The promise of goals is what brings fans to the whirlwind of excitement that is the Premier League, and throughout the competition’s near three decade existence we’ve been treated to some truly spectacular strikes.
English football was relaunched in the early 1990’s and grew rapidly into the sporting behemoth it has become, a whole host of exciting overseas imports adding glitz and glamour to the newly-formed division.
We’ve decided to revisit some of the best efforts of a nostalgic era with some glorious goals from first decade of the Premier League, here is our countdown of the Football Faithful’s 10 favourite nineties Premier League goals:
10. Muzzy Izzet v Tottenham
The Leicester midfielder was a popular figure during a six-year spell with the Foxes and became a firm fans’ favourite due to his penchant for the spectacular, playing a starring role as the East Midlands outfit punched above their weight to win two League Cups in the late nineties and early 2000s.
This stunning effort against Tottenham was a reminder of the quality possessed by the Turkey international, a wonderful exhibition of technique and power that left the goalkeeper grasping at nothing but thin air.
9. David Beckham v Wimbledon
The goal that launched David Beckham onto a path to superstardom, the young midfielder made national headlines following this wonderful goal on the opening day of the 1996/97 season.
Beckham had played his part in Manchester United‘s double-winning season the previous year, but this was arguably the moment that made the world sit up and take notice of a bright young talent.
There appeared little danger as the midfielder took possession just inside his own half, and there was perhaps only one person at Selhurst Park who envisaged what would come next.
"It changed my life. The ball seemed to be in the air for hours and it all went quiet… then the ball went in and it just erupted. I was on cloud nine."#OnThisDay in 1996, David Beckham scored that iconic goal against Wimbledon. pic.twitter.com/tzggpBfel1
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) August 17, 2020
With one swing of that wand of a right foot, Beckham launched an effort from inside his own half that flew over a backtracking Neil Sullivan, a strike so pure and one that is yet to be repeated with such skill.
No goalkeeping mistake or bouncing ball, just an execution of the sublime technique and unrivalled vision which would later come to define one of the best English players of a generation.
8. Rod Wallace v Tottenham
Football is no doubt a team game, but few things excite spectators more than a player taking matters into their own hands with an individual piece of brilliance.
Leeds United entered the inaugural Premier League season as champions of England but suffered a downturn in fortunes during the division’s first seasons, though in Rod Wallace they had a winger capable of match-winning moments.
Wallace won the league’s Goal of the Season accolade in 1993/94 courtesy of this solo effort, running from inside his own half and evading three challenges during a mazy dribble down the left-hand side before firing an unstoppable effort into the far corner.
Wallace’s brother, Danny, had won the Goal of the Season award whilst playing for Southampton 10 seasons earlier and Rod’s solo stunner saw the duo become the first – and so far only – brothers to win the award.
7. Gus Poyet v Sunderland
Chelsea’s cult team of the nineties was a side that retains a fondness for the club’s supporters, even given the wealth of success that has been brought to Stamford Bridge since the turn of the millennium.
Chelsea invested heavily in foreign talent with the likes of Gianfranco Zola, Gianluca Vialli and Ruud Gullit amongst the illustrious names to head to west London, the latter duo each enjoying spells as player-manager as the Blues developed into a successful cup side.
An entertaining side gave their fans a moment to remember on the opening day of the 1999/2000 season, with Zola and Gus Poyet combining in superb style to score this effort against Sunderland.
Zola hooks a long ball out of the air and pivots to find himself some space, before pausing momentarily as he awaits Poyet’s galloping run into the penalty area.
The Italian lifts a delightful scooped effort into the onrushing midfielder, who without breaking stride lashes an acrobatic scissor-kick into the top corner in a strike of sheer beauty.
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) November 13, 2017
6. Eric Cantona v Sunderland
Arguably amongst the defining images of the decade but only enough to rank sixth on our list, Eric Cantona stands as the most influential footballer of the Premier League’s opening seasons.
Cantona’s transfer from Leeds to Manchester United would have a seismic impact on English football as the forward became the catalyst for a dominant period of success at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman inspired the Red Devils to four league titles in five seasons and twice won Player of the Year accolades, producing a number of magical moments including this iconic chip against Sunderland.
Cantona manoeuvres his way out of traffic on the half-way line with some clever footwork before driving forward into the Sunderland half and playing a one-two with Brian McClair, receiving the ball back just inside the penalty area.
He pauses, before lifting an audacious chipped finish over the goalkeeper and standing still to lap up the adulation of the home crowd.
