5 lesser known players who have scored the most important goals

  • When their teams have desired for almost anyone to score, some lesser known players have delivered in important situations
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Modified 23 Jul 2016, 15:43 IST
Brian Moore described this moment with his phrase “It’s up for grabs now”

Scoring goals is one of the key attributes for any professional footballer to stamp his authority on the game. We have seen players scoring in the dying minutes to snatch the match from the opposition’s hands. On the other hand, we have also seen heartbreak for the team who has conceded.

In the modern game, a team usually relies on their star attacking players to score the goals when they are needed the most. In tough competitive matches – in the finals or knockout phases of major competitions, all eyes are on the star players to deliver. But over the years we have seen some lesser known players who have turned up to score some of the most important goals for their clubs or countries.

Here are some of those lesser known players who have scored at a crucial time for their team: 

#1 Michael Thomas (Arsenal) vs Liverpool – 1988–89 Football League First Division decider

On 26th May, 1989, Arsenal were playing Liverpool at Anfield in the last match of the season for the First Division title. The Gunners came into the game needing a victory by two or more goals to win the Championship title. On the other hand, Liverpool could become the champions even if they lost by one goal. But it was not meant to be for the Reds as Arsenal took the lead through their striker Alan Smith in the 52nd minute.

However, into the stoppage time of the game in the 92nd minute, it was Liverpool who were in an attacking position, threatening Arsenal. Most importantly they were keeping the ball as the match was in its last minute.

But Arsenal did not lose hope and it finally paid off when right-back Lee Dixon played a long ball towards Alan Smith who teed off his attacking midfielder Michael Thomas to make a run towards the Liverpool goal. And that is exactly what the midfielder did, chipping the ball over the Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar into the back of the net.

It gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead with the game almost over and hence won them the league title. It is considered as one of the most iconic finishes to a league season as it was the last kick of the last game of the season which decided the title. The game is also best remembered for how the commentator Brian Moore used the phrase “It's up for grabs now” to describe the on-rushing Thomas. 

Michael Thomas had made his Arsenal debut in 1984 as a defender but was slowly moved into midfield. He was a relatively lesser known player until he had scored that hugely significant goal.

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Published 23 Jul 2016, 15:03 IST
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