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No matter where you’re from or which squad’s jersey you rep while watching a match out at your favorite pub, when it comes to the footy played on the pitch, one universal maxim reigns supreme above everything else: Glory is in the goal. From a stunning scorpion kick to a vicious volley, the English Premier League was nothing short of magical when it came to goalscoring in the 2022 season. Legendary champions, as well as newly-minted phenoms, campaigned this season for the top goals, netting memorable scores from all over the field with heads, feet, and heels, oh my!
Power and ingenuity converged as crafty tacticians showcased their battle-tested genius, melting some of our hearts while simultaneously also dashing the hopes and dreams of others. It didn’t matter so much what the players used to find the back of the net, but how they notched their scores. As legions of die-hard fans eagerly await the commencement of the 2023 season on Aug. 6, here’s a countdown of the top 5 strikes from last season that are sure to leave the most seasoned football aficionados and novices alike nothing but speechless.
5. Rodri’s Scorcher Against Everton
Coming in at No. 5 is Manchester City’s Rodri and his laser against Everton. Rodri tallied several goals for his title-winning squad, but none quite like this. After a poor clearance that trickled outside the arc, Rodri found his step and ripped a blistering stunner, earning him November’s Goal of the Month.
4. Mohamed Salah’s Solo Mission Against Man City
Slotting in at our fourth spot is Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and his dazzling solo goal against Manchester City. His wizardly, ankle-breaking ballet cast a spell on not two, not three, not four or even five, but six — yes, I said six — defenders before the maestro delivered his spectacular coup de grâce. Somewhere at Hogwarts, Mr. Potter turned green with jealousy over this magic.
3. Mateo Kovačić’s Gorgeous One-Timer Against Liverpool
Dropping into the third spot is Chelsea’s Mateo Kovačić with his spectacular volley against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. On life support and trailing two-nil, the Blues needed a pulse-inducing jolt, and Kovačić’s thrilling one-timer sparked them back to life. Off a free kick, Liverpool’s keeper Caoimhin Kelleher fisted the ball out of the Reds’ territory, but much to his chagrin, Kovačić, not particularly known for his strikes, instinctively inched back from the arc as he tracked the ball and drove a booming volley off the post for an electrifying score.
2. Danny Ings’ Jaw-Dropping Bicycle Kick Against Newcastle
Cemented at No. 2 is Aston Villa’s Danny Ings and his brilliant bicycle kick into the upper-ninety against Newcastle. There are few things in life more captivating than a perfectly timed overhead aerial goal: a sunrise over the Grand Canyon; the site of a Lion devouring its prey on the Serengeti; the birth of your firstborn. After a deep throw-in from Matty Cash, Tyrone Mings flicked a clever header backward, and the stars aligned for Ings’ sublime, acrobatic feat, leaving Newcastle’s keeper Freddie Woodman more "Dazed & Confused" than Matthew McConaughey. “Alright, alright, alright…”
1. Ronaldo’s Savage Missile Against Tottenham
Claiming the top spot is none other than Manchester United’s legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with his utterly ridiculous, rocketing blast from 25 yards out against Tottenham at Old Trafford. Start with the tenacity of MJ, pour in the grace of Federer, then sprinkle in the cunning skill of Gretzky, and you’re still half a helix away from cracking the genetic code of Portugal’s favorite son whose unfathomable athletic prowess is one for the ages. Could one argue that he could’ve done more for Manchester United this season? Maybe, but that’s venturing into dangerous territory, especially when one belts a hat-trick like he did in this match — with the opener being one of mythical status.
Rapaël Varane passed to Fred, whose cheeky heel flick landed perfectly at CR7’s boot. With space, Ronaldo lined up his strike and ripped an absolute thunderbolt, burying the scorcher to give Manchester United an early 1-0 lead. Sorry, LeBron, the jury has spoken, and when it comes to the true G.O.A.T., as "Highlander"'s Duncan MacLeod would say, “There can be only one!”
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