Antonio Valencia has been handed the Premier League ‘Goal of the Month’ award for September for his strike during Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Everton last month.
With just four minutes on the clock, Nemanja Matic’s out-swinging cross found its way to the edge of the box, falling perfectly on the bounce for the Ecuadorian – 25 yards from goal on the right hand side of the box – to launch a ferocious thunderbolt past Jordan Pickford, who would have seen his hand fly off if he did manage to touch it.
The early strike set the platform for a dominant first half and Man United ultimately strolled to a 4-0 win through late goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial.
And Valencia, in what was really no contest at all, received the ‘Goal of the Month’ award for last month and even afforded a little smile when handed the trophy.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 13, 2017
99 times out of 100, the ball will fall invitingly for a player on the edge of the box, prompting a collective ‘shooooot’ from the crowd, and the end result is just a harmless lash over the bar.
And then, just every now and again, everything falls perfectly into place, and the shot connects so well that nothing can stop it from inexorably flying into the top corner.
Valencia’s reaction to his rip-snorter was a perfect example of his militantly commitment to the cause at Old Trafford: no smiling, heads straight back to his position, and prepares to go again.