All the gegenpressing in the world wouldn’t matter if the ball didn’t end up in the back of the net.
Whilst every goal has its own beauty, a shunt from two yards doesn’t wrench the stomach or assault the eyeballs like a 40-yard howitzer.
With that in mind, here are RealSport’s 5 Best Goals of the Season.
5 Wayne Rooney
Joe Hart hasn’t done himself any favours this year.
His exclusion from the England World Cup squad is down to the kind of errors he made during West Ham’s visit to Goodison Park.
The Hammers keeper, having already conceded two goals courtesy of Wayne Rooney, slid a mindless clearance right into the 32-year-old’s path.
From 60 yards, Rooney rolled back the years with a guided wedge that bobbled nonchalantly into Hart’s unguarded net.
Glorious moments were few and far between for the pudgy footballing Liberace this year but this was surely one of them.
4 Charlie Daniels
Maybe it was the camera angle, which provided the perfect view as the ball scythed powerfully into the top corner.
Maybe it was because it was against Manchester City, who were already on their way to the title by the time they visisted Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
Or maybe its because it was something interesting in a season where the Cherries maintained their trophy as the leagues’ most benign and uninteresting team.
Either way, Daniel’s instinctive half-volley was satisfying on an almost primal level.
Blitzing a half-cleared header from an obtuse angle, even Ederson could get nowhere near the ball is it wedged into his side-netting.
3 Pedro Obiang
Pedro Obiang must wonder why he left Sampdoria at all.
After serving his apprenticeship in the Spanish league, the 26-year-old was a key part of a talented Genoese midfield before making a low-key move to West Ham in 2015.
All of his frustrations were snarled into his 30-yard rocket against Tottenham in January. Hugo Lloris was still on his backside long after Obiang had walloped the ball into his net.
Sadly, it was one of the few highlights in a morose year in the East End of London.
2 Kevin De Bruyne
Few players have evolved like Kevin De Bruyne under Pep Guardiola.
Unstoppable in a ‘free eight’ role, the Belgian had already stuffed a bagful of assists into the campaign before the arrival of Swansea at Eastlands.
Unable to find his usual cutting pass, De Bruyne dispatched a finish from 20 yards that was geometrically perfect.
There were no wild oscillations, no wrong-footing from the keeper. This was a cut-glass strike, executed with a horologists’ precision.
Sewn into the top corner in front of a manager who thought he’d already seen it all. He hadn’t.
1 Sofiane Boufal
He came, he took on an entire team and scored a wonderful finish and then he disappeared.
Sofiane Boufal looks destined to become a glorious footnote to an otherwise drab Southampton season, courtesy of a quite ridiculous goal against West Bromwich Albion in October.
Five Baggies players were left bamboozled as the Moroccan dribbled from inside his own half, before slotting in a desultory finish.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s celebrations were unusually pronounced: not that it saved his job, mind.
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