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From scorpion kicks to overhead screamers.

Premier League players pulled out all the stops this season to deliver incredible goals.

Top 10 goals of the 2016-17 Premier League season10 – Dimitri Payet vs Middlesbrough

Though the Frenchman’s half-season left a sour taste in the mouths of the West Ham faithful, he provided miraculous moments in his wake. His amazing slalom run through the Middlesbrough defence early in the campaign was peak Payet.

Picking up the ball on the left-flank, as he so often did in claret and blue, he drove back across the goal before slotting it in underneath the goalkeeper. A crowd of Boro players had gathered behind him, but they could do nothing to stop the France international.

9 – Pedro vs Everton

It is hard to think of too many left-footed strikes that could beat the one Pedro lashed past Maarten Stekelenburg in April. Of course, there was nothing the Dutch custodian could do about it. Pedro cut across his man and gave Chelsea the lead against the Merseyside club.

8 – Xherdan Shaqiri vs Hull City

Shaqiri, who has a stellar CV of former clubs, was a severe pain for Hull City in the 2016-17 season. In a campaign where Stoke struggled for goals and 36-year-old Peter Crouch ended up as their top scorer, the Potters will look back on Shaqiri’s brace at the Britannia and marvel.

With a block of black shirts in front of him, the Swiss international caught his shot beautifully and sealed three points for the Staffordshire club. As Stoke supporters often say – Shaqiri does not score easy goals.

7 – Cristhian Stuani vs Sunderland

Stuani sealed Middlesbrough’s first win of their (short-lived) return to the Premier League with a neat brace in the North East. Opening his account in the 13th minute, the Uruguayan smashed the ball in from 25-yards.

It gave Boro the advantage in the first Tees-Wear Derby of the season. Stuani added his second right before half-time to send his side home with the win.

6 – Jordan Henderson vs Chelsea

The Liverpool captain unleashed a worthy winner in August 2016 to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Dejan Lovren had given the Reds the lead before Henderson managed to steer an unbelievable shot into the top corner, evading Thibaut Courtois.

With the commentators preparing to congratulate the 26-year-old on a good effort, Henderson ended up wheeling away in celebration – as did the traveling Kopites.

5 – Wilfried Zaha vs. Swansea City

Entering the list with a delightful scissor kick, the Crystal Palace favourite is the first name in the top five. Taking in a Martin Kelly cross, Zaha leaned backwards and fired past Lukasz Fabianski.

It was a late equaliser at a tense time – Swansea’s eventual winner in the 88th minute put them only a point away from safety and, as it happened, a point behind Palace. With goals such as this one, it is no surprise that the Ivorian claimed Player of the Season at Palace’s end of season awards.

4 – Andy Carroll vs Crystal Palace

Andy Carroll’s bicycle kick set the London Stadium alight and secured a shift up the league table.

When the ball broke to Hammer of the Year Michail Antonio on the left edge of the 18-yard-box, Carroll swung towards the opposite side of the area, hanging off the shoulder of the back four. Antonio’s ball was superb and the former Liverpool striker was only too happy to rifle his effort past Wayne Hennessey.

Carroll’s aerial ability has never been questionable, but being able to move all of his 6′ 3″ frame like he did made this goal world-class.

3 – Henrikh Mkhitaryan vs Sunderland

Few goals turned heads like the Armenian’s scorpion flick. Not only was it a wonderful display of creative, improvisational talent – it was also offside.

Four minutes from full-time, Mkhitaryan flicked out a foot to convert Zlatan Ibrahimovi’s cross. Jordan Pickford was utterly helpless to stop the United midfielder.

Comparisons to famed Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita came thick and fast and, before the final whistle, fans were already naming the strike a ‘scorpion goal’. United went on to win the match 3-1, heaping more misery on former manager David Moyes.

2 – Olivier Giroud vs Crystal Palace

Talk of Mkhitaryan for goal of the season did not last long, as less than a week later, Olivier Giroud netted his own scorpion goal. It brought in 2017 with a bang, thundering in off the crossbar.

A fluid Arsenal counterattack set up a fierce breakaway before talismanic forward Alexis Sanchez linked up with Giroud. Martin Tyler and Gary Neville were left absolutely speechless.

A real problem emerged after the goal – was it better than Mkhitaryan’s? Because Giroud’s strike was onside, higher, a sharper angle behind his back and it struck the woodwork to go in, it tops the United man’s goal.

1 – Emre Can vs Watford

Liverpool were looking for a minor miracle on their visit to Hertfordshire and one appeared, in the form of their German midfielder Emre Can.

With a stale draw on the cards, threatening the club’s top four objective, Brazilian veteran Lucas Leiva drifted a ball into the box. Underneath it, battling with his man, Can managed to guide it into the back of the net.

It took a lot to beat the scorpion goals from the turn of the year but this bicycle kick had it all – power, precision, difficulty and urgency.

Originally published at outside90.com

Post written by Reagan Ward
for Outside 90, Blog: outside90.com, Twitter: @Outside90

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