Robbie Fowler is the one of the most popular, talented players in the history of Liverpool Football Club, and, taking a break from the Raheem Sterling saga this week, we take a look at his five best ever goals in a Reds shirt.
Fowler enjoyed a stellar Liverpool career during two spells on Merseyside, announcing himself as a prodigious 17-year-old in 1993 and gaining a deserved reputation as the most natural British finisher of his generation.
His return in 2006, following five years away from Anfield, was met with unbridled joy, and perfectly outlined just what a hero ‘God’ was to many supporters.
In total, Fowler scored 183 goals in 369 appearances for Liverpool, which included many memorable strikes along the way. Here are his five greatest — let us know if you agree in the comments section beneath this article.
5. Aston Villa (1995/96)
Roy Evans’ Liverpool side faced Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford in 1996, knowing victory would seal a place in the final against arch-rivals Man United.
Having given his side a first-half lead with a typically ruthless header, Fowler put the game to bed with a trademark effort with his wand of a left foot.
Jamie Redknapp’s free-kick from out wide was cleared by a Villa defender, but could only find Fowler lurking ominously on the edge of the penalty area. The legendary striker took the ball down on his chest, before firing an unstoppable half-volley in off the post. Once again, he had been the difference.
4. Birmingham (2000/01)
Liverpool took on Birmingham in the 2001 League Cup Final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, in what would prove to be the first of an unprecedented cup treble for the Reds in the 2000/01 season.
Fowler’s relationship with Gerard Houllier was strained around this time, and he often found himself on the substitutes’ bench behind Michael Owen and Emile Heskey. He played a key role on this day, however, having been given a relatively rare start.
On the half-hour mark, Heskey’s flick-on from Sander Westerveld’s kick fell to Fowler, who unleashed a magnificent strike that flew into the back of the net from 30 yards out. The instinct and accuracy shown was typical Fowler.
Although a late Birmingham penalty robbed Fowler of a winning goal in a cup final, Liverpool still went on to win in a shootout, with ‘God’ converting his spot-kick.
3. SK Brann (1996/97)
This clash with SK Brann in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1997 certainly isn’t the most glamorous match in Liverpool’s history, but it is remembered for a piece of individual genius from Fowler.
Stig Inge Bjornebye’s header from the touchline found it’s way to Fowler in mid-air, and the young striker produced an outrageous flick over the head of the hapless Brann defender, before running on and dispatching a lethal finish into the net.
It was a moment not many in world football were capable of producing at that time, and the goal’s unique nature summed up Fowler to a tee.
2. Aston Villa (1995/96)
When Villa visited Anfield towards the end of the 1995/96 Premier League season, they had to endure a wonderful performance by Fowler, who was at his absolute peak at the time.
Steve McManaman had given Liverpool a very early lead, before Fowler added a stunning second. Receiving the ball 35 yards out with his back to goal, the Toxteth-born star produced a delightful turn on former Reds defender Steve Staunton, before drilling an arrowed strike into the corner of the Kop net.
He added a second, Liverpool’s third, soon after, as Villa were taken apart with just eight minutes on the clock.
1. Man United (1995/96)
In terms of the opponent and occasion, this has to be Fowler’s greatest Liverpool goal. There may have been more classy, eye-catching strikes, but this was just absolutely emphatic.
The Reds faced United at Old Trafford, in a game that was all about Eric Cantona’s return from a nine-month suspension, but Fowler stole the show on the day with two tremendous efforts. It was the first of those that was truly brilliant though.
Picking the ball up on the left-hand side of the area, and with few options available, Fowler chanced his arm and thundered a phenomenal shot past Peter Schmeichel’s near post. The home crowd were stunned.
Given the fact it was at Old Trafford, on Cantona’s big day, and against one of the greatest goalkeepers in history, this has to be number one. Nobody could stop Fowler at this point in his career, and it’s just a mighty shame that injuries ended up getting the better of him.
An Evening with Robbie Fowler
Friday, 5th June 2015
Kings Hall, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 1HP
Abzorbed are bringing Fowler to the King’s Hall in Stoke for a very special black tie evening on Friday, June 5th 2015, where the former Red will be joined by some special guests including Liverpool-born comedian Willie Miller.
Tickets are available with 50% off by using the promo code ‘ANFIELD15’ — get them here! And don’t miss the chance to win a photo opportunity with Fowler himself — entry details here.