These six custodians have achieved a rare and extraordinary feat.
Ever since Alisson Becker scored an injury-time header against West Brom, the goalkeeper has earned a special place in Liverpool fans’ hearts. The goal not only helped the Reds secure a crucial victory, but could also be the reason why they might play in the UEFA Champions League next season.
A goalkeeper scoring a goal, let alone in injury-time, is very rare in football. Yet, over the years, there have been some instances in the Premier League when spectators have witnessed such a phenomenon.
Today, we take a look at the six goalkeepers who have etched their names in the history books of Premier League by hitting the back of the net.
6. Tim Howard vs Bolton Wanderers
Tim Howard’s legacy at Everton will always be remembered by the Toffees’ faithful. In 2012, the American goalkeeper scored one of the most outrageous goals ever. After a goalless first half, it looked a lively second half between Everton and Bolton Wanderers.
During a Bolton attack, Sylvain Distin retrieved the ball for the Toffees and passed it back to Tim Howard. The goalkeeper cleared the ball first time from inside his own box. However, to his surprise, the ball took a bounce and thanks to a strong wind force, swept over a helpless Adam Bogdan to hit the back of the net. Everton took the lead surprisingly, but Howard refused to celebrate the goal. He later cited it as a ‘cruel’ goal and expressed sympathy for Bogdan.
To the hosts’ dismay, the visitors made comeback through David N’gog and Gary Cahill as they took off with all the three points in the Premier League fixture.
5. Asmir Begovic vs Southampton
In November 2013, Asmir Begovic compelled the 26,000 odd spectators gathered at the Britannia Stadium to give a standing ovation. The game between Stoke City and Southampton began with a Saints’ attack. Stoke defender Erik Pieters received the ball and made a back pass to Begovic.
The goalkeeper cleared it first time, but the power behind it was such that the ball took a couple of bounces in the opposition half and ended up straight inside the goal. Southampton custodian Artur Boruc was left red-faced after he failed to keep the ball out.
The goal gave Stoke a lead in the very first minute of the game. However, the game ended in a draw after Jay Rodriguez equalized for the Saints. Nevertheless, Begovic recorded history for the longest goal ever scored in Premier League (100.5 yards).
4. Peter Schmeichel vs Everton
Peter Schmeichel could be a legendary figure in the Manchester United folklore, but on ‘that’ evening, he earned a place in Aston Villa fans’ hearts. In October 2001, Villa faced Everton at the Goodison Park. At the hour mark, the Toffees went 3-0 up and it looked like it was their game to lose.
But Villa showed some late resilience with Moustapha Hadji pulling one back in the 71st minute. The visitors earned a corner in the dying minutes of the game and goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel came up too. After a scramble inside the box, the ball ended up in Schmeichel’s feet and he drove it well in the near post to make it 3-2. Unfortunately, Villa couldn’t find an equalizer but Schmeichel’s goal has been cherished by the fans for years.
3. Brad Friedel vs Charlton Athletic
With over 450 appearances, Brad Friedel has been a journeyman in the Premier League. In his 17 seasons with top sides including Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur, Friedel even has a goal to his name.
The goalkeeper achieved the feat while at Rovers in February 2004 when his side took on Charlton Athletic. Charlton were in superb momentum at the time and took a double lead in the first half itself. But Rovers pulled one back through Andrew Cole in the second half.
Their efforts to pull off an equalizer finally paid off in the 90th minute when Friedel himself got onto the scoresheet. The goalkeeper came forward during a corner and found the net after a scramble inside the box.
Unfortunately, Charlton scored a winner through Claus Jensen two minutes later to take home the three points. But, Friedel’s goal certainly earned him a reputation at Rovers.
2. Paul Robinson vs Watford
In March 2007, when White Hart Lane hosted Tottenham against Watford in the Premier League, little did the spectators expect they were in for a treat. Spurs dominated the proceedings right from the beginning as Jermaine Jenas handed them a lead.
At one instance, the home side earned a freekick well inside their own half and goalkeeper Paul Robinson stepped up. But he struck it with such tenacity that the ball went over the Hornets’ defence line, bounced above Ben Foster and went straight in. Foster could only produce a dismayed look as Spurs played rushed towards their goalkeeper who had just scored from an unthinkable range.
Hossam Ghaly scored their on the night to put the game to end before Watford pulled one back. Certainly, a memorable victory under manager Martin Jol.
1. Alisson Becker vs West Bromwich Albion
Liverpool haven’t been upto the mark in the 2020-21 season, with questions marks over a top four finish. It should have been a comfortable win in the 36th Gameweek for the Reds against relegated West Brom. But they left it late for a drama.
Mohamed Salah gave them a much-deserved equalizer after Hal Robson-Kanu had given the hosts a lead. Jurgen Klopp’s men missed some good chances and the game looked like it was going to end in a draw. A draw would likely mean that the Merseysiders would lose out on Champions League qualification.
But their goalkeeper Alisson Becker had other plans. In the 95th minute, Liverpool earned a corner, probably the last move of the game. Alisson stepped forward and to everyone’s surprise, headed in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s curler to give them the lead. The header was so immaculate, Sam Johnstone didn’t even move as West Brom players watched in horror. The quality and importance of the goal makes it easy to rank it above all.