From Wayne Rooney to Xabi Alonso, there have been some spectacular long range goals in the history of the Premier League.
23 years ago, David Beckham launched himself into superstardom with a wondrous long range effort against Wimbledon in the Premier League.
The right-sided midfielder picked up the ball near the centre circle and, with nothing else going on in front of him, spotted the goalkeeper was off his line and had a go from the halfway line.
Beckham on that goal vs Wimbledon: “It was great scoring the goal but nothing compared to Eric saying; What a goal!” pic.twitter.com/cTRVnq64Ct
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) October 13, 2019
The game was dead by that point, as Manchester United were already leading the Dons through goals from Eric Cantona and Denis Irwin, so Becks wasn’t risking much by having a pop from that distance. But the reward was more than he could have possibly imagined.
“That moment was the start of it all: the attention, the press coverage, the fame,” he wrote in his autobiography, My Side. “When my foot struck that ball, it kicked open the door to the rest of my life.”
It also made goals from the halfway line more mainstream, as if they were more attainable now rather than mythical, nonsense shots at nothing beforehand. It didn’t quite start a trend, but it definitely kicked open a door of another kind.
Five of the best long-range goals in Premier League history:
Wayne Rooney – Everton 4-0 West Ham – 29 November 2017
There’s a lot to love about this one. The goalkeeper clearing the ball into an area he absolutely should not have. The way the ball moves through the air after Rooney drives it through the laces. And best of all, Angelo Ogbonna trying to stop the ball going into the goal with his outstretched arm. Elite.
Matt Phillips – Crystal Palace 3-1 QPR – 14 March 2015
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 15, 2019
Not the most consistent of players, but Matt Phillips turned it on, boy could he put on a clinic. As evidenced by this 45-yard screamer he scored for QPR against Crystal Palace. It was a meaningless consolation goal in the end, but no one cares about that really.
Matthew Taylor – Portsmouth 2-0 Everton – 9 December 2006
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 4, 2018
Matty Taylor could probably lay claim to more than one spot on this list, but his goal against Everton 13 years ago was probably his most spectacular. The ball teed up in the air just perfectly for the Portsmouth man so he could get the sweetest of connections on the volley. Goalkeeper Tim Howard never stood a chance and remained rooted to the ground as it flew past him.
Stiliyan Petrov – Derby County 0-6 Aston Villa – 12 April 2008
The look on Roy Carroll’s face after Stiliyan Petrov scores here says it all. It’s the look of a man who knows he’s messed up. His clearance falls straight to the Bulgarian, who punishes a goalkeeper who’s conceded enough goals to last a lifetime that season. But to be fair to the Northern Irishman, Petrov’s swerving shot goes into the furthest possible spot away from him. Say a prayer for poor Roy.
Xabi Alonso – Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle – 20 September 2006
A memorable strike against today's opponents… 👀
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 26, 2018
Long-range goals and Xabi Alonso in 2006 go together like Nutella and breadsticks. Following the Spaniard’s 70 yarder for Liverpool against Luton Town in the FA Cup earlier in the year, the midfielder repeated the trick with an even more impressive strike from a similar distance against Newcastle United in the league. To make matters worse for Steve Harper, the goalkeeper slips in front of the Anfield crowd as the ball flies into the goal, adding insult to injury.
- Charlie Adam (Stoke City) vs Chelsea, 2015.
- Maynor Figueroa (Wigan) vs Stoke City, 2009.
- Matthew Taylor (Portsmouth) vs Sunderland, 2005.
- Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) vs West Ham, 2014.
See Also: Premier League Team of the Decade