Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Saturday May 26 2012
There are many things that factor in what makes a great goal. Sometimes moments of offbeat individual inspiration, such as Bergkamp v Newcastle and Leicester, ignite the imagination. At other times, an excellent team goal, like Vieira's at White Hart Lane in 2004 or Henry against Bayer Leverkusen and Charlton in the Gunners' counter attacking prime.
Maybe a delicate chip, a la Bergkamp v Leverkusen. At other times, a good old hearty thriker with the laces can get the adrenaline pumping, such as van Persie's karate kick volley against Charlton. Context matters too. For instance, in this year's voting, I'm sure Benayoun's stunning volley in Athens would have drawn more than 1% of the vote had it been say. the winner at Old Trafford. Producing inspiration under pressure gives a great strike even more gravitas.
Those things considered, I think our top 3 goals of the season, as voted for by you, the reader, makes perfect sense.
In 3rd place, with 12% of the vote, was Robin van Persie's equaliser against Tottenham at Ashburton Grove. Arsenal had been trailing 2-0 until a very 'f**k this!' sort of header from Bacary Sagna halved the deficit. Just two minutes later, having already struck the woodwork twice, van Persie gripped the vine of inspiration.
Assou Ekotto wildly hacked a clearance up into the air and to the edge of the Spurs box. van Persie took it down, brilliantly spun away from Kranjcar, shielded the ball away from Scott Parker before bending an unstoppable shot inside Brad Friedel's post.
In second place, came Mikel Arteta's late winner against Manchester City which, at the time, appeared to have gifted the title to United. Mancini went for a cautious approach that led to Arsenal dominating the game. But a mixture of poor fortune (Vermaelen blocking van Persie's header on the line) and the woodwork had kept City level.
But on 87 minutes, Pizarro received a pass from Gareth Barry in his own half, the pass was a touch long and Arteta, as he has done all season, was quick to press and hound Pizarro into ceding the ball. The Spaniard took a few steps forward before striking through the ball from twenty five yards, causing it to arrow into Joe Hart's bottom corner. It spurned a one off poznan from the home support and proved to be the goal that defeated the eventual champions.
In first place, well, I wrote about the ins and outs of this strike in the Player of the Season piece. Here, just relive Robin van Persie's smashing volley against Everton. Vital Arsenal's Goal of 2011-12 as voted for by you.
At the bottom right of the page, you can now vote for your moment of the season. LD.
Follow me on twitter @LittleDutchVA
Date:Saturday May 26 2012
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