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Five top drawer acrobatic goals from the Premier League archives

Nothing gets fans off their seats quite like an acrobatic goal. The rareness of the event, matched with the spectacular is always something to behold inside of a football stadium. 

Another one of these memorable events took place last Saturday afternoon, with Villa Park being the venue lucky enough to bear witness.

Danny Ings’ ferocious bicycle kick rattled the net of the North Stand End sending Villa fans into a frenzy – the perfect first impression some may say. 

In light of Ings spectacular effort, here are five of the best acrobatic strikes from the Premier League archives. 

Rory Delap – Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur, 2003/04

Rory Delap’s popularity amongst Premier League fans came as a result of the players ridiculously long throw-ins. It was a skill that was weaponised by his managers, specifically Tony Pulis at Stoke City and was often just as good as a corner kick, leading to many goals.

On this occasion, Delap took advantage of his acrobatic skills. The former Republic of Ireland international ran on to a header in the box and got some airtime before blasting the ball past Tottenham Hotspur’s keeper Kasey Keller.

Southampton won the game 1-0, a result that helped them to a 12th place finish that year.

This goal was one of just 23 goals for Delap in the Premier League but it’s the one that will go down as the former Stoke City man’s best.

Serious air-time for Rory Delap against #THFC! 😱

Who remembers this stunner from 2004? ✂️ pic.twitter.com/YohaWkDH5p

— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) December 30, 2019

Dimitar Berbatov – Manchester United vs Liverpool, 2010/11

It does not get any better for a player of Manchester United than scoring a hat-trick against bitter rivals Liverpool in front of the Old Trafford faithful, but that is exactly what Dimitar Berbatov did in 2010. 

It was a memorable game, in which United bounced back from a Liverpool comeback to win the game 3-2, with Berbatov’s second goal providing the most memorable moment of all. 

The Bulgarian striker perfectly controlled a cross from Nani with his thigh, before using the height off the ball to rattle an overhead kick off the crossbar and into the net. 

From judging the pace of the cross to not being affected by Wayne Rooney’s jump to generating the perfect height with his control, and then executing the overhead kick off the crossbar; it was simply world-class from a striker who performed at a world-class level that season. 

The 2010/11 campaign was Berbatov’s best in a United shirt, scoring 20 goals in 33 appearances for the Red Devils – a contribution that helped guide Alex Ferguson’s men to a record-breaking 19th English Premier Division title.

Wayne Rooney – Manchester United vs Manchester City, 2010/11

Iconic is one of many words that can be used to describe this goal; not only the goal but the player himself. 

A packed Old Trafford against fellow city rivals Manchester City, this was a stage Wayne Rooney loved to perform on and a stage Manchester United’s record goalscorer continuously delivered on.

When Nani’s cross was whipped in many were left stunned by what followed, others just smiled and looked at each other and went “Rooney”. It was one of many Rooney wonder goals, but for many, it is the best. 

The five-time Premier League winner leapt into the air and generated an unstoppable shot that blasted into the top corner past Joe Hart, to make it 2-1 and give United all three points. 

Peter Drury’s commentary described it best: “What a goal, at what a time, in what a place, what a player; Wayne Rooney out of this world”. 

🏆 BEST GOAL 🏆 @Persie_Official‘s volley against Aston Villa = phenomenal@Cristiano‘s free-kick v Portsmouth = unbelievable@WayneRooney‘s overhead kick in the Manchester derby = out of this 🌍 pic.twitter.com/wFjFS3RhOG

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 16, 2018

Olivier Giroud – Arsenal vs Crystal Palace, 2016/17

When it comes to scoring goals, the scorpion kick is up there amongst the rarest. However, in 2016/17, Premier League fans were treated to two within the space of a week. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was first, scoring a beauty in a 3-1 win against Sunderland on Boxing Day; whilst the second belonged to Olivier Giroud, who help Arsenal to a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day. 

That day, fans inside the Emirates Stadium witnessed a New Year’s cracker, as Giroud burst into the box looking for a cross from Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean’s ball was put behind the Frenchman, but the World Cup winner then decided to improvise with a scorpion kick, resulting in the ball going in of the underside of the crossbar. 

It is one of the greatest goals ever scored in the Premier League and a goal that resulted in Giroud winning FIFA’s Puskas Award in 2017.

As Olivier Giroud’s nine-year stint in England comes to an end, let’s look back at 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 scorpion kick against Crystal Palace 🍿 pic.twitter.com/XylyQXxby6

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 17, 2021

Emre Can – Watford vs Liverpool, 2016/17

Emre Can was known for scoring a few beauties throughout his time at Liverpool and his goal at Watford in May 2017 is seen as the best of the lot.

The German international played for the Reds 115 times in the league, scoring just 10 goals – half of which were scored over the course of the 2016/17 season.

With the game stuck at 0-0 and Liverpool needing the three points, the German international ran onto a cross from Lucas Leiva to produce a stunning, well-directed overhead kick leading his team to a 1-0 win.

Liverpool went on to finish in the all-important fourth spot that season, a single point ahead of Arsenal. Can’s goal had a huge role to play in this and build the foundations of what was to come over the next few years.

Read – Seven of the greatest moments in the Chelsea-Liverpool rivalry

Read Also – Remembering just how good Cristiano Ronaldo was for Manchester United in 2007/08

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