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Strikes of the season

As the 2018-19 English Premier League comes to a close, Patriot takes a look at the 10 best goals of the season

The English Premier League 2018-19 season came to a close on Sunday, May 12, with Manchester City lifting the trophy for the second consecutive season.

In terms of goal scored, 2018-19 has been the most prolific season of all time with 1,072 goals from 380 matches – 2.82 goals per game on an average — thus surpassing the previous best of 1,066 goals in 2011/12 season. However, here we choose 10 best goals of this campaign – a very difficult task at hand given the fact that there was at least one world class goal every week.

10) Andre Schurrle (Fulham) vs Burnley

Fulham have had a disastrous campaign, having been relegated to the Championship. But former Chelsea winger Andre Schurrle’s goal vs Burnley was perhaps the greatest moment of their campaign. A minute after the game had kicked off, Joe Bryan collected the ball at left-wing back, and then passed it to Denis Odoi via Tim Ream and Maxis Le Marchand. Odoi then gave a long ball towards the goal, hoping someone would catch it.

Schurrle, at this point of time was behind Odoi, and he somehow made and incredible run through the defence and midfield on the right, and managed to pluck the ball out of the air with his feet at the right end of the penalty box. In a matter of seconds, the German cushioned the ball down perfectly, and then allowed the ball to bounce twice, following which he adjusted his body shape and shot with his right foot towards goal. The ball raced powerfully, hit the top right corner of the goal, and produced a beauty of a goal in just the second minute of the match. Fulham, however, lost the game 1-2.

9) Andreas Perreira (Manchester United) vs Southampton

Fifty-two minutes of the match was gone, and Manchester United were trailing Southampton at Old Trafford -0-1. The Red Devils needed something to go in favour of them to turn the match around. They needed an equalizer, and boy did they get one courtesy Brazil midfielder Andreas Perreira.

After a long ball from the defence was received by Diogo Dalot, he made a brilliant run forward with the ball, and played a spectacular one-two pass with Romelu Lukaku. He then passed the ball to Perreira. Perreira made a cautious run, and as he looked up he saw a horde of Southampton players defending the goal in front of him. Luke Shaw was ahead of him on his left and he looked to pass the ball to him. But then he decided to go for it himself, as he hit the ball from 25 yards out of the box — and boom it went past the keeper after a curling shot. United equalized and then went on to win the game 3-2.

8) Yan Valery (Southampton) vs Manchester United

Before Andreas Perreira scored that peach of a shot, the first goal of the match was scored by Southampton right back 19-year-old Yan Valery.

In the 26th minute, when both sides were desperately looking for a goal, Nathan Redmond made an impressive run after dribbling the ball past Scott McTominay and Ashley Young. He then passed on the ball to striker Charlie Austin, who then passed it on to Valeryin the right wing, as there were no United players on his side. Valery received it with a decent first touch, and then with Luke Shaw approaching him to take the ball away, he shot at goal with only his second touch from out wide; it hit David De Gea’s gloves and the powerful shot ended at the back of the net. And believe it or not, this was the young Frenchman’s first goal for the Saints, and what a debut goal to have!

7) Roberto Pereyra (Watford) vs Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town were at the bottom of the Premier League table and were looking to register their first Premier League win of the season. The first few minutes passed, and Huddersfield looked the much better team, creating chance after chance against a formidable Watford side.

But as they say, it takes a moment of individual brilliance to turn the game on its head. In the 10th minute, after receiving a pass from Adam Masina, the Argentine winger made a run from the left wing to the goal after making a cut. In the process, he dribbled past two Huddersfield player and entered the box as he was surrounded by opponents. But that didn’t stop him. He kept the ball at his feet and then dribbled past three more players, as he put the ball past the goalkeeper after a terrific showing of individual skill and control.

6) Heung Min Son (Tottenham Hotspurs) vs Chelsea

This game was a statement made by Spurs that they deserve to be at the top four, with a thumping win over PL giants Chelsea. And the statement was made even louder by that goal from Heung Min Son.

