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The 10 Fastest Premier League Goals Of All Time

The 10 Fastest Premier League Goals Of All Time

A football match can turn on its head in an instant. All it takes is one defensive slip-up, one piece of individual skill, or one well-worked set piece routine, and a team's outlook on an entire game can be switched completely in seconds. Sometimes these game-changing moments might happen just before the half-time break, and on other occasions, fans may have to wait until the dying moments for this kind of drama. But arguably the most disruptive time of all for a goal to be scored is just seconds into a match.

This has happened on numerous occasions in the Premier League, in the Champions League, and in prestigious international competitions. Early goals could be the result of a well-worked team move from kick-off, an intense pressing structure high up the pitch, or simply a defensive mix-up or a speculative strike from distance. Early goals can help kickstart a game and get fans on their feet before they've even had a chance to settle into their seats. And in this article, we'll be exploring the fastest goals that have ever been converted in the English top flight.

It's important to note that conversations about the fastest Premier League goal and the fastest goals scored in other soccer competition often cause lots of disputes regarding exact timings, even years after the ball has burst the back of the net. However, the modern nature of the Premier League means that we can be pretty confident on these figures. In this article, we'll detail what the fastest goal in Premier League history is.

The Impact Of An Early Goal

Early goals can shake a team to their very core. All week, managers and their coaching staff will spend hours on the training ground and in their offices developing a plan to outwit the opposition and gain tactical advantages over them come match day. And then, a goal from the opposition team can completely alter the texture of a match, making all that hard work seem pointless.  

Early goals can be converted in a number of different ways. Most of the efforts at the very top of the leaderboard when it comes to the fastest-ever goals in global soccer are pretty similar; a player will shoot directly from kick-off, catching the opposition goalkeeper by surprise and firing the ball into the back of the net from over 50 yards out. However, this is a very specific type of strike, and there are many other ways of converting within just a few seconds. 

Recently, a spotlight was shone on this often-overlooked aspect of the beautiful game when a kick-off routine developed by Bournemouth went viral on social media, prompting numerous other teams around the world to try their hand at the strategy. A highly intricate kick-off passing move — masterminded by Scott Parker and his coaching team — was first used in December 2021, when Bournemouth scored just 9 seconds after the restart against Fulham. More recently, Bournemouth were able to score against league leaders Arsenal in a well-worked kick-off move, once again showing how an aggressive start to proceedings can pay dividends. However, the south coast club still don't have the record of having scored the fastest ever Premier League goal. So who does have that title?

The Top 10 Fastest Premier League Goals In History

#10. James Beattie vs Chelsea, 

On a warm August day toward the start of the 2004/05 season, the Stamford Bridge faithful were shocked by the early goal of Southampton striker James Beattie, who pounced on a loose Chelsea pass and struck the ball home on the bounce from around 25 yards out to give his side the lead. Beattie's goal came after just 13.52 seconds according to Premier League records, making it the 10th-fastest goal since the breakaway top division was formed in 1992.

#9. Kevin Nolan vs Blackburn, 2004

Kevin Nolan is a West Ham legend whose many years of service to the club ended with him being granted a coaching role under David Moyes in 2020. However, it was for his former club Bolton Wanderers that he scored this rapid Premier League goal against Blackburn. Hitting the back of the net only 13.48 seconds after the ball was kicked off in the centre of the field, Nolan's goal was the result of a long ball forward, which he managed to convert from a tight angle to give his side the lead away from home (interestingly, eight of the top 10 fastest goals in PL history have been scored by away teams, when travelling clubs have stunned the home support into silence).

#8. Chris Sutton vs Everton, 1995

After shining at Norwich City in the early 1990s, the tall, physical English striker Chris Sutton went on to form a devastating title-winning strike duo with Alan Shearer at Blackburn Rovers, bagging a total of 83 Premier League goals over the course of his career. While playing for Blackburn during their historic 1994/95 trophy-winning campaign, Sutton converted the eighth-earliest goal in the history of the EPL, scoring against Everton after only 12.94 seconds.

