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Top 10 Most Memorable Goals From Top Flight English Football

We all have different memories, but when it comes to memories of the best goals ever scored in English top flight football, do most of us recall the same goals or not? And are these goals part of all of our conscious memories because we rate them so highly or because we’ve seen the goals replayed over and over again on any highlights package?

While conducting research for this article, I came across goals that I hadn’t seen in decades but stand out as better than some of the ones listed in my top ten. But because I didn’t remember them, until I saw them again – such as Glenn Hoddle’s goal for Tottenham against Manchester United in 1979 – they weren’t included in the list below.

The list is also skewed by featuring videos from my collective memory (I’m 41, so many goals pre-1970’s aren’t vivid in my mind) as well as what is available on YouTube (the newer videos are more readily available, that’s for sure).

Before going through the videos, I realize that out of the thousands that have been scored, I’ve missed many. I tried to limit the top 10 to those that are from either the Premier League or old First Division, but one or two from cup tournaments sneaked their way on to the list.

So let’s be havin’ you! Here’s my list of what I believe are the top 10 most memorable goals from top flight English club football. They’re not necessarily the top 10 best goals ever scored. Just those that are, for me, the most memorable.

10. Robin van Persie, Arsenal, September 30, 2006:

9. Matt Le Tissier, Southampton, October 24, 1993:

8. Thierry Henry, Arsenal, September 30, 2000

7. Denis Bergkamp, Arsenal, March 2, 2002

6. Alan Shearer, Newcastle United, December 1, 2002:

5. Justin Fashanu, Norwich City, February 9, 1980:

4. Ryan Giggs, Manchester United, April 14, 1999:

3. Tony Yeboah, Leeds United, September 23, 1995:

2. Eric Cantona, Manchester United, December 21, 1996:

1. Michael Thomas, Arsenal, May 26, 1989:

Honorable mentions:

Which ones did I miss that are memorable to you? If you can include a YouTube clip for it in the comments section below, that’s even better. And when making your suggestion, please be sure to tell us where you think it would rank in the top 10 and which goal should be removed to make room for your suggestion. Have fun!

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  1. Keeftron

    February 12, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Got to be Eddie Grays mesmerising dribble culminating in a shot that he placed into a six inches gap between golden and upright.

  2. Simon

    January 25, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Sorry – My boo – That Leeds United game DID have goals by Alan Clarke – 2 of them but the “playing with them” bit I mentioned did NOT lead to any of them – It was towards the end of the game where Leeds mad 50 odd passes down to the final whistle – Clarke’s first was a rather good culmination to a 1 touch, 5 pass move though and I STILL prefer THAT sort of goal to the brute force of a Yeboah every time…………………

  3. Simon

    January 25, 2011 at 1:54 am

    How about the TWO contenders from the Liverpool team last Saturday – Raul Meireles Exocet missile against Wolves and the 31 pass (I counted) move that Torres battered into the roof of the net to round off an authentic destruction job? That “death by 10,000 passes style goal” at the end is RIGHT up there as a proper FOOTBALLING goal with the 30 odd pass move that Argentina had finished off by Cambiasso in their 6 – 0 evisceration of Serbia in the 2006 World Cup and THAT type of goal is ALWAYS better as it involves holding onto (and playing with) the Football. Anyone can hit a rocket shot or do a backheel if they try but NOT any team can do that sort of thing as in the ‘passing’ goals. Just a thought mind.