Delle Alli received the ball and then made a brilliant pass to the South Korean on the right wing. And then followed the magic of the Spurs no. 7. Son, ran like a cheetah on the right wing, first dribbling past Jorginho as he crossed the halfway line. His pace didn’t seem to die down, with Jorginho still chasing him. However, he didn’t catch him, as he made a turn towards the goal from the sideline, dribbling past David Luiz in the process. Facing the side of the goal post, Son hit a grounded shot towards the far bottom corner while still sprinting, and Spurs were up 3-0. They call him the best Asian player for reason.

5) Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) vs Fulham

The general perception is that a substitute takes time to adjust to the tempo of the game once he comes on to the field. Not applicable for Arsenal veteran Aaron Ramsey though.

Ramsey was near the right back position when he received the ball from Bellerin, as he lobbed the ball to Lacazette, who then played a one-two with the Welsh midfielder. Ramsey then again cleverly chipped the ball to Lacazette, who gave an absolutely sublime one-touch lob pass to Bellerin on the right wing, as the play moved towards the Fulham goal. Bellerin then again played a back heel on his first touch to Ramsey’s head, who on the second touch gave a short-headed pass to Henrich Mkhitaryan on his left, who then on his first touch through passed the ball to Aubameyang, who was making a run from the left flank. He then crossed the ball to Ramsey, who had made a run in the centre of the penalty area. Ramsey, on his first touch, played a cheeky back heel, to complete a stunning team goal, just 38 seconds after he came on the pitch.

4) Eden Hazard (Chelsea) vs West Ham

From a team goal, to a showcase of individual skill. West Ham had made life difficult for the blues, and it was up to the Belgian magician to do something about it. When he received the ball 35 yards from the goal, his back was facing the goal.

With one short backheel touch, he turned towards goal, and then in typical Hazard fashion made a sudden acceleration as he dashed towards goal. He ran past Mark Noble and Decklan Rice, before they even knew what happened. He then dribbled past Ogbonna and Balbuena with frantic pace and ease, before firing past the goalkeeper from 15 yards out. He made the West Ham defence look like schoolkids, when all other players were struggling to find the back of the net.

3) Mohammad Salah (Liverpool) vs Chelsea

In the return leg vs Chelsea at Anfield, Liverpool were in for their most crucial match of the year, for this was the same venue where Steven Gerrard slipped and cost them the PL title in 2013. However, Liverpool’s main man Mohammed Salah, ensured that won’t happen again.

After receiving a beautiful long range ball from Virgil Van Dijk on the right wing, Salah looked up to see the distance of the goal from the spot he received the ball. He then cut in, with his second touch, dribbling past Emerson in the process, and then hit the ball from 25 yards out on the right with his left foot. The ball then curled in and rocketed past as it hit the far-right corner of the post. Liverpool won the game 2-0 and made the title race even more interesting.

2) Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) vs Manchester City

“One of the goals of the season, in one of the games of the season”, commentators describe as Crystal Palace defeated eventual champions Manchester City 3-2 at the King Palace stadium.

Patrick Van Aanholt received a free kick opportunity about 35 yards past goal. His shot was an absolute beauty as it dipped towards goal, when Jon Stones made a superb clearance with his head. Bernardo Silva then received the ball and cleared it outside the penalty area, hoping the danger was over. But from out of nowhere Andros Townsend just came right outside the penalty area where the ball was about to land. While the ball was still in the air, the Englishman struck it with a rocket of a volley, as the ball jetted past the City keeper into the back of the net. Unbelievable strike!

1) Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) vs Leicester City

Leicester City had maintained a tight grip on Manchester City throughout the match, as Liverpool were ahead of the citizens in the title race at this point of time, and there were 20 minutes left in the game to salvage a goal and propel City in the drivers’ seat.

And who better to step up to such an occasion than the Captain himself? As Aymeric  Laporte’s pass reached Vincent Kompany’s foot some 30 yards out of the goal. And he decided to go for it. With a superb strike from that far out, the ball curled away past Kasper Schmeichel, as it rocketed past the net, to score what is our goal of the season. Townsend’s goal was more aesthetically pleasing, but this takes the cake just because of its importance in handing City the winners’ medals, and also the fact that it was scored not by a striker, but by a traditional centerback who has just scored 18 goals in 11 years for City.