa, dipping 25-yard volley into top corner
Nenad Milijas V Bolton, powerful rising 30-yard shot into top corner
James Milner v Sunderland, powerful run followed by incredibly 30-yard finish
Luka Modric v Everton, neat passing move involving three players before audacious chip
Boudewijn Zenden v Tottenham, acrobatic dipping volley from 15 yards
Wayne Rooney v West Ham, header from volleyed Valencia cross after Berbatov found Ecuadorian winger with a cross-field ball