    Also how about John Barnes’ slalom from his own half against Queens Park Rangers in Division 1 (the then Premier League) in October 1987? Or Gerrard’s ROCKET vs Middlesbrough in April 2005 which he hit from WAY out and which curled round up and over the keeper from full on 40 odd yards nearly? Then there’s Ian Rush’s lob at White Heart Lane to finish a 6 pass move in November 1990 where Molby lobs over the defence and then Rush chips the keeper as he comes out. Rush’s Thumping Volley at Villa Park in his hat-trick of January 1984 and Justin Fashanu’s ‘worldy’ where he flicked it up, twisted and volleyed OVER Ray Clemence’s head from 28 odd yards all in one movement in 1980 I think? So many to choose from but THOSE are a few of my favourites from both the recent AND the rather more distant past………………

    NB: One more I just remembered when Liverpool won 5 – 2 at Stamford Bridge in December 1989 – I think it was the 4th goal? Steve Mcmahon finished off a 7/8 pass one touch move at bewildering speed by lobbing the keeper in the ONLY part of the net he could score in. Breathtaking and an example of the type of one-touch passing you RARELY see from English Teams (or indeed the England team) nowadays – Now? Goals are all about power, pace and crossing – What happened to PASSING?

    NNB: Chris S? Not even close the Yeboah goal – Good but THE best Leeds goal ever? Was the one when they DESTROYED Southampton 7-0 in the early 70’s finished by Alan Clarke I think after a 24 odd pass move where in the words of Barry Davies at the time? “Leeds were quite simply playing with Southampton – It was almost cruelty”. Also re Liverpool? 4 more points 2 seasons ago and you WOULD have seen them win the league again and now with the man in charge who LAST won it for us and whose won MORE titles than ANY manager in the Premier League bar Ferguson? Whose to say it might NOT happen soon once more? Don’t forget – United once went 26 years without a title. They HAD to end that famine sometime – Just as the ONLY club on equal terms with them regarding size in England MUST and WILL end their own famine sooner rather than later – That club? Liverpool FC of course.

    NNNB: THE best goal I’ve seen ever? Has to be Terry Mcdermott’s diving header after a 9 pass move done at great speed when we vaporised Tottenham 7 – 0 in 1978 – there was NEVER a better goal (or team) than that. Liverpool had 68 points and 30 (!!) wins under the old “2 points for a win” system. Under the CURRENT system? That would be 98 points – NOTHING in the years since has come close to the Crushing domination of THAT side in the English league over either a 38, 40 OR a 42 game season – Not Liverpool themselves in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984 1986 OR 1988. Certainly not Liverpool in 1990 with their last title (with a team that won NINE less points than the side of 2 seasons ago winning the title with 78 points as compared to the 86 of 2009), not Leeds of 1992, United of 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997 OR 1999 – Certainly not the United’s of the 00’s and not even Chelsea of 2005 who got 95 points and were probably THE closest side I’ve seen to that Liverpool ‘machine’ in domination of the league (and they WERE a machine – they crushed, destroyed and outfootballed teams all in one go – THAT was what Rafa’ was trying to rebuild a few years back – I’d SWEAR that was his blueprint). That side is IMO THE club side of the 20th Century and they PROVED it by going on to win a hatful of further titles AND 2 European Cups as well.

  4. redskin

    January 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    there must be a place for the ricky villa f.a.cup final goal.

  5. Sam

    January 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    No Xabi Alonso 70 yard goal?

  6. Auslander

    January 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Xabi Alonso v Newcastle (2006-07)

  7. Chris S

    January 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Just to add, without wearing my Bolton cap. Eddie Gray’s wonder goal for Leeds vs Burnley on the 4th May 1970.

    Most Leeds fans consider this their best ever goal, and considering you’ve got that Tony Yeboah goal at No. 3, that’s saying something.

  8. baba marley

    January 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I am surprised that those Bergkamp gems against Leicester are not included.
    It looks like a tribute to some legends of premiership football rather than a genuine attempt to categorize the best goals in the EPL.
    Replay the Eric cantona goal and see how he gets lucky with the 3rd touch..he loses it and the defender is basically stupid …..I have seen Bergkamp score a dozen better chips.

    • The Gaffer

      January 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      Baba Marley, that’s precisely the point. The article isn’t meant to be a collection of the best goals, only the most memorable goals.

      The Gaffer

  9. Chris S

    January 13, 2011 at 11:32 am

    The Ryan Giggs goal was good, but if were gonna be pedantic then it shouldn’t count.

