Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe 3 best goals of the weekend - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The 3 best goals of the weekend - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The 3 best goals of the weekend

This weekend saw several viable candidates for ‘Goal of the Season’, never mind ‘Goal of the Month’, but here are the pick of what was an excellent bunch.

In addition to the top three, honourable mentions must go to Papiss Cisse for his long range volley for Newcastle against Southampton and to Wigan’s Arouna Kone for his sublime chip of Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici at the Madejski Stadium.

3. Dimitar Berbatov – FULHAM vs Stoke City – Famed for favouring sublime technical ability over hard work for the team, the quality of Berbatov’s 9th goal of his debut season with the Cottagers will come as a surprise to very few.  Following a ricochet in the Stoke penalty area, the ball looped high into the air, falling into the path of the Bulgarian.  After an initial glance to his right, to check how much pressure an on-rushing defender was putting him under, Berbatov unleashed a ferocious right footed volley into the top corner of Asmir Begovic’s net from roughly 12 yards.  Had the ball fallen to anyone else in that situation, it would have been very easy for the ball to nestle in ‘Row Z’.

2. Gareth Bale – West Ham vs TOTTENHAM – Welshman Bale is currently riding the crest of a wave which has seen him forcefully throw his hat in the ring to be named the Premier League’s Player of the Year following a quiet first half of the season.  What made this goal doubly impressive was its timing.  Monday night’s London derby was in stoppage time with the teams locked at 2-2 following a previously enthralling 90+ minutes.  Bale, having seconds earlier been on the deck calling for referee Howard Webb to award a free kick in his favour, picked the ball up half way inside the West Ham half, shifts it onto that trusty left foot of his before unleashing an unstoppable effort past the helpless Jussi Jaaskelainen.  The West Ham keeper had been enjoying a superb night up until that point, pulling off a string of fine saves to keep Spurs at bay, however there was no way that the former Bolton man was getting anywhere near Bale’s effort.

1. Rafael – Queens Park Rangers vs MANCHESTER UNITED – As good as the previous two efforts were, Rafael’s wonder strike at Loftus Road on Saturday just pips it based on the added technical difficulty involved.  The Brazilian full-back is enjoying his best season to date at Old Trafford and is carving out a reputation as one of the most marauding full back in the league.  It is with this in mind that many would have expected it to be Rafael reacting first after Robin van Persie’s low cross was punched to relative safety by Ranger’s keeper Julio Cesar.  Rafael, still over 20 yards from goal and running onto the ball, takes it on the half volley with the control needed to keep the strike underneath the cross bar and into the top corner of the net.  Two things set this goal apart from those of Berbatov and Bale.  Firstly, taking the ball on the half volley is a lot more difficult than it is on the full or off the ground and secondly, unlike either of the previous two entrants, Rafael was actually being put under pressure by a member of the opposition, albeit by relative defensive novice Adel Taraabt.

Aaron Sharp