#7. Dwight Yorke vs Coventry, 1995

Trinidadian striker Dwight Yorke impressed enough at Aston Villa during the 1990s for Sir Alex Ferguson to pull strings to bring him to United, and this extraordinarily early goal in the league against Coventry certainly would've contributed to that decision. After a couple of short passes straight from kick-off, Villa launched the ball over the top of the Coventry backline to onrushing winger Ian Taylor, who then hooked the ball into the centre of the box for Yorke to smash home a header after just 12.15 seconds (the fastest headed goal in PL history).

#6. Mark Viduka vs Charlton, 2001

Just missing out on the top 5 is Mark Viduka, an iconic Australian forward who played for a range of English clubs including Leeds, Newcastle and Middlesbrough in the 1990s and 2000s. This particular goal came after just 11.9 seconds, in an away fixture for Leeds at Charlton's ground The Valley. It was one of 22 goals Viduka put away during his first season in the Premier League, a stellar record for a new arrival.

#5. Christian Eriksen vs Manchester United, 2018

In January 2018, Danish creative midfielder Christian Eriksen was shining for a Spurs side masterminded by Mauricio Pochettino and led on the pitch by the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Hyeung-min Son. In this game, he got them off to a flyer at home against the Red Devils when the ball landed at his feet in the penalty area following a long ball forward that Kane got his head to. Eriksen neatly tucked the ball into the far corner with just 10.54 seconds on the clock.

#4. Alan Shearer vs Manchester City, 2002

Given that he is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with a total of 260 goals from 441 appearances, it's probably no surprise for most readers that Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has a goal in this list; this rapidly-converted effort for his hometown club came in January 2003, in a 2-0 win over Manchester City. This goal was a little different to many of the others in this list. While often early goals will be the result of targeted team passing moves, this came from an old-fashioned defensive error. The kick-off was taken by Man City and the ball passed back to goalkeeper Carlo Nash, who then blasted the ball straight into Newcastle's on-rushing striker, who blocked the clearance before tapping it into a virtually empty net after 10.52 seconds. Not Nash's finest moment.

#3. Ledley King vs Bradford City, 2000

For 17 years, this goal stood at the top of the leaderboard, until a certain 2019 strike took its place. Ledley King wasn't much of a goalscorer, only grabbing 10 goals in his 268-game Premier League career, but one of those efforts made history. It was on a cold day in December 2000 that he fired home a long distance shot just a few seconds after kick-off, giving his Spurs side a 1-0 lead over their hosts Bradford, in a game which ended up finishing 3-3.

#2. Phillip Billing vs Arsenal, 2023

In a Premier League clash in which Gary O' Neil's newly-promoted Bournemouth side gave league leaders Arsenal a genuine scare at the Emirates, Phillip Billing got on the end of a rapid-fire attacking move direct from kick-off at the start of the match. Stealing in at the back post to slot calmly home, Billing's goal came after just 9.11 seconds.

#1. Shane Long vs Watford, 2019

The record for the fastest goal in Premier League history is held by Shane Long, an Irish international who played for various top flight English clubs including Reading, West Brom, Hull and Southampton. His record-breaking strike came in April 2019, when he chased down a dawdling Watford back line straight from their kick off, intercepted a defensive clearance and was left through on goal to dink home a clever finish only 7.69 seconds after kick-off.

The Fastest Goal In Soccer History

The Premier League is just one small part of the global footballing landscape, which consists of hundreds of domestic divisions, cup competitions, continental and international tournaments, with millions of people across the world regularly tuning in to support their favourite team. While some rapid goals have been scored in the Premier League, you'll be blown away by the speed at which certain players outside the elite levels of the game have got on the scoresheet.

There are a number of contenders for the fastest goal in the history of soccer, and plenty of disputes about who deserves the coveted title. From Serbian second division player Vuk Bakic to south London non-league footballer Ryan Hall, there are a few players who have remarkably scored after just a couple of seconds. Check out our article on the Top 10 Fastest Goals In Soccer History for more information.