As the opening day of the new Premier League season fast approaches, the likes of Wayne Rooney, Christian Benteke and Harry Kane will all be looking to get their scoring tallies off the mark at the earliest opportunity.
If they manage to match any of these five opening-day strikes for quality though, they will have done well:
David Beckham v Wimbledon 1996/97
Everyone remembers Golden Balls’ most iconic moment in a Manchester United shirt, as he lobbed Neil Sullivan from inside his own half. But here are three things no-one recalls about the goal:
1) It was scored on the opening day
2) It came in the 90th minute of a 3-0 win (Eric Cantona and Denis Irwin scored the other two)
3) Beckham was wearing the number 10 shirt that season
Gus Poyet v Sunderland 1999/00
Gianfranco Zola and Gus Poyet combined to sumptuous effect on the opening day of the 1999/00 campaign, with the Uruguayan running onto the diminutive wizard’s scooped ball into the box and scissor-kicking it home.
Mario Stanic v West Ham 2000/01
Just a year later, Stanic marked Chelsea’s opening day with a strike to rival Poyet’s volley, and on his Premier League debut no less.
Jurgen Klinsmann v Sheffield Wednesday 1994/95
Although the German’s header is impressive, it is actually the then Spurs debutant’s celebration that lands him a spot on this list.
His decision to hit back at critics that claimed he had a tendency to dive by, well, diving, went down in Premier League folklore.
Colin Cooper v Southampton 1995/96
Coming off a ranging run up, the Nottingham Forest centre-back thumped the life out of this free kick to get the scoring underway against Southampton in the 95/96 season, made all the more impressive by the fact that dead-ball specialist Stuart Pearce was also on the pitch.
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