Manchester United flop Memphis Depay, who was shipped to Ligue 1 heavyweights Lyon back in January, scored a sublime goal during the weekend: a rocket of a strike that sent the ball straight to the back of the net from the halfway line, silencing his critics along the way.
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After such an audacious strike, here are five more incredible goals from the Premier League scored from the middle of the park.
5. Maynor Figueroa (for Wigan Athletic, v Stoke, 2009-10 season)
Maynor Figueroa may be a defender, but he, like any player, would capitalise on any chance to score a goal. And boy did he capitalise well. After winning a free-kick from just the edge of the halfway line, Figueroa decided he’d take this challenge head on, striking the ball and sending it towards goal with pinpoint accuracy.
4. Wayne Rooney (for Manchester United, v West Ham, 2013-14 season)
With iconic number seven David Beckham watching live from the director’s box at Upton Park, Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney took his chance and went for the spectacular. After winning the ball from West Ham’s James Tomkins, Rooney struck the ball on the volley, sending it straight in the air, past Hammers keeper Adrian who was at the edge of the box, into the back of the net – and made Beckham smile.
3. Charlie Adam (for Stoke City, v Chelsea, 2014-15 season)
The eventual Premier League champions were in control of their home game against Stoke and thought they would have it easy. They thought wrong – thanks to Charlie Adam. After Hazard goes down theatrically, Stoke pounce on the loose ball, which lands on the foot of the Scottish midfielder. One quick look at the goal sealed his decision. After a first touch, Adam kicked the ball airborne past the entire Chelsea defence into the back of the net. It was an audacious strike that made Chelsea keeper Thibault Courtois shrug in defeat.
2. Xabi Alonso (for Liverpool, v Newcastle, 2006-07 season)
When it comes to scoring goals, Xabi Alonso may not be the most prolific. But on one fateful night in September of 2006, he proved he is well capable of putting the ball past the keeper – in extraordinary fashion as well. After a team-mate won the ball inside their own half and gave it to Alonso, the Spanish midfielder shrugged and said, “yeah, let’s go”. He then sent the ball flying past Newcastle’s back four and their helpless goalkeeper for the wonderful goal.
1. David Beckham (for Manchester United, v Wimbledon, 1996-97 season)
The halfway line goal was made famous because of David Beckham – it was his claim to fame. After inheriting the number 10 shirt from Manchester United icon Mark Hughes, Beckham decided it was time to put his stamp on his team. With goalkeeper Neil Sullivan well out of his goal, Beckham thought he’d have a crack. The ball floated past much of Wimbledon’s team, over the goalkeeper, into the back of the net – a goal that sent Beckham into superstardom.