Football fans will all have different preferences on their favourite types of goals, but few will argue that there is a unique exhilaration from witnessing a sensational solo effort.
In a sport where the importance of the team is paramount, there undoubtedly remains a thrill of watching a player express the self-confidence to take matters into their own hands.
We’ve decided to recognise some of the Premier League’s most memorable individual goals, a stellar collection of rampaging runs, daring dribbles and stunning solo slaloms.
Here are 10 of the greatest solo goals in Premier League history:
Dalian Atkinson – Wimbledon v ASTON VILLA (1992)
Dalian Atkinson was a player who perhaps failed to deliver on his true potential during his career in English football, taking in spells at the likes of Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa.
Atkinson was in the midst of a four-year spell with the latter as the newly-formed Premier League began in the early nineties, with the forward producing a moment of magic in the division’s inaugural season that will see him forever remembered fondly.
Picking up the ball inside his own half, Atkinson’s perfect first touch took him away from the first defender before embarking on a sensational solo run into the Wimbledon half.
Surging past two further opposition challenges, his pace and power were evident in addition to flawless close control. Approaching the edge of the penalty area he still had it all to do, however, but after pausing momentarily, executed a delightful chipped finish over the helpless Hans Seger.
The effort saw Atkinson awarded the Goal of the Season award during the Premier League’s first ever season, and remains one of the division’s greatest individual efforts almost three decades later.
Podcast – 90’s Football Hall of Fame: Aston Villa cult hero Dalian Atkinson
Matt Le Tissier – SOUTHAMPTON v Newcastle (1993)
Both a great goalscorer and scorer of great goals, Le Tissier’s collection of Premier League stunners is one few in the division’s entire history can match.
The talismanic forward spent his entire career at his beloved Southampton and rescued the club from relegation on several occasions, his penchant for the spectacular evident during a glittering career spent on the South Coast.
Perhaps no game captured the talents of ‘Le Tiss’ better than a clash against Newcastle in October 1993, the Guernsey-born star producing two breathtaking moments of magic to secure a vital victory for the struggling Saints at The Dell.
Le Tissier’s brace included two Goal of the Season contenders, but it is his first individual moment of brilliance which earns his inclusion on this feature.
The goal was peak Le Tissier, four touches of genius resulting in one of the Premier League’s most iconic goals. Controlling a header from Iain Dowie with his heel, the forward flicked the ball ahead of him as to not halt his momentum, before committing Barry Venison and evading him with a second touch.
His third touch saw Le Tissier audaciously flick the ball over the head of Kevin Scott, before keeping his composure to roll the ball home past goalkeeper Mike Hooper and score one of the league’s greatest goals.
Rod Wallace – LEEDS v Tottenham (1994)
Wallace formed part of the Leeds side who were crowned champions in the final pre-Premier League season, before establishing himself as a key figure for the Yorkshire side during the initial seasons of the rebranded division.
An exciting forward talent capable of beating players with ease, Wallace showcased the best of his pace and dribbling abilities with a brilliant effort against Tottenham at Elland Road in 1994.
Picking the ball up inside his own half, the forward evades three challenges during a mazy dribble down the left-hand side, driving forward before curling an unstoppable effort into the far corner.
The goal saw Wallace awarded the Goal of the Season accolade 10 seasons after brother Danny had claimed the prize whilst playing for Southampton, the duo becoming the first – and so far only – brothers to win the award.
Georgi Kinkladze – MANCHESTER CITY v Southampton (1996)
Long before the wealth of global stars and riches associated with the Manchester City of today, came a diminutive Georgian footballer who would make quite the impression on the blue half of a football obsessed city.
Kinkladze arrived as an unheralded signing at Maine Road but quickly won the hearts of the City supporters, his sublime natural talent and unrivalled dribbling ability delighting English football crowds and making him a firm fans’ favourite.
Capable of travelling at great pace with the ball under perfect control, Kinkladze’s jinking style and acceleration led to one of the great solo goals in Premier League history against Southampton in 1996.
Cutting inside from the right, Kinkladze evaded four challenges as he weaved his way into opposition territory, before sitting Dave Beasent down and executing a delightful chipped finish over the despairing goalkeeper.
It was a moment of magic from a player who remains a cult hero at Manchester City, the little Georgian who showed glimpses of genius during a memorable spell in English football.
Podcast – 90’s Football Hall of Fame: Man City cult hero Georgi Kinkladze
On this day in 1996 Georgi Kinkladze scored this. What a goal! pic.twitter.com/WGtX5FRMmB
— Classic Football (@ClassicFootbaIl) March 16, 2019
Thierry Henry – ARSENAL v Tottenham (2002)
One of the Premier League’s greatest players scoring one of the division’s great solo goals, Henry chose the occasion of a north London derby to produce a piece of individual inspiration for Arsenal.
The French forward picked the ball up deep inside his own half, before showing his strength to shrug off a challenge from Matthew Etherington and launch a counter-attack for the Gunners.
