This past weekend, we saw one of the all-time great goals not just in the Premier League but arguably in the history of the beautiful game full-stop, leaving football fans debating where Alejandro Garancho’s worldie ranks among the best overhead kicks of all time.
For anyone who somehow missed the goal of the season — and yes, barring truly extraordinary circumstances, the competition is almost certainly over — the Man United starlet proved exactly why Reds are so excited about him, scoring just his first league goal of the year in mind-blowing fashion.
Erik ten Hag‘s side went on to win the game 3-0 despite Everton staying in the game and creating a lot of chances throughout, but such a scoreline could never have been achieved were it not for the 19-year-old’s truly remarkable strike.
Less than three minutes into the game, a whipped cross from Diogo Dalot saw the young Argentine leap and wrap his foot around the fast-paced ball to place what will probably go down as the greatest finish of his career into the far right corner. Incredible.
It doesn’t matter who you support, you can’t help but get chills witnessing moments like that.
As Gary Neville and Roy Keane said on the night, the acrobatic leap was like “nothing else” and the best they’ve ever seen, with Chris Sutton insisting it is without a doubt “the greatest overhead kick of all time”, but naturally fans can’t but weigh it up against similar screamers from the past.
While it was undoubtedly a bigger goal, being the winner in a Manchester derby, Keane said in the post-match on Sunday that Garnacho‘s technique was more impressive and “cleaner” than its predecessor — not the first time Rooney’s finish has been dubbed ‘the greatest shin-roller of all time’.
And, obviously, the next great contemporary Garnacho’s wondergoal was compared against is Cristiano Ronaldo’s overhead kick for Real Madrid in the 2017/18 Champions League quarter-finals against Juventus.
The fact that the current United man emulated his sporting hero by copying the former club legend’s well-known ‘Siu!’ celebration definitely helped put CR7‘s incredible leap from five years ago in mind, but for many Garnacho’s is now their favourite of the two.
Once again, undoubtedly a bigger goal than one of three in any old league game at Goodison Park and still unreal technique, but the fact that Garnacho’s was further out and he had to stray back a few yards before jumping also seems to be a factor.
It’s also worth reminding that Ronaldo pulled his off at the age of 33. Who do you reckon did it better?
Speaking of belters scored by former Real Madrid players and Premier League legends, while there are obviously several more strikes of a similar fashion that have been scored down the years, the final spot in the ‘overhead kicks top four’ is Gareth Bale’s stunner in the Champions League final.
Blasted home in the same season as his Madrid teammate, goals don’t come much bigger than an overhead kick in a UCL final and we still think about this one regularly and how weird it is that it was scored by a man who wholeheartedly admits that he prefers golf to football.
This one seems to be the real sticking point on social media as not only is it the bigger and better goal purely based on the nature of the game it came in but because the technique and distance were also similarly impressive from Wales’ greatest-ever player.
While some are arguing that the build-up sequence that led to Garnacho’s overhead kick was better than Bale’s, we really can’t pick a favourite at this point and this is only from a handful of the most immediate examples that come to mind.
Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt slams Wigan Athletic player for post-match celebrations
Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt has criticised Wigan Athletic following their 1-0 loss away at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night, with a player from the home team’s celebrations sparking a bit of a coming together on the pitch.
Understandably rumbling not only the away support but the players on the pitch, it wasn’t long before individuals began confronting each other, including both Evatt and Latics boss Shaun Maloney, with multiple club staff and match officials needed to separate people and calm things down.
Addressing the furious finish to the game, Evatt said, “We just won’t accept one of their players celebrating in front of our fans” and was also quick to remind the home side that there is quite a gulf between the two sides in the table.
“It’s not acceptable — go and celebrate with your own fans, no problem with that, don’t celebrate in front of ours”, Evatt continued, adding: “You certainly shouldn’t be celebrating when you’re mid-table, that’s what I think”.
Bolton sit joint second in League One on 66 points with an extra game in hand on Derby County above them; meanwhile, the Tics are currently in 13th place having played one more game than their fierce rivals, though they have taken all six points from their two meetings this season.
The 42-year-old head coach went on to admit that he was frustrated with the result and felt “apologetic to the fans” as he felt they and the squad deserved more from the game, insisting that Wigan “probably know they’ve got away with one” and the celebrations merely proved the Trotters were “a big scalp”.
Elsewhere, opposite number Maloney said the result should serve as wind in the sails for his players, telling BBC Radio Manchester: “Tonight was just a real deep desire to not concede, a really strong mentality. It’s definitely a question I’ve put to us as a team and as a group.
“I know we’re really young, we’ve got a lot of academy boys there that have not played a full season before, but I want that mentality and tonight they showed it”, he added — citing Godo in particular as one of the top performers on the night.
Nevertheless, as Evatt hastened to add both in defiance and to quell and simmering derby day hangover amongst Bolton fans, there are still “12 big games” left in the season and it’s his team that is fighting for promotion back to the Championship after more than half a decade out of the second tier.
You can watch the highlights from the fiery clash between Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanders here:
Five-star Haaland: Man City’s striker reminds everyone he’s an utter goal machine
Erling Haaland is well and truly back to business as usual after his five-goal contribution in Manchester City’s 6-2 thrashing over Luton Town.
Fittingly bagging five goals in the fifth round of the FA Cup as the holders cruised into the quarter-finals, Haaland barely wasted any time getting back on the scoresheet as he opened the scoring inside three minutes of the away fixture.
It only took him another quarter of an hour to get his second and while it looked for a brief moment like Luton might have some glimmer of hope after an absolute corker from Jordan Clark, who managed to grab two on the night, the goalscoring phenom managed a first-half hattrick on the 40-minute mark.
Clark’s second came in the 52nd minute to bring the scoreline to 3-2, once again making it look like they might have something to cling on to, only for the Norwegian number nine to resume the annihilation by grabbing his next just a few minutes later and his fifth only moments after that.
While the 23-year-old had looked somewhat off his best over the last few weeks, he did manage to find the net once again in Man City‘s last home game against Brentford and despite striking out against Bournemouth, it looks like the floodgates are once again open.
Fans can argue till the cows come home about the level of opposition and quality of defending on the night, but the reality is that many a team have struggled in the cauldron that is Kenilworth Road and anything can happen in knockout tournaments like this — after all, that’s the ‘magic of the cup’.
Oh yeah, and he broke another record in the process before being taken off — the same thing happened the last time he scored five too. Preventing injuries/preserving players’ energy aside, Guardiola seemingly doesn’t fancy letting him score six for some, even though we all know he would.
He literally could’ve had six but Pep clearly thought five was plenty and subbed him off in the 77th minute, but it goes without saying that the legend in the making regaining his form right before the Manchester derby this weekend only spells disaster for Man United.
The Red Devils looked lacklustre in their previous game at home in the 2-1 defeat to Fulham and they haven’t won at the Etihad Stadium in their last three visits, while the Blues are now unbeaten in their last 18. Sunday is going to be a blockbuster.
You can watch the highlights from Manchester City’s emphatic FA Cup victory over Luton and yet another star showing from Erling Haaland down below: