Sometimes they come from a break in play, often when the game is stretched, when one side is pushing for a winner or an equaliser. Maybe the keeper is pushing up to be the last defender, leaving the goal exposed. Other times they come from nowhere, either way they are always a surprise and we all love to see them. It’s time to celebrate 5 of the greatest goals from the halfway line.
David Beckham vs Wimbledon
Possiblly the most famous of them all. This was the goal that launched Beckham on to the world stage, the goal that made him a superstar and a banker to appear in any Premier League highlight reel. It was 1996, England had just hosted a very successful European Championships and Manchester United’s class of ’92 were just starting to come in to their own.
It was the opening day of the season and United were already winning 2-0, so it wasn’t a deciding goal but then that’s the beauty of the “halfway line goal”, they are special at any time. Brian McClair played a routine pass to Beckham who took a few touches before looking up and spotting ‘keeper Neil Sullivan off his line. The rest is history.
Charlie Adam vs Chelsea
Charlie Adam, sure he likes to crash in to tackles and seems to love hammering faster, younger players. Sure he provided one of the comedy moments of the year last season when he took possibly the worst corner of all time, falling over, kneeing the ball and then handling it all in one ridiculous action, but the truth is, he can really strike a ball and he has a few screamers to his name.
None as good as this effort against Chelsea though. This was a monster of a shot, and an utterly audacious one given how far out he was and considering he was was attempting to beat a top form Thibaut Courtois. This wasn’t even from the half way line it was from half way inside his own half. Brilliant.
Jone Samuelsen vs Tronso
Ok so we’re including this one because it’s a bit mad. Some half way line goals are hit and hope efforts. Some are carefully measured strikes that were always destined to find the back of the net. But a header from the half way line? Unbelievable Jeff.
Nayim vs Arsenal
We weren’t sure if we should include this one, it’s not really from the halfway line. But, the chant “Nayim from the halfway line” was always sung when I was a kid if anyone scored from miles out so it’s going in for nostalgia purposes. There’s so much going on with this goal. It’s the Cup Winner’s Cup Final, (ask yer Dad kids), and Arsenal are playing Spanish side Zaragoza.
The game is level and edging towards a penalty shoot out when former Spurs player Nayim finds the ball bouncing nicely about 5 yards inside the Arsenal half and out wide by the touchline. One swing of his right foot later, Zaragoza are Champions and he need never buy a drink in Spain or certain sections of London again.
Dejan Stankovic vs Schalke
Finally we come to what is probably the sweetest of all the half way line goals. The technique on this strike is second to none. Sure it’s a bit satisfying to see Manuel Neuer get his comeuppance after this bit of show boating but seriously, has anyone ever caught a ball so sweetly? Ever?
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