A famous goal, and even more famous celebration.
5. Dalian Atkinson v Wimbledon
The inaugural winner of the Premier League’s Goal of the Season award, the late Dalian Atkinson will always be remembered for this sensational solo effort against Wimbledon.
Atkinson perhaps never fulfilled his potential but at his best was a formidable forward, this goal encapsulating the best of the player at his rampaging best, picking the ball up deep inside the Villa half before embarking on an incredible individual effort.
Strength, speed and skill, his driving run saw him turn away from one player before surging past two further Wimbledon challenges, dribbling from deep inside his own half past a number of helpless opposition defenders.
Approaching the edge of the penalty area he still had it all to do, but had the composure and quality to execute a delightful chipped finish over the helpless Hans Seger.
4. Dennis Bergkamp v Leicester
One of the biggest overseas stars of the division’s first decade, Dennis Bergkamp overcame a difficult start at Arsenal to become one of the greatest players in the north London side’s history.
Bergkamp was signed by Bruce Rioch but it was under Arsene Wenger where he thrived, with his performance against Leicester in the first weeks of the Frenchman’s first full season in charge living long in the memory.
Bergkamp scored a breathtaking hat-trick in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Filbert Street – widely recognised as the greatest treble in the division’s history – the third of which ranks fourth on this list of great nineties goals.
The goal was the Dutchman at his technical best, cushioning a diagonal ball from David Platt with effortless brilliance on his right foot, flicking the ball past the wrong-footed Matt Elliott with his left, before steadying himself to fire past Kasey Keller in goal.
Dennis Bergkamp scores a magnificent hat-trick against Leicester City, 1997. pic.twitter.com/HUqPvsDBIH
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) July 13, 2020
3. Matt Le Tissier v Newcastle
Few players have brought the fun factor to the Premier League more than Matt Le Tissier, a footballer who played the game in his own unique and mesmerising way.
In truth, Le Tissier could probably feature on this list several times over, but we’ve opted for this genius effort against Newcastle that showcased the showmanship that made the forward a Premier League icon.
A misguided header falls behind the Southampton star who improvises by flicking the ball forward with his heel, before a second touch takes him past one challenge and a third lifts the ball over the head of the bewildered Kevin Scott.
As the ball drops out of the sky he nonchalantly rolls the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper, a glorious effort wrapped perfectly in instinct and ingenuity.
Great Goals:Matt Le Tissier vs Newcastle United, 1993pic.twitter.com/aGGNsrJz5h
— Classic Football Shirts (@classicshirts) July 22, 2017
2. Tony Yeboah v Wimbledon
There are some things that just go together hand in hand, an iconic association that will never be broken.
Examples include salt and pepper, Ant and Dec and, of course, Tony Yeboah and Premier League thunder bastards.
The Ghana international remains one of the most memorable players of the nineties following an explosive two-year spell at Leeds, scoring 32 goals in just 66 appearances with many of a spectacular nature.
Yeboah became the first player in history to win consecutive Goal of the Month awards during the 1995/96 season for efforts against Liverpool and Wimbledon, the latter being announced as the finest of the Premier League campaign.
Taking a headed clearance on his chest, the forward juggled the ball forward before feinting past some rather hopeless defending. Whilst Wimbledon’s defensive play may have lacked quality, the execution of Yeboah’s finish certainly did not – hitting a thunderous effort that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.
Nothing fancy today lads, just Tony Yeboah shitpinging one in off the underside of the crossbar! 💥 pic.twitter.com/N6pxjEmrKP
— The Football Faithful (@FootyFaithfuI) February 3, 2021
1. Tony Yeboah v Liverpool
Whilst Yeboah’s Wimbledon wonder-goal may have won the Premier League’s Goal of the Season accolade, we’ve chosen his earlier effort against Liverpool as our favourite from the nineties.
Leeds hosted Liverpool in a televised Monday night fixture, one which was lit up in stunning style by the Ghanaian whose thumping strike will live long in the memory.
The diminutive Rod Wallace won an aerial battle against the Liverpool defence with his header dropping invitingly out of the night sky to the lurking Yeboah, whose violent volley flew past David James and in off the underside of the crossbar.
No montage of great Premier League goals would ever be complete without an inclusion of the thunderbastard king, Yeboah’s sumptuous strike our nineties number one.
Our Nineties or Noughties goal of the day👊
— 90's Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) March 27, 2019