The close season is not only a time to look forward towards the next season, but also a chance for reflection and nostalgia from seasons gone by. Here I look back at my favourite ten goals scored at Sunderland’s home, in no particular order. Click the link on each goal to view it...
10. Carlos Edwards vs Burnley. In 2007, the Trinidadian midfielder received the ball on the right before rifling a beauty into the top corner, leaving the Burnley ‘keeper helpless and pretty much sealing promotion into the bargain…
9. Wahbi Khazri vs Chelsea. This game in 2016 was truly thrilling. A five-goal emotional rollercoaster was started by Diego Costa, before the Tunisia star volleyed a wonderful strike past Thibaut Courtois. The ball came out for Khazri on a plate after ping pong in the box, only for him to smash it into the far corner.
8. Chris Maguire vs Southend. The goal of the season in the recent campaign, Maguire took matters into his own hands after a mistake from a Southend defender. After carrying the ball towards the Southend goal, Maguire struck a fierce shot into the top corner. The intent was clear, and the execution was perfect.
7. Jermaine Defoe vs Newcastle. The only goal in this 1-0 win to keep our unbeaten streak against the Mags. The keeper launched the ball up, Fletcher knocked it down and Defoe volleyed it past Tim Krul calm as you like. This would have been world class against any opposition, but it was even sweeter to be against our bitter rivals.
6. Chris Maguire vs Portsmouth. That man again! This goal will be known forever as the one that sent Sunderland to Wembley, and rightly so. Under immense pressure, Maguire lashed a volley into the back of the net with such sweet connection, the keeper didn’t even move. Yes, the execution was phenomenal, but the occasion certainly makes this one more impressive.
5. Kevin Phillips vs Chelsea. This was possibly Super Kev’s best goal for Sunderland, and there were quite a few weren’t they? The striker received the ball around 30 yards out, before unleashing a fantastic first-time volley into the top corner. This shot had everything: power, precision and amazing technique.
4. Fabio Borini vs Newcastle. Borini took the ball off Altidore after a heavy first touch and rifled the ball into the top corner to not only spark the Great Escape but continue the fantastic record against Newcastle. Borini wheeled away in delight as the poor Newcastle fans’ dreams were left in tatters.
3. Bolo Zenden vs Spurs. Now onto a more acrobatic effort. The ball was hung up in the box, only for Zenden to perform a brilliant bicycle kick back into the far corner.
2. Kieran Richardson vs Newcastle. Another derby goal! This one was an absolute rocket from Richardson’s left foot from a free kick. Almost bursting the net, the ball was struck with so much power no one saw it coming.
1. Lynden Gooch vs Charlton. Right before the referee’s final whistle, Gooch headed in the winner on the opening day of the season. This goal was one of huge significance, signalling the start of a new era under Stewart Donald and Jack Ross. It symbolised all of the new beginnings, particularly a willingness to fight back from behind, and the fans not turning on the players.