Olivier Giroud’s ‘scorpion’ goal in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace is one of “the top five” strikes of manager Arsene Wenger’s 21-year reign.
Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp goals are among Wenger’s favourites but he said “this will be the Giroud goal”.
He added: “Technically it’s not impossible but you must have that reflex. The cross didn’t come ideally and Olivier did something special.”
French forward Giroud said his strike owed much to “maximum luck”.
A swift counter-attack ended with Giroud flicking an Alexis Sanchez cross from behind him over his shoulder and into the goal, via the crossbar, with his left heel.
The goal broke the deadlock as Arsenal moved into the top three with a comfortable home win.
Leicester 3-3 Arsenal, 27 August 1997
Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp showed excellent touch to pluck a lofted ball from the air with his left foot, take it round a dumbfounded Matt Elliott with his right, then kept his composure to place the ball high past Kasey Keller.
Newcastle 0-2 Arsenal, 3 March 2002
Perhaps Bergkamp’s most famous of his 120 Arsenal goals came against Newcastle, when he flicked the ball around his marker Nikos Dabizas with the instep of his left foot, before slotting past goalkeeper Shay Given with his right.
Real Madrid 0-1 Arsenal, 21 February 2006
Henry made a reputation for scoring spectacular goals during his time at Arsenal, but his winner against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in 2006 is the first of Wenger’s favourites.
The France striker picked the ball up with back-to-goal on the halfway line, turned, accelerated away from three defenders, beat another, then slotted home with him weaker left foot.
Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool, 4 April 2004
Two years earlier, Henry had set the template for his wonder-goal in Madrid.
Receiving the ball close to the halfway line with Liverpool’s defence assembled in front of him, the Frenchman danced past defenders before opening up his body and stroking the ball past Reds keeper Jerzy Dudek.
Giroud was quick to put the goal down to luck after the game.
“It’s not difficult to say that’s the best one,” he said.
“I needed God’s help to score that goal. It was a bit lucky but it was the only thing I could do.
“The ball was behind me and I tried to hit it with the backheel. I tried to deflect it. In that position you can’t do anything else.”
Arsenal right-back Bellerin: I couldn’t believe it. It’s a great goal. I’ve seen him do stuff like that in training and we know what he’s capable of.
Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey: There seem to be a lot of wonder goals recently. I haven’t seen it again but it was a fantastic strike for him.
Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce: It was an outstanding, brilliant finish.
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