We all love a good goal, right? There’s nothing better than seeing a player smashing one into the top corner from 35-yards, or seeing somebody skip around the opposition, with ease, before chipping the goalkeeper in the last second!
The noughties was an iconic era for the Premier League with Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal winning the league unbeaten, José Mourinho and Roman Abramovich revolutionising Chelsea – who are set for back-to-back top four finishes if the odds on the Premier League are anything to go by – and Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United winning half of the decade’s titles!
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the five best Premier League goals of the noughties.
1. Dennis Bergkamp vs Newcastle – 2001-02
Flying Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp may have scored 120 goals during his 11-year stint with the Gunners, but this is undoubtedly his best. Many people only know this goal for Bergkamp’s iconic turn and finish, but the build-up is definitely worth a mention.
The Dutch forward sprayed a 30-yard pass out to Robert Pires on the left-wing, making a run towards the box. The French winger then made a run down the flank, before cutting inside, and pinging a low-ball towards Bergkamp, on the edge of the box. What happened next truly goes down in football history.
Bergkamp, with his back to goal and tightly marked by Newcastle defender Nikos Dabizas, flicked the ball around the Magpies’ centre back with his left foot, first time, to get goal side, before slotting his shot past the Newcastle goalkeeper.
2. Wayne Rooney vs Newcastle – 2004-05
Wayne Rooney’s move to the Red Devils as an 18-year-old kid from Everton, for a whopping £25m deal, may have raised eye-brows. However, the fresh-faced striker enjoyed a solid first season at Old Trafford – bagging 11 league goals.
The English forward scored some cracking goals during his lengthy stay in Manchester, but this has to be his best of the noughties. Roy Keane hoofed the ball towards Ryan Giggs, who was positioned on the corner of the box, but it was then headed away by a Magpies defender. However, the clearance flew perfectly into Rooney’s path, and he rifled the ball into the top corner from 25-yards out, on the volley.
3. Didier Drogba vs Liverpool – 2005-06
Drogba’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, as a relatively unknown Ligue 1 striker, may have been another that raised some questions. However, The Ivory Coast striker will go down as one of the Blues’ greatest players, and it’s goals like this that cemented his place in Chelsea’s history books.
A long freekick was played to Drogba – who was tightly marked on the edge of the box. The striker brought the ball down beautifully, with his chest, before performing a magnificent strike, on the half volley, which found its way into the back of the net from 20-yards. The latter part of this goal became somewhat of a trademark for the Ivorian, with similar goals against Barcelona and Spurs to follow in his career.
4. Thierry Henry vs Blackburn – 2006/07
Arsenal were slowly in decline from their success of the early 2000s, but Thierry Henry was still producing magic – even if he had to do most of the work by himself.
The French forward received the ball deep inside his own half and made a run down the left-wing – almost reaching the box, before playing a one-two with Cesc Fàbregas. The world-cup winning striker received the ball back from the Spaniard just inside the box and curled a first-time shot into the roof from the net.
5. Michael Essien vs Arsenal – 2006/07
Michael Essien didn’t score much in his nine-year tenure at the Bridge, but when he did, it was sure to be a screamer – and this strike, to salvage a late draw against the Blues’ fierce London rivals, was no exception.
Frank Lampard found himself going nowhere with two solid walls of Arsenal players in front of him, so he laid it back to Essien, who was 35-yards out, and the Ghanaian riffled an insanely powerful shot past the Arsenal ‘keeper – somehow breaking the laws of physics, and sending the Bridge into a frenzy.
— All is not lost, however, for our present-day players, as we have also seen some cracking goals this season! Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min’s scored a cracking solo goal against West Ham, and Brighton’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh hit out with a stunning over-head kick against Chelsea. And, with that, we’re sure to see another string of breath-taking goals across the remaining of the season – so keep your eyes peeled!