Opinions: Which is United's Goal of the Decade?
On New Year’s Eve and with 2020 almost upon us, the time has come to crown Manchester United’s Goal of the Decade… and the 11 nominated strikes are all iconic!
It begins with Wayne Rooney completing a famous counter-attack at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in 2010 and continues in 2011 with the legend’s unforgettable overhead kick against Manchester City.
Antonio Valencia’s rocket-fuelled strike at Ewood Park is next from 2012, followed by Robin van Persie’s magical volley against Aston Villa in 2013. Rooney then receives his third nomination, with the astounding effort from near the halfway line in a 2014 match at West Ham’s Upton Park.
Spanish playmaker Juan Mata is the first of five current first-team players on the shortlist with his celebrated scissor kick at Anfield in 2015, which is followed by Anthony Martial’s individual effort against Liverpool on his unforgettable United debut at Old Trafford.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan also gets the nod for his scorpion kick against Sunderland on Boxing Day in 2016, as well as Nemanja Matic for that late winner against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in 2018.
From more recent times, Andreas Pereira receives the penultimate nomination in recognition of his long-range effort against Southampton in 2019, before Rashford closes the show with that aforementioned set-piece at Stamford Bridge in this season’s Carabao Cup. Not a bad list, is it?
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Goal of the Decade: Watch the 11 nomineesVideo
“My goal against Palace is the best - it was the last minute! [laughs] All I thought about was the shot, even though everyone was telling me to pass. I was not worried about missing because every time I shoot, it is a goal [laughs]. So which is my Goal of the Decade? I would say that Rashford's free-kick at Chelsea is a great goal, Rooney's against Man City is special and then my goal at Crystal Palace. Those are my top three.”
“I really love Rooney's goal against Arsenal. It was a very quick counter attack, with the speed of Nani and then Rooney with a great finish. It was a great team goal. With an individual goal, you see the quality of a single player and of course a great team will have many great players, who are making their own chances and scoring their own goals, But a goal made by the team, together, is much more important, not just for the team but also for the fans. It shows how well the team is doing on the pitch. Having said that, I also love Rooney's goal against Man City! Man, the ball was really high and it is difficult to strike a ball like that. It's an amazing goal and one of the best I've seen up to now. A perfect cross and a perfect overhead kick. It's difficult to pick my Goal of the Decade, so I have three: Rooney against Arsenal, Rooney against Man City and Rashford against Chelsea. But the most difficult and, for me, the most beautiful goal is Rooney with the bicycle kick. That's the best goal.”
Steve Bartram, Features Editor:
“I feel like I’ve seen most things during my time as a fan, including tonnes of ridiculously good goals. I’ve been lucky enough to see a wealth of amazing overhead kicks, outrageous long-rangers and so on, but I don’t recall anything that even slightly resembles Mkhitaryan’s effort against Sunderland in 2016. Overhead back-heel, scorpion kick, call it what you like, the speed of thought and ingenuity were just staggering. He *invented* a goal that day, which is why it stands alone as something truly unique in my own experiences of watching United.”
Mark Froggatt, Official App Editor:
“For me, the award will go to one of two goals: Wayne’s acrobatic spectacle in the derby and Robin’s historic volley against Villa. But my own vote, after much deliverable, will be attributed to RvP’s act of football wizardry on a night when Old Trafford celebrated a 20th title in English football. From technique to impact, it was special in every way and I instantly remember the ecstasy that swept through the stadium when that thunderous effort smacked into Brad Guzan’s net. An instant classic. One to tell the kids about. Goal of the Decade.”
Sam Carney, Contributor:
“There can’t have been many better introductions to Old Trafford than Martial’s wonderful solo effort against Liverpool in 2015. It has a bit of everything: the determined drive into the box, the cute check to evade Martin Skrtel, the slight bit of luck to keep the ball under control and then the composure to pick out the only corner of the net which is out of reach for the sprawling Simon Mignolet. It’s a great goal in any situation – but on your Manchester United debut? In front of the Stretford End? Against our arch-rivals? C’est magnifique.”