Whose overhead kick was greater - Garnacho or Rooney?

Monday 27 November 2023 13:19

The debate has been alive and overhead-kicking since the ball hit the back of Everton's net. Was Alejandro Garnacho's stunning third-minute strike for Manchester United even better than Wayne Rooney's Goal of the Decade (2010-19) poll-topper against Manchester City?

Here, two club journalists state the case for each effort but we also want to know what you think, so please scroll to the poll below their respective arguments.

Adam Marshall

Most people acknowledge that Rooney’s jaw-dropping overhead kick is United’s best Premier League goal since the competition's inception in 1992. Watching from the Stretford End that day, it just felt like a seismic moment as it happened.

Context here was everything. Wayne had wanted to leave earlier in the 2010/11 season and this was some way to put all that behind him. Furthermore, those neighbours were just getting noisier and, with their financial backing, it was just a matter of time. City were always going to emerge as serious contenders for the major prizes.
Split screen: Garnacho v Rooney Video

Split screen: Garnacho v Rooney

Trending debate | Which overhead kick was better, Wazza's or Garna's? Watch them side by side...

The Blues had got back on level terms in the derby and, after we’d just lost against Wolves, the momentum could have really shifted in terms of winning the league. It was a moment of pure inspiration, one that slammed the door on these thoughts and sparked wild scenes. I was at the other end of the ground and it was hard to comprehend just how amazing the strike was that I’d just witnessed. I think I potentially injured the fan next to me as the whole ground erupted in celebration.

This was classic United, classic Rooney. Coming up trumps when at the point of maximum pressure and producing a piece of magic that will be forever replayed. A goal of gigantic proportions and the background to it puts it ahead of Garnacho’s glorious strike, in my view.
Adam Bostock

Garnacho’s goal had its context too. United were heading into a cauldron at Goodison Park, where the home supporters were expected to bring even more fire and brimstone than usual for a visit from the red half of Manchester.

The atmosphere for this fixture has been laced with some animosity since the summer of 2004, when the Merseysiders’ prodigal son Wayne Rooney was lost to Old Trafford, snapped up by Sir Alex Ferguson in a sensational transfer deal. But this time, the Everton fans’ anger wasn’t aimed at their visitors from the other end of the M62; instead, their wrath was directed at the Premier League, for finding their club had breached financial rules and imposing a 10-point penalty that took them back into the relegation places they had strived so hard to escape under their firebrand boss Sean Dyche.

The sanction was announced during the international break, giving those supporters nine days to stew on it and prepare their placards of protest.
Garnacho: They are both incredible goals Video

Garnacho: They are both incredible goals

Alejandro on the comparison between his overhead kick against Everton and Wayne Rooney's against Manchester City...

How would the volatile conditions around the perimeter of the pitch impact the action on it? Did a United team that had already suffered four away defeats this season have the mettle to compete against an aggrieved and extra-motivated home team with a point – or 10 – to prove? We had our answer within three minutes of the kick-off. And it was provided by the second-youngest player in Erik ten Hag’s starting line-up. Youth. Courage. Success.

It would have taken a brave attendee to turn and point out to the already angry Everton fans around them that Alejandro’s acrobatic leap to despatch Diogo Dalot’s cross reminded them of Rooney in his prime. But the similarities with the latter’s famous derby strike were undeniably uncanny – both were breathtaking overhead kicks, scored from roughly the same part of the penalty area, at the expense of an England goalkeeper (Joe Hart, Jordan Pickford).

Garnacho’s connection was cleaner, the technique more textbook and, executed in a tumultuous setting away from the home comforts of Old Trafford, it had an odds-defying dimension to it. Those are the reasons why Alejandro’s cauldron-quelling effort edges it for me.
Which overhead kick was better?poll

Which overhead kick was better?