There is a dearth of bicycle kicks in the Premier League. Most of the amazing acrobatic goals we are treated to here come in the form of viral videos from overseas.
There are a number of reasons for this: English football favours strength over skill meaning a lack of adequate time and space for anyone to try. Utility and teamwork is often valued over individual skill, increasing the risk of jeers if an attempted bicycle kick goes horribly wrong.
We also employ exceptionally English referees, who punish those who dare to deviate from our strict Premier League criteria, as poor Cameron Jerome discovered a couple of weeks ago.
However, sometimes these wonder goals do manage to make an appearance, as Benteke’s did this weekend (below).
Before this, the best from recent years was Rooney’s versus Manchester City in 2011 (below).
But whose was better?
There is no doubt that Rooney’s was more important – it sealed a victory that put United eight points ahead of City in February 2011, denying the Citizens the chance of catching up and paving the way for an easy stroll to the title that year.
But if you watch Rooney’s goal closely, you can see that he hit the ball more with his shin than his boot. Benteke’s laces make such sweet contact with the football that it must be regarded the better goal.
Sorry Wayne, but technically, Christian’s got you beat.
Joseph Hobbs, Pundit Arena