John Harding 09-06-07
How the hell do you select the best goal/goals from the last 100 years of wonderful football? It's a tough one to call but we are asking givemefootball readers to help us name the best of the best. Here are another ten to be going on with, in no particular order and from another a different era...look out for more over the coming weeks and then there will be your chance to vote...
No.31: 1991 - Gazza wins his Spurs in some style
The 1990-91 semi final provided the apex of Paul Gascoigne's early career. Indeed, despite his fleeting Euro 96 renaissance, some might argue that the exocet free kick which soared past David Seaman goal from 35 yards out in the fifth minute of this match was his finest moment. So unlikely was a goal that the TV commentator remarked: "He's not going to have a shot. He is you know." Unlike most free kicks one sees today, this one had no bend on at all, it was simply struck with great power and flew straight into the top corner beating David Seaman in the Arsenal goal who was still diving to stop it long after it had come to rest in the back of the net. Gazza hadn't actually started a game for 11 weeks prior to the semi-final against Arsenal, who were coasting to the title that season. Gary Lineker scored two further goals to send Spurs into the final, but it was the mercurial Geordie's contribution that is remembered.
No.32: 1982 - Bryan Robson's quickest- ever World Cup goal
Tommy Lawton and Bryan Robson each share the distinction of scoring two of the ten fastest England goals in history. Lawton's two came in consecutive matches, in the last match of one season and the first match of the next. Robson's effort against Yugoslavia in 1989 is the fastest England goal scored at Wembley. Whats more, his goal against France in 1982 is the fastest scored by England anywhere and the third fastest scored by any team in World Cup final tournament play! After only 27 seconds, Steve Coppell took a long throw in, Terry Butcher headed it on and an unmarked Robson volleyed it in at the far post. France managed an equaliser but another Robson goal handed the impetus back to England and a comfortable victory. For his quick-time achievement, Bryan received an inscribed gold watch, which he still occasionally wears.
No.33: 1984 - John Barnes produces Brazilian 'poetry in motion' at the Maracana
The 10th of June, 1984 will always be a day to remember for John Barnes, when he scored one of the most breath-taking individual goals ever seen. With England holding their own against Brazil in the Maracana and the game goalless, he received possession on the left wing just over the halfway line. An opponent challenged immediately but Barnes stepped inside and set off towards goal. On and on he went, diagonally towards the penalty area. A series of defenders came to meet him but John ignored them all. Finally, having sidestepped the keeper, there were no more challengers to beat and he rolled the ball into an empty net. Hed outpaced and out-thought several world class Brazilians to claim a goal that brought him worldwide fame but also a sense of heavy expectation, with unreasonable observers and supporters expecting him to produce moments like that on a match-by-match basis.
No.34: 1985 - Norman Whiteside saves Kevin Moran's blushes
Norman Whiteside first made FA Cup history when he became the youngest ever Cup Final goalscorer as United cruised past Brighton 4-0 in the 1983 replay. However, his most famous moment came two years later when United played the League champions Everton in the Final. The match finished 0-0 and, going into extra time reduced to ten men after Kevin Moran had become the first player to be sent off in an FA Cup Final, United were up against it. An Everton 'Double seemed more than likely. Norman had earlier scuffed a great chance from only 8 yards out but soon after he achieved the vital breakthrough. After 110 minutes of play, a fine pass from Mark Hughes saw Norman break with the ball on his own down the left wing. Everton had defenders back and it looked like he had nowhere left to go as he entered the box. Nonetheless, the Ulsterman produced a bit of magic and hit a magnificent curling shot from 20 yards which beat Everton keeper Neville Southall to his right post. Whiteside recalls: "I could see Neville hanging by this near post. I used the defender as a screen so Neville didn't have enough time to reach the ball."
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