Monday 16 April 2012
WATCH THE SAVES AND VOTE IN THE 20 SEASONS AWARDS
The strikers may grab the headlines, but the goalkeepers of the Premier League have produced a series of jaw-dropping saves - many of which are as important as a goal.
And you can have your say as the public will vote for the Best Save in Premier League history.
These are the 10 that made it on to the shortlist:
Liverpool 1-2 MANCHESTER UNITED
6th March, 1993
The Great Dane pulled off more than his fair share of wonder saves during a glittering Premier League career, and his effort to deny Liverpool's Don Hutchison was typically astounding. Ten yards out, the midfielder could not have caught his left-foot shot any sweeter, but Schmeichel threw himself away to his left to parry the ball behind.
Newcastle United 0-1 MANCHESTER UNITED
21st December, 1997
When Newcastle's John Barnes met Stuart Pearce's cross from the left with a thumping header, he must have thought it was in. But Manchester United keeper Peter Schmeichel was not to be beaten, diving away to his left and sticking out his giant left hand to miraculously divert the ball behind for a corner.
Manchester United 1-2 BOLTON WANDERERS
20th October, 2001
With the scores level at 1-1, Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen pulled off a double save of staggering quality. Diving down to his left at full stretch to keep out Paul Scholes' left-foot drive, the Finn somehow managed to get to his feet in time to throw himself in front of Andy Cole's shot from the rebound and claw that away too. Bolton went on to record a famous victory at Old Trafford.
Sunderland 0-1 NEWCASTLE UNITED
24th February, 2002
With his team leading the Tyne-Wear derby 1-0 with six minutes left, Newcastle keeper Shay Given could hardly have chosen a more crucial moment to make such a stunning save. Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips had curled the ball with unerring accuracy towards Given's top corner from 22 yards, but the Irishman sprang into the air, bent his back and managed to fingertip it over the bar, earning his side three points and himself a place in north-east derby folklore.
Wigan Athletic 0-1 WEST BROMWICH ALBION
15th January, 2006
As the ball rolled across the West Brom six-yard box, it looked like Wigan striker Jason Roberts would have the simplest of tasks in knocking it into an empty net. But from nowhere, Baggies keeper Tomasz Kuszczak managed to change direction, race across his line, make himself big and throw himself at Roberts' feet to block the Latics man's effort. It was the last act of the match, and secured a 1-0 win for West Brom.
Tottenham Hotspur 4-4 CHELSEA
19th March, 2008
In the dying stages of a truly astonishing Premier League match with Tottenham and Chelsea level at 4-4, Blues keeper Carlo Cudicini pulled off a save of sheer brilliance to deny Spurs a winner. It appeared as though the Italian was diving the wrong way to keep out Dimitar Berbatov's true right-foot shot, but he showed superb reflexes to stick out his right hand and direct the ball behind, jumping into the air to celebrate.
BLACKBURN ROVERS 1-1 Manchester United
19th April, 2008
Blackburn led the champions 1-0 going into the closing stages, with Brad Friedel keeping Manchester United at bay with a series of wonderful saves. He saved his best until right before the end, showing amazing reflexes to stick out his right hand and turn John O'Shea's goalbound shot behind for a corner. United went on to equalise in the 88th minute, but Friedel's heroics earned Rovers a draw.
Liverpool 1-0 MANCHESTER CITY
4th May, 2008
Joe Hart established himself in the Man City goal in the 2007/08 season but it was in his final appearance of the campaign that he pulled off an astounding stop. With Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's inch-perfect curler from just inside the penalty area arching towards the far corner, Hart showed terrific speed and skill to adjust his feet and fly across goal, tipping the ball away for a corner when it looked for all the world a goal.
Birmingham City 0-1 MANCHESTER UNITED
27th September, 2007
A second-half substitute for the injured Edwin van der Sar, Manchester United's Polish keeper Tomasz Kuszczak was called into action to preserve their 1-0 lead when Birmingham's Gary McSheffrey cut in from the left and fired a shot goalwards. The ball took a wicked deflection off Rio Ferdinand on its way to the corner of the net, but Kuszczak showcased his tremendous agility and reflexes to push it away for a corner.
SUNDERLAND 1-0 Bolton Wanderers
18th December, 2010
It simply had to be a goal. As a corner from the Bolton right was headed back into the six-yard box, defender Zat Knight was there to meet it and steer the ball towards the open goal. Only Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon was not to be beaten, the Scot making a genuinely staggering reflex save with his left hand and somehow pushing the ball over the bar from almost on the goalline.
WATCH THE SAVES AND VOTE IN THE 20 SEASONS AWARDS