Federico Macheda scores against Villa in April 2009.

What's the best goal scored at the Stretford End?

Sunday 10 October 2021 07:00

The Stretford End is one of the most famous stands in English football and it’s had a prime view of some truly iconic goals over the years.

But which was the best?

We’ve drawn up a shortlist of what we think are the 12 finest strikes scored in front of our west stand over the last 25 years.

Watch the video below to see each effort in all its glory, before casting your vote. It’s all killer, no filler!

CANTONA V ARSENAL (20/03/1996)

Eric scored a belting free-kick against the Gunners at this very end during the 1993/94 campaign, but for our money, this strike is even better. After a young Phil Neville’s cross was headed clear by Tony Adams, ‘the King’ chested the ball down and volleyed in, off the crossbar, to keep the Reds in touch with Newcastle at the top of the table.

BECKHAM V BARCELONA (16/09/1998)

Beckham was known for his brilliant free-kicks, and his successful set-pieces against Spurs and Greece (for England) were particularly memorable examples. But arguably the archetypal ‘bend it like Beckham’ moment came in the midst of the 3-3 thriller United and Barcelona served up, during the group stage of our 1998/99 Champions League campaign.

12 spectacular Stretford End strikes Video

12 spectacular Stretford End strikes

Watch our video to enjoy a dozen of the finest goals ever scored at one of the most famous ends in football…

SCHOLES V LIVERPOOL (24/09/1998)

Rapid Reds counter-attacking goals aren’t just a 21st-century phenomenon. This goal begins in United’s 18-yard box, with a Liverpool corner. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole then combine to launch a breakaway, which results in Cole hooking the ball back across Liverpool’s area. Yorke can’t quite reach it, but Scholes is on hand to rifle one into the top corner.

COLE V SPURS (16/05/1999)

So much could have gone wrong with this goal, which sealed the title and the first leg of United’s momentous 1999 Treble. Gary Neville’s loft over the top was perfectly flighted, and Cole brought it down with his toe. With the ball still bouncing, our no.9 took another slight touch to set himself before delicately lobbing onrushing Tottenham keeper Ian Walker.

VAN NISTELROOY V FULHAM (22/03/2003)

A marvellous individual goal from a player who was accused of only scoring tap-ins during five goal-laden years at Old Trafford. The Dutchman receives the ball in the centre circle, shrugging off the attention of Sylvain Legwinski before embarking on a powerful 50-yard run. Right-footed Ruud seems to be closing off his shooting options as he approaches the left-hand side of Fulham’s box, but he pivots back on to his favoured foot to easily slot the ball into the bottom corner.

ROONEY V NEWCASTLE (24/04/2005)

Has there ever been a better goal from a player about to be substituted? A half-fit Rooney and United were behind to the Magpies and labouring when the still teenage forward larruped in this barely-believable volley. The connection Wazza makes with the ball is so, so sweet, you almost forget about the tirade he was launching at referee Neale Barry just prior to it dropping to his feet.

Which of the 12 brilliant goals in our video gets your vote as the best scored at the Stretford End?poll

Which of the 12 brilliant goals in our video gets your vote as the best scored at the Stretford End?

MACHEDA V VILLA (05/04/2009)

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this goal at a time when United appeared to be losing our grip on the title to Liverpool. But the quality of the strike is also superlative. Macheda, on his first appearance for the Reds, as a 17-year-old, turns on a sixpence before curling into the only corner of the goal Villa keeper Brad Friedel can’t reach.

BERBATOV V LIVERPOOL (19/09/2010)

While Wayne Rooney’s acrobatic effort at the other end swept up at the end-of-season awards, Berbatov’s bicycle kick – the second of three against Liverpool in a 3-2 win – still wows every time you play it back. Nani’s teasing cross left the Bulgarian with plenty to do as he had his back to goal but, as he tended to, Berba made it look so easy…

MARTIAL V LIVERPOOL (12/09/2015)

Just 20 minutes into his United career, Martial wrote himself into Reds folklore with this superb individual goal against our arch-rivals. The Frenchman’s nifty footwork tied Martin Skrtel in knots and his composed finish wasn’t bad, either.

MKHITARYAN V SUNDERLAND (26/12/2016)

A truly unique goal from the midfield Armenian, to lighten up this routine Boxing Day win. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s cross was played slightly behind Henrikh, but he showed speed of mind and flawless technique to flick the ball in with his heel. It became known as the ‘scorpion kick’ and Sunderland certainly felt the sting…

UTD Unscripted: The Day I Invented A Goal article

Our former Armenian playmaker explains how he scored one of Old Trafford's most remarkable goals, on Boxing Day 2016.

MCTOMINAY V MAN CITY (08/03/2020)

This last-second derby clincher has continued to grow in stature being, as it was, the last goal scored in front of a full Old Trafford for 17 months while the sport got to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic. Blame can be placed at Ederson’s door for his rushed throw out, but credit surely has to go to McTominay, whose perfectly placed shot unleashed bedlam.

CAVANI V FULHAM (18/05/2021)

Our next goal with fans in attendance at the Theatre of Dreams was pretty special too! As the government eased coronavirus restrictions, 10,000 lucky supporters were permitted to attend for the first time since March 2020, including a smattering at the Stretford End. And they had a prime view as Edinson lobbed the ball up and over former PSG team-mate Alphonse Areola and into the net from a full 40 yards. Vamos!

Which one of these 12 stupendous Stretford End goals is your favourite? Be sure to vote in our poll above.

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