Canada may not have any ties to a major professional football league this time of year, with the MLS season at an end. However, the whole world watches the English Premier League, and the 2014/15 season has been every bit as thrilling as usual. We’ve seen great matches, phenomenal individual performances, and, most importantly, sensational goals that often seem to bend the laws of physics. So without further ado, here’s a (nearly) midseason recap of the five best goals of the Premier League season thus far.
Wayne Routledge vs. West Brom
Swansea City started off the Premier League campaign on a roll, and one of its favourable early results was a 3-0 win over West Brom. Nathan Dyer was the hero for Swansea in that match, with two of the three goals to his credit, but it was Routledge’s incredible half volley from the top of the box that stole the show. Daily Mail’s match report probably put it best: “the execution of Routledge’s half volley was perfect, the goal stunning.” That about says it all. Basically, Wayne Routledge handled an awkward, high-bouncing header from the defense with a sort of side-swiping strike that ended up being a gorgeously placed volley that the keeper simply had no hope of reaching. Watch the highlight here.
Diego Costa vs. Arsenal
Diego Costa is having a ridiculous first season with Chelsea. The Spanish star had yet another highlight in this past weekend’s 2-0 win over Hull, scoring his 12th goal of the season. And in fact, opta stats insights on Betfair’s Premier League section indicate that Costa is likely going to lead the EPL in goals scored in just his first year in the league. Following Saturday’s win over Hull, the site’s game recap gave him 11/10 odds to win the Golden Boot. But even among all those goals scored (and surely many to come), Costa’s goal against Arsenal in October stands out as a thing of beauty. Running onto a beautiful leading ball from Cesc Fabregas, Costa split two defenders at the top of the box and displayed extraordinary touch in chipping the ball over the goal
keeper’s head and into the net. It’s just one of those plays that makes you marvel at a professional footballer’s touch. Watch the highlight here.
Mile Jedinak vs. Liverpool
In one of the bigger upsets of the season thus far, at least in name, Crystal Palace scored a 3-1 victory over Liverpool on November 23 at Selhurst Park. Among the three goals scored for Crystal Palace was arguably the nicest goal from a set piece of the 2014/15 season. Mile Jedinak stepped up and scored a gorgeous goal arching over the wall and just under the crossbar, sending the Selhurst Park crowd into a frenzy. Watch the highlight, as recorded live from the front row of the match, here.
Mame Biram Diouf vs. Manchester City
Stoke City doesn’t have a great deal to be excited about when it comes to the league tables, but the club has had a few signature wins this season, first at the Etihad against Manchester City and more recently against Arsenal at home. But in the Man City game, Mame Biram Diouf’s goal—the only one scored in the match—provided a highlight that should still stand in May as one of the best of this EPL season. Following a relatively weak clearance of a Man City cross, Diouf took control of the ball and controlled it the length of the field, out-running Man City’s scrambling defense and then blowing past Fernandinho and into the box, where he calmly placed a ball that went right beneath the keeper. It’s not often we see a player take the ball the length of the field and actually convert. Watch the highlight here.
Jack Wilshere vs. Manchester City
Jack Wilshere is in the midst of an incredibly frustrating young career for Arsenal. Once billed (and still thought of by some) as the next big English midfield star, Wilshere has struggled to stay healthy. According to The Guardian, his latest injury will keep him out a minimum of three months. Nevertheless, when he’s in the game, Wilshere can occasionally make extraordinary plays. That’s just what he did when Arsenal met Manchester City in September. The match was a 2-2 draw, but it was on track to be a loss before Wilshere knocked in what Arsenal’s own recap called “a magnificent equalizer.” He was fed a very nice ball on a run into the box, but, with a tricky angle to shoot at, put together a spectacular chip shot at the near post. There was almost something cheeky about
this one, but the casual quality with which Wilshere made it happen showed another glimpse of his awesome potential. Watch the highlight here.