Four Most Important Premier League Goals By Unlikely Scorers
Vincent Kompany sent the Etihad fans wild last night as he surely sealed the Premier League title with the most unlikely long-range screamer which fizzed into the top corner. That puts City one point clear at the top of the league with just one game to play - having won a remarkable 13 league games in a row.
Last night, along with the 1-0 wins over Burnley and Tottenham proved that City have the nerve to hold on to their title and they will surely do the business at Brighton on the final day. Captain Kompany stood up when his side needed him most, despite having been a peripheral figure in the Man City side this season, in one of the most memorable Premier League moments in recent years.
Below we have looked at four other unlikely scorers of important Premier League goals.
Steve Bruce v Sheffield Wednesday (1992/93)
The first season of the brand spanking new Premier League was full of glitz and glamour as Aston Villa, Norwich and Manchester United battled for the title. Reigning champions Leeds suffered due to several of their top players leaving for pastures new, finishing the season in 17th and it would be Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson who would lift their first title in 26 years.
However, it was not plain sailing for Fergie’s men. The turning point came against Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford, as they looked set to drop points in the title race with Aston Villa leading the way. John Sheridan had put the visitors in front and with four minute to go they were still holding on. However, an unlikely hero in the form of centre-half Steve Bruce came to the fore.
The equaliser was a beauty of a header from an outswinging corner in the 86th minute while the second came in the first ever period of ‘Fergie Time’. With 96 minutes on the clock, a Gary Pallister cross was flicked on by a Wednesday defender and Bruce was there to meet it once again and send Old Trafford wild.
This win put United back to the top of the table and their destiny in their own hands. They proceeded to win their remaining fixtures while Villa crumbled and the first Premier League title came to Manchester. Had it not been for Steve Bruce, Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominance over English football may have been delayed - if not stopped.
Tony Adams v Everton (1997/98)
Arsene Wenger was starting to make waves in his first full season in the Premier League with Arsenal, building a side to rival the Manchester United team that had dominated the early years of the Premier League. The Gunners had gone on an incredible run in the second half of the season that saw them just one win away from securing the Premier League title with three games to play.
Everton visited Highbury with Wenger’s side unbeaten since Christmas and the home side made a flying start racing into a 3-0 lead. The Premier League title was heading to London for the first time and Tony Adams was keen to get in on the act, making a surprising lung-bursting run through the defence, before firing the ball in to round off an incredible season.
This goal took on even more significance when Adams opened up about his alcoholism and personal troubles later on in his career, but it is a moment that will never be forgotten by those Arsenal fans in Highbury on that day. The fabulous bit of commentary to go with this goal truly does it justice - "Would you believe it!"
Graham Stuart v Wimbledon (1993/94)
From the Premier League title to the always entertaining relegation battle. It may seem unthinkable now but Premier League ever-presents Everton were in serious relegation trouble heading into the final day in 1994. The Toffees were in occupying the final relegation spot but Sheffield United, Southampton and Ipswich could all still go down during a dramatic final day.
Everton went 2-0 down early on against Wimbledon, one of the in-form teams in the league and things looked grim for them. A penalty from Graham Stuart brought them into the game before half-time before the Goodison Park crowd roared them out for the second period.
Barry Horne hit an absolute scorcher to bring Everton level before Stuart bobbled one home in the 81st minute to give them a 3-2 win. He scored just three goals that season for Everton in 30 games, but he saved a vital brace for the final day.
Remarkably, in the days before modern technology, Sheffield United essentially relegated themselves. After leading against Chelsea they were pegged back, and threw everybody forward when a draw would have been enough to keep them up on goal difference. Dennis Wise flicked a ball on and Mark Stein hit the killer blow which relegated the Blades. Brutal.
J̶e̶s̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶G̶r̶o̶n̶k̶j̶a̶e̶r̶ Marcel Desailly v Liverpool (2002/03)
Jesper Gronkjaer. The famous scorer of the £1bn goal. The final day of the 2002/03 season featured a straight shootout between Chelsea and Liverpool for the final Champions League place. That season the spot would be worth £20m but Roman Abramovich swooped in to buy the club that summer partly due to their Champions League qualification and he has spent over £1bn since then.
Like Leeds around the same period, Chelsea were in deep financial difficulty and desperately needed investment to avoid a similar fate to the Yorkshire club. Sami Hyypia had nodded the Reds in front before Marcel Desailly scored the equaliser with another header.
Gronkjaer gets all the credit after he cut inside from the right and fired one in with his left foot but Chelsea only needed a point to secure Champions League football - even though history credits Gronkjaer with scoring that £1bn goal.