    Also there far to many goals from the Premier League era (post 1992), the league was formed in 1888.

    Though as a Bolton fan I must put forward Frank Worthington’s goal when playing for Bolton Wanderers v Ipswich Town on 21 April 1979, in the old First Division. Frank ended up the leagues top scorer that season with 24 goals.

    The 78-79 season was interesting as Liverpool won it and Chelsea finished bottom and were relegated, something you would never see nowadays.

  10. Andy C

    January 13, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Zola against Utd where he mugs off Dennis Irwin before slotting inside Schmiecal’s near post?

    Zola against Wimbledon in the FA Cup where he spins and then bangs it in at the far post?

    Zola backheel against Norwich in the FA Cup???

    What about the Di Canio volley? Or the magnificent Ian Wright one against Everton on the opening day of the season where he flips it over two defenders then smashes it past Neville Southall??

    All worthy top ten.

    • The Gaffer

      January 13, 2011 at 10:52 am

      The Zola backheel is mentioned in honorable mentions. The Di Canio volley is mentioned in the comments from other readers as a suggestion. As for the other ones, can you provide YouTube links so we can review? Thanks Andy.

      The Gaffer

  11. James

    January 13, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Can’t believe you’ve neglected Dalian Atkinson’s wonder goal for Villa against Wimbeldon. Arguably, what makes it so memorable is not just the run from his own half, but the celebration from the fans afterwards – most notably one Villa fan who runs onto the pitch with an umbrella and holds it over Dalian’s head as if to say, “That goal was so good, you don’t deserve to get wet”

    • The Gaffer

      January 13, 2011 at 7:17 am

      James, first time I’ve seen that one. It definitely is a beauty!

      The Gaffer

  12. Nate

    January 13, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Pedro Mendes 93′ goal in 2006 vs Man City that basically saved Portsmouth from relegation that season.

  13. King Eric

    January 13, 2011 at 2:11 am

    I know there are so many great goals and it’s hard to make the cut, but Rooney’s one time volley vs. Newcastle has to be up there as one of the best volleys along w/Shearer’s.

    • priyavrat

      January 13, 2011 at 2:20 am

      yes u are right i think u are saying the same volley that i am thinking…
      yes that was great volley, he fired it like a rocket from nowhere

  14. priyavrat

    January 13, 2011 at 2:00 am

    hey gaffer,
    you could also add beckham popular fee kick against greece……

  15. Red20

    January 13, 2011 at 1:22 am

    Danny Rose is just tough to beat imo. His location, the ball moving quickly, and then the quality of the strike is just crazy. Then when you consider it’s his debut and it goes over the top for me.

    • Phenoum

      January 13, 2011 at 10:29 am

      And where is this brilliant talent now? havent heard of him

      • Sam

        January 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

        must be a gooner fan complaining about every spurs goal, get over it!

  16. Sam

    January 13, 2011 at 12:07 am

    personal most memourable
    david bentley vs arsenal in the 4 4 tie
    danny rose last year vs arsenal
    and hmm van the van vs everton

    • Phenoum

      January 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

      hrm – i wonder what @#$ of a side you support?

      • Sam

        January 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

        spurs if you couldnt guess, and to me spurs goals are usually most memorable, i was gonna place croucies header that put us in the cl on the list as well

  17. find it yourself

    January 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    georgi kinkladze v Southampton At Maine Rd just watch it

  18. Bentley

    January 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    My personal favourite was Wayne Rooney’s spectacular strike v Newcastle United. This goal came out of nowhere with a rather poor performance up until the shot. Rooney about to be substituted, half-injured and arguing with the ref. i was sitting at the Stretford end(probably on the receiving end of a steel tipped dart thrown at my head) when the ball just about set the net of fire. The Stretford end included.

    Ahh, i remember as though it were yesterday…

    • Kal

      January 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      If I am remembering correctly he had a dead left leg when he hit that and was substituted afterwards.

  19. trickybrkn

    January 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I may be bias but

    Paulo di Canio
    a better goal I have never seen.

  20. Smokey Bacon

    January 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Le Tissier, what a player! Too good for England.

  21. Leon

    January 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Amr Zaki v. Liverpool bests most of those.

  22. Steve

    January 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm

  23. craig martin

    January 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I would have thought Steven Gerrard’s goal in the 2006 FA Cup Final had to be in there. All of 30 yards to give Liverpool the equaliser (of course they went on to win) just as the ground announcer was saying, “there will be 4 minutes of additional time”.

    A legendary goal if ever there was one.

  24. EastTerracer

    January 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I don’t think Freddy Adu’s uncle is the same Tony Yeboah who played for Leeds – he certainly looks a different man in the photo at the link below.

    • Dave C

      January 13, 2011 at 10:10 am

      I did some internet research, and it turns out you’re right – his uncle just happens to have the same name. It was just an internet rumor that they were related.

  25. Dave C

    January 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I remember Tony Yeboah had a hot-streak for scoring those kind of goals. I believe he scored another long range volley in the same match against Wimbledon, and another against Liverpool a few weeks before or after that. I remember playing kick-arounds in the park, and when anyone would try a crazy long range volley, it would be known as a Yeboah.

    For any Americans who don’t know already, Yeboah is Freddy Adu’s uncle. Must suck for Adu: after all that early hype, he’s not even the best footballer in his family.

    Dennis Bergkamp also went through a hot spell of scoring a lot of highlight-reel goals.

  26. Chris

    January 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    C. Ronaldo’s backheel
    Watch close as it is also a nutmeg.

    • jseabold

      January 12, 2011 at 11:50 pm

      I’ll see your backheel and raise you one by Henry.

      • Phenoum

        January 13, 2011 at 10:25 am

        Indeed – and Henry’s is from a harder angle and is also a nutmeg 🙂

        PS – C Ronaldo has NO class – shame his skill went to such an arse of a man

  27. [OPTI] Madschester United

    January 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    The greatest player (not person!) to ever grace the Premier League – Ronaldo – was not able to make the top 10 (his freekick goal against Portsmouth is just one such goal that comes to mind)… and where was Zola? How did Arsenal manage to populate this list with 4 entries… How about Torres?

    Surely you are only human, Gaffer, but that #1 goal was not very good by the standard set by other 9 entries. It required a lucky bounce to get through Pool defense.

    Nice try with the top 10 list.

    • Alex

      January 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      you do realise #1 was in the last minute of the title deciding game with Arsenal needing to score to win the title? That’s what makes it memorable, which is the idea of the article. I do agree that ronaldo vs portsmouth and torres vs blackburn should be on there somewhere, but a great list nonetheless

    • The Gaffer

      January 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      Zola is included in the honorable mentions.

      The Gaffer

  28. Phenoum

    January 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Henry’s goal should’ve been higher – back to goal. Flick up + top corner without a sight of the goal is magnificent

  29. Phillip Badger

    January 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Way too much united and arsenal on there!

    How about Glenn Hoddle v Watford, 1983:

    • The Gaffer

      January 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      Phillip, that Hoddle one was superb. And I saw it again last night when researching the article (I hadn’t seen it in almost 30 years). Which of the 10 goals would you recommend removing to make room for the Hoddle one against Watford?

      The Gaffer

      • Phillip Badger

        January 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

        I’d take out the Michael Thomas one, simply because it was a timely goal, not a great goal in comparison with the others. All the others are great goals (i.e. phenomonal skill) that stand up by themselves as great goals.

        I’d also add Paolo di Canio’s karate kick:

        not sure what I’d take out though.

  30. John

    January 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Wasn’t the Giggs goal in the FA Cup?

    • The Gaffer

      January 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Correct John. It was the 1999 FA Cup Semi-Final. I sneaked that one in there since it was so good.

      The Gaffer

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