Who would argue against 2006 being the best year for Liverpool goals ever? There’s been some absolutely fantastic goals with many being able to grace a goal of the season competition with ease.
Alonso does it from his own half – twice!
It all started back last January in the FA Cup third round when Spanish midfield maestro Xabi Alonso put the finishing touch on another incredible Cup comeback match at Luton. Alonso picked up the ball inside his own half after the Hatters’ keeper had gone up for a corner with their team losing 4-3 (having lead 3-1 earlier in the game), with Gerrard open on the half way line screaming for a pass Alonso instead opted to take the shot himself from all of 80 yards with his left foot and the ball rolled into the net to make one lucky punter several thousand pounds richer after having a preminition that Xabi would score from his own half….
But who would have bet on it happening again – and in the same calendar year? Not many! I don’t know of any statistics but Im pretty sure no footballer has ever scored from his own half twice in a career, yet alone twice in 9 months. But Xabi has now after making a fool of Newcastle stand-in Steve Harper when the Magpies where the visitors to Anfield in September. Although Harper stumbled as he went back, the vision, accuracy and skill displayed showed Xabi’s class.
The Stevie G Show
One man always up for a goal of the season competition is of course Stevie Gerrard and 2006 was no different for the influential skipper. The final home game of last season against Villa saw one of his best, collecting the ball 30 yards out he hit across the ball into the top corner at the Kop end to end the season in true Gerrard fashion.
But it was another goal a week later which will be remembered as his best in ’06. That of course being his last gasp ‘Roy of the Rovers’ moment when all around him where suffering with cramp and with the FA Cup seemingly lost. The game had already seen two impressive strikes in the shape of Djibril Cisse’s perfectly executed volley from Gerrard’s floated ball, and then Gerrard himself hammering home in style for the second.
But the third and equalising goal will live forever in the hearts and memories of Liverpool and West Ham fans for contrasting reasons. 40 yards out Gerrard connected perfectly with an arrowing shot which stayed the same height just off the ground and flew into the bottom corner of Shaka Hislop’s goal. A fitting goal to mark an incredible game during an incredible Cup run.
Riise’s rockets and Garcia’s class leave Chelsea chumped
Of course getting to the Final meant two more impressive goals in the semi final, first with John Arne Riise’s free kick against Chelsea at Old Trafford, and then Luis Garcia’s beautiful Juventus-esque volley over Petr Cech.
And the next visit to Cardiff after the final was for the Charity Shield – where it was Riise again who showed Chelsea how to finish, collecting the ball inside his own half and allowed space to run through the middle the Norweigan hit another rocket from 25 yards into the bottom corner. Riise had already hit trademark goals against Portsmouth (2-1 away) and Birmingham (7-0 away) earlier in the year during the FA Cup run. His fifth entry into our goal of the year review came in the home win over Tottenham in September.
The Merseyside derby at Anfield back in March saw two great goals for Liverpool fans! The opener being one of the Neville sister’s heading into his own goal just minutes after Liverpool had had Gerrard sent off for two early bookings. And Harry Kewell’s goal from the edge of the box at The Kop end secured the win. The Aussie also grabbed a great finish against Spurs at Anfield at the start of the year, rifling into the roof of the net on the volley.
Agger salutes The Kop
The Kop end has been witness to so many memorable goals over the years, and how fitting it was that Daniel Agger came up with his first for the club on the 100th anniversary of the world famous terrace. The Dane strode out of defence as the West Ham defence backed off and he hit an unstoppabble shot into the top corner to announce himself as a rival to Riise for the Reds best left foot!
Crouch shows he’s no robot
Gangly forward Peter Crouch showed he’s no robot with an incredible overhead kick against Galatasaray in the Champions League. Finnan’s cross came in as Crouch turned with his back to goal and flipped himself backward to expertly steer the ball back upon itself into the bottom corner. Exquisite.
Carra ends the 7 year wait!
Maybe not the best goal of the season but certainly a great moment for Reds fans when defender Jamie Carragher grabbed his first goal for 7 years in the 4-0 win over Fulham a few weeks ago, his next one is due in 2013 – bring it on!
That Fulham win also saw Little Luis prove he can head a ball too – expertly re-directing the ball and using his next muscles to head in to the far corner from the edge of the box, technically a great goal too.
The TIA Top 5