The Long and Short of It: Celebrating the Fastest Premier League Goals
Who’s responsible for the fastest goal in Premier League history? What about the earliest left-footed strike? The fastest goal by a non-European? Who on the list has scored more than once in the opening minute of different matches? And which football club has a penchant for conceding quick goals? Here are the fastest goals scored in the competition with the facts on what makes each unique.
Two years ago, Shane Long broke a record that had stood for nearly 19 years – the fastest Premier League goal in history. Just 7.69 seconds into the Tuesday evening Premier League clash between Watford and Southampton at Vicarage Road, the Irish international striker had the Saints 1-0 up. From the kick-off, Long charged down Craig Cathcart’s long ball forward, snatching the loose ball and dinking the on-rushing Ben Foster.
Until recently, all goal times were rounded up to the nearest second, so there wasn’t a definitive list of the fastest goals in Premier League history. That changed in 2018. As the Premier League’s official data supplier, Stats Perform used archive footage and video technology to measure the quickest strikes in the competition’s history to the nearest hundredth of a second.
To celebrate the two-year anniversary of Long’s historic goal, here are some facts and statistics around the 10 fastest goals in Premier League history:
#1 Shane Long v. Watford (7.69 seconds)
Watford v Southampton, April 23, 2019, Vicarage Road
Shane Long’s goal against Watford came in a hot streak for the Southampton striker. It was the first time he had scored in successive Premier League starts since May 2016. In fact, Long also scored in his next start for the Saints – the first time he has ever scored in three consecutive Premier League starts, with those goals coming against Liverpool, Watford and Bournemouth. The Irish international still had a long way to go to beat Jamie Vardy’s record of 11 consecutive games with a goal for Leicester in November 2015.
#2 Ledley King v Bradford City (9.82 seconds)
Bradford City v Tottenham Hotspur, Dec. 9, 2000, Valley Parade
A centre back by trade, Tottenham Hotspur legend and former captain Ledley King was never known as a goal scorer. King scored just 10 goals in 268 Premier League appearances with six of these goals coming via headers.
The English defender’s strike after 9.82 seconds against Bradford City was his first-ever goal in the competition, coming in just his eighth top-flight appearance. Only two of his 10 Premier League goals were scored north of London (his first against Bradford in December 2000 and his last against Man Utd in April 2010).
#3 Alan Shearer v Manchester City (10.52 seconds)
Newcastle United v Manchester City, Jan. 18, 2003, St James’ Park
It’s no surprise that one of the 260 goals scored by the all-time leading Premier League scorer makes the list. Alan Shearer’s goal after 10.52 seconds against Man City is still the fastest ever for a home side and the quickest left-footed strike in the competition’s history. This goal was the England international’s first in the opening minute of a Premier League game, and his 218th in the competition. The Newcastle striker only failed to notch in the 39th minute and 47th minute across all Premier League matches. With 260 goals, Shearer is a full 52 goals clear of Wayne Rooney in the all-time scoring charts. We recently analysed Harry Kane’s chances of beating that record.
#4 Christian Eriksen v Manchester United (10.54 seconds)
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United, Jan. 31, 2018, Wembley Stadium
After Long’s record-breaking strike, Christian Eriksen has dropped from the podium places into fourth. However, even though the Danish schemer’s strike isn’t the quickest in Premier League history, at 10.54 seconds it is still the fastest goal ever at the new Wembley. Tottenham have a long history of scoring goals in the opening minute. Only Chelsea (12) have scored more goals in the first 60 seconds of a Premier League match than Spurs (11).
With 62 assists in total, Eriksen is second on the all-time assist chart for Spurs, with only Darren Anderton (68) providing more. The Dane is now plying his trade with Inter in Serie A, where he has not quite managed to rekindle that creative spark.
#5 Mark Viduka v Charlton Athletic (11.90 seconds)
Charlton Athletic v Leeds United, March 17, 2001, The Valley
Mark Viduka’s strike after 11.90 seconds against Charlton is the fastest goal by any non-European in Premier League history. Interestingly, Leeds United have scored five goals in the opening minute of Premier League games but none of them have come at Elland Road. Viduka remains the Yorkshire club’s highest Premier League goal scorer.
#6 Dwight Yorke v Coventry City (12.16 seconds)
Coventry City v Aston Villa, Sept. 30, 1995, Highfield Road
Dwight Yorke’s effort versus Coventry City for Aston Villa is the fastest headed goal scored in Premier League history, coming in at 12.16 seconds. Yorke is used to being in the Premier League record books – in November 2000, the Trinidad & Tobago striker became the first non-Englishman to score 100 goals in the competition. Yorke also held the record for the fastest hat trick from the start of a game (22 minutes v Arsenal in February 2001) for over 14 years until Sadio Mane broke the record in May 2015 (16 minutes) for Liverpool by scoring three goals in a Premier League record span of 2 minutes, 56 seconds. The striker would finish his Premier League journey with 123 goals in 375 appearances, in a career that saw him win the title three times with Manchester United as well as the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.
#7 Chris Sutton v Everton (12.94 seconds)
Everton v Blackburn Rovers, April 1, 1995, Goodison Park
Only two of Chris Sutton’s first 39 Premier League goals came in the first 10 minutes, while five of his next eight strikes came in this manner, including his goal against Everton after 12.94 seconds. Everton are familiar to being 1-0 down in the opening minute of Premier League games. The Toffees have conceded 10 goals in the first minute of Premier League action – the most of any side in the competition’s history.
#8 Kevin Nolan v Blackburn Rovers (13.48 seconds)
Blackburn Rovers v Bolton Wanderers, Jan. 10, 2004, Ewood Park
Kevin Nolan’s goal after 13.48 seconds against Blackburn Rovers was one of five Bolton have scored in the opening minute of a Premier League game, while three of those strikes were assisted by Kevin Davies. This effort was one of two Nolan scored in the first minute, also scoring after 51 seconds for West Ham against Fulham in September 2012. Only 10 other players have scored two or more in the opening minute in Premier League history.
#9 James Beattie v Chelsea (13.52 seconds)
Chelsea v Southampton, Aug. 28, 2004, Stamford Bridge
James Beattie’s goal after 13.52 seconds against Chelsea is Southampton’s second entry in the top 10, with former Saints player Jay Rodriguez so close to making it three in the top 10. He scored at 13.68 seconds against Chelsea in 2013, which is the 11th-fastest goal in Premier League history. Beattie went from ecstasy to agony in this contest, scoring an own goal 33 minutes later – one of 51 instances of a player scoring a goal and an own goal in a Premier League match.
#10 Asmir Begovic v Southampton (13.64 seconds)
Stoke City v Southampton, Nov. 2, 2013, Britannia Stadium
Asmir Begovic became the fifth and most recent goalkeeper to score a Premier League goal after this freak effort. Begovic’s long clearance downfield deceived Southampton’s goalkeeper Artur Boruc. Not only is it the 10th-fastest goal in Premier League history but it is the furthest goal scored since 2003-04 when Stats Perform started recording such data (95.66 yards). Begovic’s goal against Southampton dethroned Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard’s 92.2-yard effort against Bolton Wanderers in 2012, which had previously held the record for the furthest goal scored in Premier League history.
This season, Miguel Almirón’s strike after 20 seconds against West Brom is the fastest goal thus far. On the flip side, Bruno Fernandes’ 99th-minute penalty against Brighton is the latest to be scored. The midfielder’s strike is also the third-latest goal to be scored in Premier League history since detailed data is available (2003-04).
Design by Matt Sisneros.