Football fans around the world were treated to another Robin Van Persie special when the flying Dutchman landed a trademark volley to snatch three points for Arsenal against Everton on Saturday.
Struggling at home to break down an obdurate Everton side just a few hours after the club’s 125th anniversary was marked by the unveiling of three statues of icons of the past, Ven Persie’s effort was befitting for such a special occasion.
The 28-year-old has scored a fair few contenders for goal of the season in his time, but where does his strike against Everton rate against some of the finest efforts in his career?
2006 – Charlton
Van Persie has always been an expert on the volley and this effort in 2006 demonstrates just that.
Alex Hleb got the move under way with a cross-field pass to a charging Emmanuel Eboue down the right wing, with the Ivorian curling a cross to the charging Van Persie arriving at the edge of the area.
What happened next was an example of Van Persie’s technical ability. Meeting the ball on the volley at high speed, The Gunners forward didn’t break his stride, taking the ball in the air and slamming it past Charlton keeper Scott Carson.
2007 – Sunderland
There isn’t many occasions when the ball is curled into the top corner of the net and it isn’t even the best goal scored that minute, but Arsenal’s 2007 encounter against Sunderland was certainly an exception.
The Gunners got off to a quick start and pressed forward from the off. Abou Diaby picked the ball up from 20 yards and slammed it past Craig Gordon, only for the referee to halt the celebrations by pointing out he had already pulled play back for a foul on Cesc Fabregas.
2011 – Barcelona
Perhaps for the magnitude of the game as well as the manner of the goal this one merits its inclusion.
With David Villa’s 28th minute opener looking like taking the Catalan club into the second leg on home soil with a one goal advantage, Van Persie stepped up with a moment of ingenuity that turned the game on its head.
With 78 minutes on the clock Gael Clichy chipped a ball down the left channel for Van Persie to latch on to near the dead-ball line.
However rather than crossing Van Perise took on the shot from a ridiculously tight angle, fizzing the ball past Victor Valdes. Cue pandemonium and the start of the unlikeliest comeback of the year.
2005 – Blackburn
A wonderful solo effort highlighting one of Van Persie’s under-rated talents – running with the ball at his feet.
The Dutchman collected the ball on the far right hand side on his own and set off on a meandering run before easing past two Blackburn defenders with a burst of pace before curling the ball in the top hand corner. Utterly sublime.
2006 - Aston Villa
Another effort from a tight angle, but this time involving some dancing feet that confounded the Aston Villa defensive line.
Demonstrating a deft touch to keep the ball in play, Van Persie produces a delightful piece of footwork to trick the diving Thomas Sorensen and blast home.