Last week’s round of Premier League fixtures saw plenty of drama, with both Manchester City and Liverpool keeping up their astonishing pace in the race for the league title, while Champions League contenders like Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham lost some ground.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing to happen last week though came in the 1-1 draw between Watford and relegation-fighting Southampton, as a 19-year-old record was broken when Shane Long scored for the Saints after just 7.69 seconds, becoming the fastest goalscorer in Premier League history in the process.
It’s almost hard to believe that someone could score a goal in a faster time than Usain Bolt can run the 100m, but Long managed it. He’s not the only quick goalscorer in Premier League history though of course – here are the 5 fastest goals in the history of England’s top division.
#5 Mark Viduka: 11.90 seconds for Leeds United vs. Charlton Athletic – 2000/01
Leeds famously reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2000/01, and part of their success that season was down to the goals of their Australian striker Mark Viduka. He plundered a total of 22 across all competitions, including 17 in the Premier League – and one of them was one of the fastest goals in the history of the competition.
In Leeds’ March 2001 meeting with Charlton at the Valley, defender Ian Harte lumped a long ball up the field from kick-off, and Alan Smith caught the Addicks’ defence cold with a flick-on which landed in the path of Viduka, who quickly controlled the ball before slotting past Sasa Ilic.
The goal took just under 12 seconds, stunning the home side, and it was a stark reminder of Viduka’s deadly skills in front of goal.
Charlton did manage to equalise later in the first half, but fascinatingly enough they were eventually undone by another extremely quick goal; Smith ended up scoring the winner just 44 seconds into the second half after a quick break following a Charlton shot.
The victory set Leeds onto a strong run of 8 wins in their last 9 games as they finished in 4th in the league table, with Viduka scoring a further 3 goals.