1. David Bentley
Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham, October 29 2008
While Bentley never quite lived up to ‘the new David Beckham’ tag, this strike was a reminder of why those comparisons were made in the first place. The former Gunners man was teed up by Tom Huddlestone’s header and unleashed a dipping stunner from 40 yards to open the floodgates in a thrilling north London derby in Harry Redknapp’s first game in charge. Should Manuel Almunia have done better, though?
2. Paolo Di Canio
West Ham 2-1 Wimbledon, March 26 2000
Arguably one of the greatest Premier League goals ever, never mind volleys. The enigmatic Italian showed incredible skill and athleticism to meet Trevor Sinclair’s cross in mid-air, guiding a right-footed volley across goal and beyond Neil Sullivan with perfect precision and power. Bellissimo!
3. Peter Crouch
Stoke 1-1 Manchester City, March 24 2012
Crouch's mind might often drift to this one as he continues to warm the bench at Stoke. The man known more for aerial prowess than technical ability was the architect of some spontaneous brilliance here: after Asmir Begovic launches a goal-kick upfield, Crouch plays a one-two of headers (of course) with Jermaine Pennant, then takes a touch before unleashing an unstoppable dipping, angled lob from distance.
4. Wayne Rooney
Manchester United 2-1 Newcastle, April 24 2005
A fresh-faced Rooney displayed two of his hallmark traits in quick succession for this one – a fiery temperament and superb technical ability. The striker was booked for a late challenge on James Milner as his frustration reached boiling point, but a moment later responded by leathering Peter Ramage’s headed clearance into the top corner with unstoppable power and accuracy.
5. Pajtim Kasami
Crystal Palace 1-4 Fulham, October 21 2013
Kasami burst onto the scene with this goal-of-the-season contender that drew immediate comparisons with Marco van Basten’s famous strike for the Netherlands at Euro 88. Running in full flight, the Swiss midfielder took Sascha Riether’s floated pass on his chest and then swept a staggering volley into the opposite corner while facing away from goal. It proved to be one of only three he scored for Fulham, but will live long in the memory.
6. Robin van Persie
Manchester United 3-0 Aston Villa, April 22 2013
This over-the-shoulder strike was the crowning jewel of the Dutchman’s sensational debut season at Old Trafford, and earned him BBC’s goal-of-the-season accolade which was hard to argue with. The goal was No.2 of his hat-trick in a win that ensured Sir Alex Ferguson would leave the club with yet another Premier League winner’s medal in his pocket.
7. Gus Poyet
Chelsea 4–0 Sunderland, August 7 1999
The Uruguayan’s emphatic scissor-kick was perfectly executed, but Gianfranco Zola’s wonderful assist was arguably the more memorable contribution to this goal. The Italian showed trademark vision to scoop a perfectly weighed pass between the Black Cats defenders and onto the laces of Poyet to open the Blues’ season in style.
8. Paul Scholes
Bradford City 0–4 Manchester United, March 25 2000
Scholes is no stranger to ‘best goal’ compilations, but this was special even by his standards. In a moment of set-piece magic, David Beckham swept a corner onto the lethal right boot of the pint-sized midfielder, who somehow guided a powerful volley through a penalty area packed with bodies. Dwight Yorke will be glad he ducked.
9. Tony Yeboah
Leeds 1-0 Liverpool, August 21 1995
The Ghanaian’s spell at Elland Road will be fondly remembered thanks to his penchant for the spectacular. Yeboah’s first-time, off-the-bar banger proved to be the decider in this game, and his 16th goal in 18 appearances for Leeds. He went on to win the goal-of-the-season gong – but for a different effort, when he abused Wimbledon's crossbar only a month after this strike.
10. Matthew Taylor
Portsmouth 2-0 Everton, December 9 2006
Taylor’s impromptu lightning bolt takes the crown for the longest distance of any volley on this list. Nwankwo Kanu’s challenge helped the ball pop up invitingly in front of the midfielder, but the audacity of his effort was such that Toffees keeper Tim Howard didn’t even bother moving. Judging by the clip, though, it still wasn’t enough to make Harry Redknapp break into a smile.
11. Wayne Rooney
Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City, February 12 2011
You were maybe wondering when it would turn up. Rooney showed how you win a local derby by executing the perfect bicycle-kick and seeing off the challenge of the noisy neighbours to extend their lead at the top of the table. It earned the season's top goal award and will undoubtedly be one of the most-played clips on any United fan’s YouTube account.
12. Alan Shearer
Newcastle 2-1 Everton, December 1 2002
Enough to get downbeat Newcastle fans all misty-eyed about their legendary striker, who certainly knew how to hit the target. With six minutes left on the clock, Shearer pounced on a Carl Cort knock-down from just outside the box and blasted a blistering drive beyond Richard Wright, paving the way for a dramatic last-gasp winner from Craig Bellamy.
Blackburn 1-1 Tottenham, November 19 2006
This was perhaps the most memorable moment of Tugay’s eight-year, 233-match love affair with Blackburn. A defensive header fell to the Turk, and he duly lashed the ball into the corner from 30 yards. Unfortunately, the midfielder went and ruined all his good work by getting sent off for bringing down Hossam Ghaly.
14. Lilian Nalis
Leicester 4-0 Leeds, September 15 2003
Journeyman midfielder Nalis surprised the Walkers Stadium faithful with his first-ever goal for the Foxes. Leeds failed to clear their lines properly and the Frenchman – running away from goal – latched onto a high, looping ball with an impressive left-footed effort from distance that Paul Robinson could only fly past despairingly.
15. Paul Scholes
Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United, December 23 2006
We didn’t want to have another player feature twice, honestly, but Scholes’s second volley of this list was just as good as his first – much like Rooney. There was no stopping his crashing strike from 25 yards, let rip with devastating power and accuracy. There’s something magical about an off-the-bar-and-in effort too. Fancy coming out of retirement again, Paul?
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