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Ranked! The 15 best Premier League goals of the '90s

To celebrate FourFourTwo magazine’s ’90s special, we count down the goals of the decade, starring Cantona, Bergkamp, Wanchope and more

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15. Gus Poyet, Chelsea vs Sunderland (1999)

Get Gus's goal at 0:18

A goal-of-the-season contender on the opening day of the 1999/2000 campaign. Poyet was the man to apply the finishing touch, a powerful scissor kick from 12 yards, but the beauty of this effort owed much to assist-provider Gianfranco Zola.

The Italian bought himself 10 yards of space with his first touch, flicked behind retreating Sunderland defender Chris Makin. He then bided his time and waited for Poyet’s run before delivering a sumptuous scooped pass into the Uruguayan, who finished with aplomb.

14. Andrew Cole, Man United vs Leicester (1999)

Manchester United’s Treble-winning side of 1998/99 are more celebrated than the 1999/2000 vintage, but the latter were the better Premier League team, winning the title by 18 points rather than one.

This November victory lifted Alex Ferguson’s men to the top of the table, with Cole’s double making the difference against Leicester. His first was superb, the England striker readjusting his body to fire an overhead kick in off the post after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s header fell to him on the edge of the box.

13. Juninho, Man United vs Middlesbrough (1997)

Another Old Trafford goal, but this time scored by the visiting team. Middlesbrough were locked in a relegation battle when they took on the champions-elect in May 1997, but there were few signs of the struggling visitors being daunted by a United team containing Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Roy Keane.

The deadlock was broken after a sweeping 11-pass move in the Red Devils’ half. Boro stroked the ball around neatly before Juninho decided to quicken the attack, exchanging passes with both Fabrizio Ravanelli and Craig Hignett before finding the bottom corner with an accomplished finish. Lovely. 

12. Stan Collymore, Liverpool vs Newcastle (1996)

Context is important to any goal, and few can top this one for unadulterated drama. Regarded by many – although not FFT (sorry) – as the greatest Premier League game of all time, the scores were locked at 3-3 when Collymore settled this breathless thriller in Liverpool’s favour in second-half stoppage time.

Some snappy, one-touch passing from the Reds released John Barnes between the lines, while Ian Rush and Steve McManaman raced forward to provide support. After a couple of one-twos with the former, Barnes – with the sound of expectation reverberating around Anfield and five defenders blocking his path to goal – had enough composure to pick out the unmarked Collymore on the far side of the box. The rest, as they say, is history.

11. Paulo Wanchope, Man United vs Derby (1997)

It wasn’t quite George Weah vs Verona, but there are certain similarities between the Liberian’s masterpiece and Wanchope’s wondergoal – and on his Rams debut, no less. The new Derby striker, a £600,000 signing from Herediano, collected possession inside his own half and immediately had only one thing on his mind: going for it. The lanky forward strode upfield, leaving four opponents in his wake before finishing coolly past Peter Schmeichel.

Critics may argue the Costa Rican never had complete control of the ball, but the occasional bobbles owe more to the Old Trafford pitch than the striker’s technique. In fact, Wanchope deserves extra credit for mastering the terrain, particularly as Phil Neville is concurrently trying to make contact with his ankles.