From torpedo-esque volleys to borderline rude chips, the best Premier League goals ever have come in all shapes and sizes.
Whittling three decades' worth of sensational strikes down to a top 10 was no easy task – but here's the pick of the bunch, ranked...
Best Premier League goals ever: 10. Dennis Bergkamp vs Newcastle (March 2, 2002)
In the aftermath of spinning around Nikos Dabizas for this iconic strike, people started asking Bergkamp if he’d meant it. “For many goals, players just decide at the last moment what they’re going to do,” the Arsenal great recalled to FFT in 2020. “That was the same with me.” The Dutchman himself may have seen no big deal – but everyone else did. His deft pirouette and nonchalant finish is still eulogised as the ultimate goal of a beloved, luxurious footballer. No mean feat.
9. Thierry Henry vs Manchester United (October 1, 2000)
In the heat of the Premier League’s titanic rivalry, Henry unleashed a piece of wonder that would forever be played before clashes between the two giants. The flick and volley was peak Thierry: devastating yet cheeky, as Fabien Barthez watched on, utterly helpless. This was around the time that the Gunners legend was becoming a creative force – and showed that he could even assist himself.
8. David Beckham vs Wimbledon (August 17, 1996)
If the distinct technique behind Beckham’s right-footed swing from inside his own half would become synonymous with his brand, the audacity of it was something the Premier League had seldom witnessed. Goldenballs, spotting goalkeeper Neil Sullivan off his line, attempted the ridiculous and was rewarded handsomely: it was the day the Leytonstone lad’s name sunk into football.
Goal from 1:25 onwards
7. Wayne Rooney vs Manchester City (February 12, 2011)
This sumptuous overhead kick may only be topped by Roo’s messiah-like celebration at the corner flag, as United supporters burst into bedlam in the derby. It proved that even deflected crosses could be dangerous when you have Wazza on your team. All right, so it hit his shin – but who cares? It was voted the club’s goal of the decade and is arguably fans’ most cherished derby moment ever.
6. Dalian Atkinson vs Wimbledon (October 3, 1992)
It’s not merely the finesse of the perfectly weighted chip from Atkinson that made this goal extra special, it was the bandy-legged brilliance that led to it. The Villa star danced through challenges, combining Maradona’s goal of the century with a Cantona-like finish. This was a display of pure genius that may have come in the Premier League’s inaugural campaign, but is still rightfully lauded.
5. Paul Scholes vs Bradford (March 25, 2000)
Famously, no one could pass like Paul Scholes – and as he demonstrated on one cloudy day at Valley Parade, few could shoot like him either. A Beckham corner looped towards the midfielder, who met the ball so sweetly that the cameraman struggled to keep up with it en route to goal. The subtle bend of the strike through a tiny gap was sublime, as if Scholes had mapped out the trajectory of his torpedo.
Goal from 0:32 onwards
4. Matt Le Tissier vs Newcastle (October 24, 1993)
Did ‘Le God’ ever score a bad goal? Four flicks defined his flair one night in 1993 – the first with his heel to control the ball 30 yards out, the following two to flip it over bamboozled Magpies defenders, and the last to coolly slot beyond the keeper’s grasp. In an extensive back catalogue of quality, those few seconds might well be the best of the lot.
Goal from 0:46 onwards
3. Tony Yeboah vs Liverpool (August 21, 1995)
Yeboah hit two Premier League screamers, but his Liverpool blockbuster arguably tops another at Wimbledon a month later. The Ghanaian was off balance and backpedalling as the ball fell from the sky; the rest was box office. His volley was laced with venom as it ricocheted in off the crossbar with a glorious thud. From then on, kids across playgrounds of the ’90s would yell one name while trying to replicate his ferocious feats.
Goal from 2:14 onwards
2. Pajtim Kasami vs Crystal Palace (October 21, 2013)
A strike so underrated it didn’t even win goal of the month, losing to Jack Wilshere’s pinball wizardry against Norwich. However, Kasami’s wondrous volley has gone on to enjoy a life of its own, spawning a Sky mini-documentary during lockdown. As Sascha Riether’s deep ball dropped over his shoulder, the Swiss was running away from goal at an acute angle – he somehow controlled with his chest before walloping home first time. Seeing is believing.
1. Paolo Di Canio vs Wimbledon (March 26, 2000)
If there’s one player who summed up the influx of overseas talent to the English game, it’s Paolo: a Roman with equal parts fire and flair. In a single swoop, the West Ham deity combined his penchant for the outrageous with overflowing skill, karate-kicking Trevor Sinclair’s diagonal cross beyond the hapless Neil Sullivan (yes, him again). If the Premier League were ever to embark on a mission to Mars, this insane effort would undoubtedly be added to the time capsule. It’s a moment as brilliant as it is brazen.
Goal from 0:29 onwards
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