Top five: Stunning goals by Premier League defenders

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One of the beautiful things about a football match is that any player on the pitch can emerge as the hero.

It's not just strikers and midfielders who can win a match for their team - defenders can also pop up with a decisive goal, and even the occasional screamer.

Here are the five best goals scored by defenders during the Premier League era:

5. Rio Ferdinand | Manchester United v Liverpool

Rio Ferdinand is one of the classiest defenders that England have ever produced. But he's chipped in with a couple of great goals down the years, too.

This one against Liverpool in 2006 was undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.

Rio capitalised on a poor clearance by Jamie Carragher, taking a beautiful first touch before leathering the ball into the top corner of the net with his unfavoured left foot.

Watch it here:

4. Leighton Baines | Everton v Newcastle United

Leighton Baines has established himself as one of the Premier League's best dead-ball specialists over recent seasons.

He can curl the ball perfectly - as he proved against West Ham, twice, this season - or he can power the ball in with that trusty left foot of his.

Some scientists* believe this astounding strike against Newcastle from last season travelled faster than the speed of sound.

(*I may or may not be the "scientist" in question)

Watch it here:

3. Erik Edman | Tottenham v Liverpool

Another left-footed long-range blaster, this time from Tottenham's Erik Edman - remember him?

If you don't, we forgive you: he only spent one season at White Hart Lane.

But we can't forgive you for forgetting about this magnificent 35-yard effort against Liverpool at Anfield.

Watch it here:

2. David Luiz | Chelsea v Fulham

As the famous saying goes: whatever Erik Edman can do with his left, David Luiz can do with his right.

OK, so I may have just made that up, but the Brazil international scored a similar goal against Fulham at Craven Cottage last season - picking the ball up from deep inside the Cottagers' half before letting fly and finding the top corner.

A magnificent effort.

Watch it here:

1. Sebastian Coates | Liverpool v Queens Park Rangers

And top of this list is a player who currently can't get a game for love nor money.

If Sebastian Coates isn't careful, this stunning acrobatic effort against QPR will end up being the highlight of his entire career.

Although saying that, it was more than a little bit special.

Watch it here:

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Premier League
David Luiz
Leighton Baines
Rio Ferdinand

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