5 Best last-minute winners
Our recent last-gasp victory over Wolves reminded all of us how euphoric a winning goal in the dying seconds of a game is one of the main reasons why we love football so much.
The noise cannoning off the walls in The Emirates in the immediate seconds of Alexandre Lacazette’s shot deflecting off Wolves keeper Jose Sa and into the net was up there with the loudest the stadium has ever been.
And there are a few factors why last-minute winners are among the best moments in football.
Firstly, who are you playing against?
Well, we’ve had a little tete-a-tete with Wolves this season. After winning 1-0 at Molineux a few weeks before our potentially season-defining win at The Emirates over the same team, we celebrated vociferously. It was as if the hard work and rigorous training had all been evidenced in the way we had won the game.
We held firm. We were resilient. We created chances – we were playing to the gameplan that Arteta has envisioned. And that game was where some of the measures put in place really started to work for themselves. Our shape, our cohesion – this is Arsenal on the up.
And it was perhaps why we shouted so loudly about it. Plus, Wolves were a team in form and a real test. But the manager and some of the players took exception to our revelry and it only heightened the tension coming into the return fixture.
So when Laca snaffled the winner, when just twelve minutes previously we were losing?
We all went a little giddy.
What other last-minute wins are memorable for you? Where does this rank amongst the Emirates era? Doing a top 5 for all time would be dominated by a certain goal scored in Merseyside in 1989 (rightly so) – so here’s a list from our time at The Ems.
Here’s a top5:
5 – Henry, Feb 2012
True, the opposition weren’t a rival. But the delight in seeing the return of the king and how he scored the winner versus Sunderland in his last match was up there in the rankings of memorable moments. An Arshavin cross, looped into the ghosting Henry, who volleyed home delicately. If this was at The Emirates? It would’ve been incredible. See also Henry’s winner versus a stubborn Leeds outfit in the FA Cup.
4 – Vermaelen, Mar 2012
The Belgian started his career so well at our club, but injury tailed his trajectory off somewhat. Still, he can always look back on his winner versus Newcastle – which pretty much kept us on track for a top4 spot. We all knew dropped points in this game would have cost us. Up popped Thomas Vermaelen on the break, running into the box to poke home and send us wild.
3 – Henry, Jan 2007
Yep, that man again. And it was against United. With a header! That is all you need to know!
2 – Welbeck, Feb 2016
Ooh, just the thought of this gives me the chills. We were fighting with Leicester for the title this season. We needed to win to stay on their coattails. The Foxes had only lost to us and Liverpool in their remarkable season, so this was a real test.
What made it sweeter? The man who scored it. Welbeck became a fan favourite in his time at Arsenal. Dedicated with a great habit of scoring in decisive games, Welbeck also suffered badly with injury. This was his comeback game after multiple months out. So who better to flick home from a delightful Ozil free-kick? The rapturous scenes that ensued will live long in the memory.
1 – Ramsey – May 2014
Nine years of constant reminders about our failure to win anything. We made it to Wembley to take on unfancied Hull City in the FA Cup Final – but we had been burned before when facing underdogs. Just ask Birmingham. And when we went two goals down early on in the game – it was beginning to look like the oft-mentioned monkey on our backs was a real thing.
But the little Spanish magician Santi Cazorla got us back on track with a beautiful free kick soon after. Laurent Koscielny yet again stepped up when it mattered to grab a precious equaliser in the second half and it kept us in with a chance.
There were some really hairy moments, but in extra time, Aaron Ramsey was the man in form and he rifled home a lay-off from Olivier Giroud to send Wembley into raptures and give us the famous cup.
There were others of course, but what do you think? What have I missed?
Leave your comments below.