Henry reigned as the best player in the Premier League for much of his eight-year career at Arsenal, and this solo effort against Spurs seemed to showcase him at his very best; pace, power and nerveless finishing ability.
The visitors defence seemed almost afraid to challenge the marauding star as he approached the edge of the penalty area, Henry sidestepping a feeble challenge from Stephen Carr, before taking another touch to steady himself and fire low past Kasey Keller.
The goal earned Henry the Goal of the Season accolade, in a campaign which also saw the Arsenal number 14 win a PFA Player’s Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year double.
Ruud van Nistelrooy – MANCHESTER UNITED v Fulham (2003)
Ruud van Nistelrooy is regarded as one of the most prolific goalscorers of the Premier League era following a goal-laden five-year spell at Manchester United, though the Dutchman is often remembered as a ruthless finisher who did the majority of his best work inside the opposition penalty area.
The former Netherlands international showed there was much more to his game with a stunning goal against Fulham in 2003, however, picking the ball up in the centre circle before heading towards the west Londoner’s goal.
Van Nistelrooy left a mass of white shirts in his wake as he charged into opposition territory, beating five Fulham defenders before cooly slotting the ball home to delight a then-record Premier League crowd at Old Trafford.
The forward’s goal was his second of a clinical hat-trick, a fine moment in a campaign that saw Van Nistelrooy win the league title in addition to the Premier League’s Golden Boot and Player of the Season award.
Hatem Ben Arfa – NEWCASTLE v Bolton (2012)
Sometimes a player comes along who possesses such outrageous natural ability that fans are often left scratching their heads at a comparative lack of achievement.
Hatem Ben Arfa is one such star who unquestionably fits this criteria, the flamboyant Frenchman fitting into a sub-category of Premier League players that ‘the streets will never forget’.
Ben Arfa’s natural talents perhaps belonged at the world’s best but his attitude and application have prevented the attacker reaching his full potential, glimpses of which were shown during four-year spell at Newcastle.
The winger scored some truly sensational solo goals during his time at St James’ Park, including this beauty against Bolton in 2012. Turning brilliantly inside his own half, Ben Arfa carries the ball past four desperate challenges from the visitors before poking the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Eden Hazard – CHELSEA v Arsenal (2017)
Eden Hazard’s decision to leave the Premier League for Real Madrid last summer saw English football lose one of its most talented and exciting players, the Belgian having starred for Chelsea during seven trophy-laden seasons at Stamford Bridge.
Few players in the league’s history have possessed the winger’s ability to beat players with apparent ease, Hazard producing some special moments throughout his time in west London.
Arguably the star’s greatest goal came in a London derby against Arsenal three years ago, however, an individual moment of quality that showcased Hazard at his very best.
Collecting a knock-down in the centre-circle, Hazard skipped past a challenge of Laurent Koscielny before demonstrating his deceptive strength to shrug off a challenge from Francis Coquelin, leaving the midfielder face down in the turf in the process.
Faced again with the retreating Koscielny, Hazard beat the French defender once more before firing home, helping eventual champions Chelsea to a 3-1 victory with a magnificent solo effort.
Son-Heung Min – TOTTENHAM v Burnley (2019)
This feature has seen some sensational solo runs but perhaps none have been quite as coast-to-coast as Son Heung-Min’s effort for Tottenham earlier this season.
The South Korean international has delighted fans in north London for several seasons with his dribbling skills and genuine goal threat, which all came together in stunning style against Burnley last December.
Picking the ball up on the edge of his own penalty area, Son proceeded to sprint the entire length of the pitch at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, leaving no less than eight Burnley defenders in his wake before firing home.
Son described the effort as ‘the best goal of my life’ following a thumping 5-0 win for Jose Mourinho’s side, and it is difficult to argue with the goalscorers verdict.
Jordan Ayew – CRYSTAL PALACE v West Ham (2019)
The most recent inclusion on this list and arguably the very best.
Jordan Ayew has become somewhat of a talismanic figure for Crystal Palace this season, the 28-year-old scoring a succession of winning goals including this last-minute intervention against West Ham at Selhurst Park in December.
We just can't get enough of this Jordan Ayew goal 🤩#PLonPrime @CPFC pic.twitter.com/Q6weGOHhlw
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 28, 2019
Roy Hodgson’s side have struggled for goals this season and were heading towards another home draw on Boxing Day, only for their Ghanian international to produce a goal of quite ridiculous skill.
Cutting inside from the right-wing, Ayew danced through the West Ham defence with a pirouette and quick change of direction, ghosting past three defenders before executing a chipped finish of the highest quality.
The stoppage-time stunner sealed three points for Palace in sensational style, a goal that will live long in the memory of all Eagles fans.
Read – Remembering every 90’s BBC Goal of the Season winner
Read Also – Remembering every noughties BBC Goal of the Season winner