From a 60-yard Wayne Rooney belter, to a sublime Jamie Vardy volley, here are some of our favourite strikes this season
Wayne Rooney (Everton v West Ham, 29 November)
It was a pretty drab season for Evertonians but they will always remember the former England captain’s blaster against West Ham. Rooney displayed awesome control, technique and power to meet Joe Hart’s wayward clearance with a shot that zoomed into the unguarded net from inside his own half. It was even better than his effort at Upton Park in 2014, when he larruped a bouncing ball over Adrián from just inside West Ham’s half, because of how he managed to redirect the ball without even taking a touch to set himself. There are worse ways to complete a hat-trick.
Sofiane Boufal (Southampton v West Brom, 21 October)
The Moroccan might have subsequently fallen out with Mark Hughes after a row on the training ground but he did provide Southampton with one of their most joyous moments of the season, lighting up a wretched game against a dour Tony Pulis side with a marvellous solo goal. Boufal had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he robbed Allan Nyom and set off on a slaloming dribble in which he beat several West Brom defenders before slotting the ball home from the edge of the area. Shame he doesn’t do it more often, though. He’s only scored twice this season.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City v Stoke, 14 October)
This was Pep Guardiola’s side at their slick best, walking the ball into the net with embarrassing ease after carving their opponents open with a moment of inspiration from Kevin de Bruyne in the 19th minute. The Belgian would later conjure a delightful assist for Leroy Sané with a beautiful diagonal centre in the second half but it was his pass to release the German earlier in the game that really underlined his eerie genius. This goal was elevated by the pre-assist from De Bruyne, who wasn’t even looking when he slipped a reverse pass through for Sané to set up Sterling. Watch the goal again and the ball doesn’t seem to be on for De Bruyne but players of his calibre spy openings that the rest of us can barely imagine.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool v Bournemouth, 14 April)
Picking one Mo Salah goal isn’t easy. The choice is extensive. Some people will have a preference for the way he wriggled through against Tottenham before lifting the ball over Hugo Lloris. It might be his bending effort in the Merseyside derby or his chip against City that takes your fancy. But for the element of surprise, how about his header against Bournemouth? The odds were against Salah when Trent Alexander-Arnold picked him out with a cross from the right yet he thought quickly, worked out the angles and lobbed Asmir Begovic brilliantly. It was clever and instinctive and a finish to show he can score any type of goal.
Jamie Vardy (West Brom v Leicester, 10 March)
Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels can count himself unlucky not to have made the shortlist with his thunderous drive from a tight angle against Manchester City in August. Sorry, Charlie, but our final slot has to go to Vardy for his volley against West Brom. Mark Noble might protest after his swerving effort against Leicester earlier this month but this was the volley of the season. Riyad Mahrez’s ball from deep was judged to perfection and Vardy, who had peeled behind the West Brom defence, let it drop before whipping a left-footed shot into the bottom-left corner on the turn.