Great Goals Revisited: Big sexy Graziano Pelle's vast sexy overhead kick
There’s not many worse than feeling overshadowed. Standing there having accomplished article you’re immensely proud of, only to retain your achievement upstaged and consigned to footnote status, manufacture you dram you’d never bothered.
Spare a abstraction then for Charlie Austin. Playing for newly-promoted QPR, Austin had licit scored a brilliant, temporary equaliser castigate Southampton that, in any standard circumstances, would have been a sure-fire Goal of the Month winner.
The warm viewpoint lasted a mere two minutes, however. Going lustreless up the supplementary end, Southampton’s Graziano Pelle achieved the improbable of making Austin’s drub look like a mere tap-in. Once the orb had nestled in Robert Green’s net, stewards were employed to pluck up the maw of supporters that had collectively dropped to the floor.
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Before we tell the batter in supplementary detail, context. Southampton had been a revelation in the 2013-14 season, playing some fine football under Mauricio Pochettino and finishing eighth in the league. Unfortunately, this success merely alerted the piranhas of the Premier League fish tank.
Pochettino left to administer Spurs, Manchester United signed Luke Shaw and Arsenal took Calum Chambers. Liverpool, meanwhile, in the marrow of a middle-aged fellow finding one honest couple of jeans and returning to the duplicate shop indefinitely, purchased Dejan Lovren, midfield heartbeat Adam Lallana and striker Rickie Lambert. Consequently, the Saints were tipped by many pundits to struggle.
However, they reckoned without the well-run attitude of the club. Southampton recruited Ronald Koeman as Pochettino’s successor and the Dutchman was allowed to reinvest the discharge capital back into the team.
Showing the canniness we own come to await from our European cousins, Koeman bought in the likes of Dusan Tadic, Fraser Forster, Shane Long, Sadio Mane and Ryan Bertrand. The pundits were about to be proven spectacularly wrong.
Koeman further signed Pelle from Feyenoord for £8million. Possessing conventionally upright looks, the Italian striker inspired countless shaved-headed Rotterdammers to adopt his immaculate side-parting trim. It felt like a significant prefer on Rickie Lambert.
After a narrow conquer to Liverpool in their opener, Saints won three of their subsequent five games, with Pelle helping himself to three goals. The stage was congeal for the visit of already struggling QPR to St Mary’s.
The first-half was additional one-sided than Mike Tyson fighting a one-armed nun. Mane, creation his union debut for Southampton, was a constant peril and Tadic, who hit the post, Pelle and Morgan Schneiderlin all squandered opportunities.
By contrast, QPR were flattered by the naught following to their name. It was partly as if their game-plan was to lure Southampton into believing they were tragic before pinching a goal.
Soon into the end half, Southampton got the goal their show had deserved – a perfectly executed backheel by Mane found the oncoming Bertrand, who drilled a low shot unbefitting the weakly Green. Following this, Wanyama and Tadic missed chances to deservedly double the lead.
Game over? Not quite. Like a child refusing to accomplish any revision but somehow calmness scraping a pass, QPR soon found the net. Austin showed outstanding directions to collar Eduardo Vargas’ cross, fulcrum and crash a bombardment ex Fraser Forster. The odds on that thump not even being considered goal of the day seemed remote.
Southampton were reeling at being pegged back in a diversion they had dominated. This would have been the occasion where frustrations started to dramaturgy and their play to become increasingly ragged, allowing QPR the opportunity of an unlikely win.
Seconds after kick-off, substitute Long sent a internal looping touchy towards the back post. With no additional expectation than keeping the chance alive, Tadic headed the ring rancid into the air. From these unpromising beginnings, Pelle executed a finish of miraculous quality.
Holding off QPR defender Steven Caulker, Pelle teed himself up facing away from danger. In his following movement, the Italian striker contorted his entity as if made from Play-Doh to latch an overhead kick towards goal. His foot was as overripe as Caulker’s jumping leader upon impact.
Time seemed to transact slower as the circle twisted over the despairing Green and dropped into the left-hand recess of the net. Don’t exasperate this time, Rob, three goalkeepers wouldn’t obtain saved that.
After that, there was no method Southampton would be losing the cause again. The Saints went on to win 2-1 and full the season in seventh cranny – having spent a lot of of the year in the Champions League qualification spots.
They finish one cranny higher in 2016 before Koeman left for Everton and the duo began to be dismantled once again.
Pelle proved a classy component of this Southampton, top-scoring for the bastinado in 2014-15 with 16 goals in all competitions. After another 14 the season after, Pelle made the astonish scorn to carry to Chinese club Shandong Luneng – a pact which became less surprising upon the discovery that he became the fifth highest-paid footballer in the creation at the time.
Amazingly, his lash didn’t even win Match of the Day’s Goal of the Month award for September 2014 – Angel di Maria’s golf chip effort inveigh Leicester was chosen instead. Despite this, Pelle’s entrust live long in the memory of all those that witnessed it as a moment of improbable class.