Paul Scholes playing for Manchester United.

Goal of the Day: Scholes announces himself

It's exactly a quarter of a century to the day since a 20-year-old Paul Scholes scored his first Premier League brace for Manchester United...

Date: 10 December 1994, Loftus Road, Premier League.

Background: United were chasing a third successive league title as we headed into a busy Christmas period in 1994/95. The Reds were missing a host of first-team players for the clash with Queens Park Rangers, including Lee Sharpe, Ryan Giggs and our attacking duo of Mark Hughes and Eric Cantona. In their absence, Alex Ferguson handed several youngsters Premier League starts, with the likes of Gary Neville, Simon Davies and a 20-year-old Paul Scholes coming in. After 25 minutes at Loftus Road, it appeared that our lack of experience could cost us, with Les Ferdinand - a man reported in the press as a United transfer target - firing the hosts ahead from all of 30 yards, before our Salford lad took centre stage.
The goal: Spurred on by hitting the crossbar moments earlier, Scholes was pushing for an equaliser and his well-timed run into the box in the 34th minute proved to be a game-changing moment. With Denis Irwin supplying a typically inch-perfect cross, Paul jumped highest in the area and managed to plant his header into the bottom corner of the QPR goal. Despite his good starting position, opposition goalkeeper Sieb Dijkstra stood no chance of getting a hand to the shot.
What happened next: The leveller stirred United into life and we managed to grab a second soon after. Scholes was again pivotal in this move - he laid the ball onto Brian McClair, who teed Roy Keane up to slot it past Dijkstra. It ensured United went in ahead at the break and, two minutes after the interval, Scholesy again headed home for the visitors. This time he reacted first to a Davies corner and his header ultimately proved to be the match-winning goal. Ferdinand did go on to find the back of the net once again, but United held on to come away from the capital with a 3-2 victory, which extended our unbeaten run to nine games in the league.

“He looks a very talented guy,”
then-QPR manager Ray Wilkins said of Scholes after the game.
“His movement was exceptional and his lay-off for Roy Keane’s goal was quite wonderful. Even when United have players out injured, they can bring people in of a very high standard.