Cristiano Ronaldo scores a stunning free-kick against Portsmouth

Match Rewind: Games with amazing United goals

Wednesday 08 April 2020 11:00

Our 'Match Rewind' series is back with a big bang, as we continue to make sure you're fed with a feast of football during the enforced break to the 2019/20 season.

Every other day, we're asking you to choose between four superb United matches, with the winning game to be streamed in full, for free, via the homepage and our Official App.
Today, we're offering up a quartet of contests that feature legendary goals. We weren't exactly short of options – given United were the first Premier League club to reach the 2000-goal milestone earlier this season – but here, after much deliberation, is our shortlist...
The 'Ginger Prince' famously scored 'goals galore', but that's really only the half of it. Scholes was also a scorer of truly great goals, so we could select any number of matches in his honour. But we've identified this classic effort from March 2000, which was arguably the most technically impressive goal he ever netted. The Bantams' defence had dropped deep into the penalty area to defend a corner from David Beckham – whose supply line had already provided United's opener, a header from Dwight Yorke – but their retreat left Scholes completely free just outside the box.
Scholesy crunches home one of the greatest volleys known to man back in March 2000.
Beckham chipped the ball with effortless precision onto Scholes' right boot, and the Salford-born midfielder thundered it into the goalkeeper's bottom left-hand corner, first-time, on the volley. Incredibly, both of his feet were in the air at the point of contact. A piece of masterful wizardry, Scholes nearly matched it in 2009 against Fulham. This time it was Michael Carrick providing the clipped corner, and the result was the same – though Cottagers goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer spilled the ball over the goal line in this instance, somewhat robbing Scholesy's strike of its aesthetic beauty. But the moment at Valley Parade remains as timeless as ever, 20 years on.
The Irishman might not be the first player you'd expect to appear on our miniature list of all-time belters, but here he is, loud and proud. A sublime chip at the end of one of the greatest of all Premier League contests, Sheasy didn't even need to use his favoured right foot for this! Played in on goal by a clever flicked pass from Paul Scholes, the man from Waterford had plenty of time to consider what kind of finish he might need to beat Manuel Almunia. But few at Highbury that night would have predicted an audacious left-footed chip from just inside the area. Even the Irishman looked surprised when it hit the back of the net! It was a stunning end to a truly classic encounter, in which a Rooney and Ronaldo-inspired United twice came from behind to put the north Londoners in their place.
John O'Shea wheels away in delight after his sensational goal at Highbury in 2005.
United were in the middle of a real purple period when Pompey visited Old Trafford in January 2008. We'd won all six of our games that month, scoring 15 and conceding just one. Cristiano Ronaldo was in an equally productive patch too, and his second goal of this 2-0 win was surely the greatest free-kick scored to date at Old Trafford. A swirling, dipping devil of a strike, it wouldn't be preposterous to say that no human, past or present, could have prevented it from finding the net. It was the Portuguese's ninth goal of January, and he'd finish the season with a remarkable 42 in all competitions, helping United claim our second consecutive Premier League title in addition to the Champions League. This match doesn't just include a great goal – it's also a great document of one of our most exceptional sides in simply imperious form.
That free-kick from Ronaldo stayed hit, right until the moment it hit the back of David James's net.
Unless you spent the last decade meditating under a desert rock, you'll be familiar with this one. It's been voted the greatest Premier League goal ever and, unsurprisingly, triumphed in our own Goal-of-the-Decade poll at the turn of the year. An overhead kick that nobody – nobody! – in Old Trafford that day ever expected, it won a vital match for the Reds on the way to our then record-breaking 19th title, and delivered a very tasty win over our cross-town neighbours.
What elevates this goal, for me, is that up until this moment, Rooney was having an unusually underwhelming game. Vincent Kompany was doing an excellent job of shackling the legendary forward and it was clearly bothering Rooney – just look at his bumbled attempt at a pass to Darren Fletcher in the build-up! But when Nani's subsequent cross was deflected, very few players could have located the imagination or self-confidence to even conceive of smashing that limp, falling ball into the net with their back to goal. Rooney did, and that's one of the reasons he'll always be remembered among the greatest players and characters to ever grace the Old Trafford pitch.
You can select which of the four matches you want to see by voting in our Match Rewind live blog.
The vote closes at 16:00 BST on Thursday (9 April) and we’ll show the winning game in full, and for free, on the Official App and at 19:00 BST later that evening.
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