10 fastest goals in Premier League history
Background image: Bergfalke2, CC BY-SA 3.0
Over the years, the Premier League turned into every football fan's heaven. Why wouldn’t it? The most competitive league in the world provides fans with exhilarating matches week in, week out. And goals. Without them, a game almost seems incomplete.
You have to get up early in the morning to beat most Premier League defenders. Every once in a while, someone sets their clock for well before dawn. Occasionally, you don't even get the opportunity to settle into your chair before a goal is on the board. Shane Long’s early strike against Watford this week set the new standard. Now, now. Not so fast. Before we get into that one, here are the quick goals that keep it company.
10. Asmir Begovic vs Southampton
The first entry in the list is the most shocking. The 10th fastest Premier League goal was scored by Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic,13.54 seconds into a game against Southampton. The Bosnian's clearance from his 18-yard-box zeroed in on the Saints' goal like a heat-seeking missile. In Artur Boruc’s defence, the wind was too strong to comprehend the ball’s flight. Begovic also broke the record for the longest goal ever scored while notching the fastest in Potters history.
9. James Beattie vs Chelsea
Just as Jose Mourinho’s inspired reign at Chelsea began, James Beattie threatened to end their dreams with a stunning strike. Almost immediately after kick-off, Joe Cole’s scuffed pass fell for the towering striker to hit a sweet volley from 25 yards. Petr Cech couldn’t save it, The Blackburn forward's 13.52-second golazo became 2003/04 season’s earliest.
8. Kevin Nolan vs Blackburn
Arguably the wildest Lancashire derby in Premier League history, the 2004 game between Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers began in crazy fashion. Bolton lofted the ball forward after kick-off. Blackburn’s Martin Taylor attempted to protect the ball but Kevin Davies nicked it and fed Kevin Nolan. The midfielder blasted it into the net, striking at 13.48 to set an enthralling tone.
7. Chris Sutton vs Everton
During Rovers’ majestic title-winning season, they tended to strike early. Chris Sutton created some personal history against Everton. Seconds after kick-off, a clearance found him. He headed down to Alan Shearer. The Newcastle legend then gave it back, promising that if Sutton could finish, both would go on to enjoy careers in broadcasting. Sutton liked the idea so much, the ball was in the net in 12.94 seconds. It became the Premier League's fastest goal for the shortest time. A new mark was set the following season.
6. Dwight Yorke vs Coventry City
Aston Villa's Yorke broke Sutton's record against Coventry City in the 1995/96 season. The Villans started the game on the front foot, moving through the right-wing before Ian Tayler’s inviting cross met Yorke’s powerful header to score in 12.16 seconds. The future Manchester United star was able to get free drinks at the pub courtesy that goal for several more seasons than Sutton.
5. Mark Viduka vs Charlton Athletic
If there's a way to get a free pint, you know an Aussie will take advantage. Leeds United exploited poor conditions at the outset of their match against the Addicks, playing a cheeky long-ball. Alan Smith headed it onto Viduka who collected and deposited the ball in the back of the net on 11.90 seconds. Charlton fans were left shell-shocked. Viduka, however, would eventually come to savour his moment in history.
4. Christian Eriksen vs Manchester United
Who could forget the memorable Spurs-Manchester United clash last year? Seconds after kick-off, Jan Vertonghen flung a ball forward which was headed on by Harry Kane. Dele Alli tricked Chris Smalling, laying it for Christian Eriksen to score after only 10.54 seconds. Jose Mourinho's expression summed up his misery. The Dane became the king of Wembley after the stunning strike.
3. Alan Shearer vs Manchester City
Speaking of kings, the most prolific scorer in Premier League history belongs on this list. It came in prehistoric times, against a toiling Manchester City who began the game by passing back to goalkeeper Carlo Nash. Shearer closed into the goalkeeper like a flash. He stole the ball and put it into an empty goal before turning to tell Nash that keepers should never play out from the back.
2. Ledley King vs Bradford City
Until this week, the fastest goal-mark was held by an unpredictable candidate. Spurs' legendary defender Ledley King held the record with a 9.82-second strike against Bradford City in the 2000/01 season. Just as proceedings were underway, King displayed an unaccustomed ambition to go forward. He received the ball in midfield. Taking his chances, he took a few steps forward before ripping a dipping, curling volley that fooled Bradford’s Matt Clarke. The thrilling encounter couldn't have begun better.
1. Shane Long vs Watford
Lopping more than two seconds off Ledley's mark, Shane Long made up for all the lost time he's spent trying to score in the last few seasons. Fans were still displaying tickets to ushers when the shouts went up. When Hornets played the ball back into defence, Long pressed like a pit bull off his chain. Craig Cathcart’s long-ball was intercepted by the Irishman's leap, the adrenaline rush allowing him to latch onto possession and score past a bamboozled Ben Foster. Long left everyone stunned with the moment of brilliance, scripting himself into the history books in the process.