There were, as always, a ton of wonderful goals scored in the Premier League this season, but here Ian Watson lists the five best.
Different people get excited by different types of goals. Some love a long-ranger, others marvel at inch-perfect free-kicks, while for others still it’s volleys, mazy dribbles and team goals that stand out most. In this list, we’ve picked a real variety of the best ones scored this season…
5- Cuco Martina’s swazzer – Southampton v Arsenal
“I saw the ball go in and I thought ‘oh my God’.”
You weren’t the only one, Cuco, son. On only his sixth appearances for the Saints having arrived last summer under almost everyone’s radar, the Curacao (yes, it’s a real country) international latched on to a headed clearance before wrapping the outside of his right foot around the ball on the half-volley.
Cuco Martina's half by numbers:
36% pass accuracy
0 chances created
1 world class goal pic.twitter.com/B4TyZ6uGM1
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 26, 2015
As the shot passed the right hip of Laurent Koscielny, the Arsenal defender clearly felt there was no danger since the Frenchman was positioned well outside the line of Martina and the far post. His reaction upon turning around to see Petr Cech beaten is priceless, as it Martina’s, who clearly couldn’t believe what he had just done. Arsenal never recovered and went on to get smashed 4-0.
4 – Anthony Martial’s introduction – Man Utd v Liverpool
Martial had already been branded a ‘waste of money’ by the Daily Mirror four days before he was able to make his debut for United in September. Many thought the Red Devils had overpaid for the teenage Frenchman, who could end up costing the club £58million.
Louis van Gaal brought the former Monaco forward off the bench as United led Liverpool 1-0. Ander Herrera doubled the advantage before the home support became twitchy following Christian Benteke’s stunning overhead-kick with six minutes remaining.
Martial, who had barely had a kick in the previous 21 minutes since his introduction, calmed the nerves with a stunning debut goal. After collecting Ashley Young’s pass on the left-wing, Martial drove at Martin Skrtel, passing Nathaniel Clyne on the way, going outside then in. When faced up by Simon Mignolet, the youngster displayed the coolness of a seasoned pro, slotting the ball just inside the far post to spark delirious scenes in the Stretford End the Sky Sports commentary box.
3 – Matt Ritchie’s volley – Bournemouth v Sunderland
Ritchie was on fire for the Cherries during the first-half of the season, with his form alerting the likes of Manchester United. His volley against Sunderland would certainly grace the very highest stage.
Matt Ritchie has just scored a genuine goal of the season contender for Bournemouth. Stunning chest and volley!
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 19, 2015
Yann M’Vila met Charlie Daniels’ corner at the near post and cleared out of the box, with Ritchie forced to retreat to recover the loose ball. Ritchie controlled with his chest, but with his first touch, manoeuvred the ball onto his left side and away from the pressure being applied by a green shirt. The winger’s second touch sent the ball arrowing into the top corner, with just enough bend off the outside of the boot to find the inside of the side netting.
2. Dimitri Payet’s big dipper – West Ham v Crystal Palace
Payet scored four goals directly from set-pieces this season, with FA Cup efforts at Blackburn and Manchester United particularly impressive. But his strike during April’s home draw with Palace was the best of the lot.
Few people had a better view of it than Palace defender Damian Delaney.
“When he hit it as it went over the wall I thought that one’s going into row Z, I swear to God.
“I think someone in the wall shouted ‘see ya’ to Payet, I think Wayne Hennessey probably thought it as well.”
1. Dele Alli’s stunner – Crystal Palace v Tottenham
Alli’s strike takes the award for a goal that had a little bit of everything: invention, control, awareness, individuality, power and importance.
With Palace and Tottenham tied at 1-1 in the final 10 minutes of a fraught London derby at Selhurst Park, Alli collected Christian Eriksen’s deft headed pass and enticed Mile Jedinak towards him. The Palace skipper stuck his head in where he thought the ball was but by then, Alli had lifted it above both of them and over his own shoulder before spinning to meet it before the grass did. With another swing of the right foot, all the while positioning his body to get the necessary back lift while keeping his head over the ball, Alli rifled a brilliant volley that bounced between beating the goalkeeper and crossing the goal-line.
What a goal that is! Dele Alli ??
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) January 23, 2016
The effort was the unanimous choice of judges Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy to win the BBC Goal of the Season award and we certainly won’t argue.