With just hours before 2011 it is that time of the year to reflect on the past 12 months and choose our top 10 games of 2010.
There has been much discussion in 101 Great Goals HQ about what constitutes a “top game” so for this list we have gone with an iconic match that you will immediately think of when discussing football in 2010.
We may possibly have missed out your favourite match so please do let us know in the comments. And of course wishing you all a happy 2011!
1.Â Manchester United 3 – Bayern Munich 2 (Champions League quarter-final second leg, April 7, 2010) Responding to a 2-1 defecit from the first leg, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side came out the blocks inÂ scintillatingÂ fashion turning the tie on its head with goals from Darron Gibson and a brace from Nani. Ivica Olic brought Bayern back into the tie two minutes before the break and after Rafael had been sent off the Germans scented blood. Arjen Robben claimed a terrific aggregate winner to send Louis van Gaal’s side through after a terrific game at Old Trafford.
2.Â Fulham 4 – Juventus 1 (Europa League round of 16 second leg, March 18, 2010) Probably the most dramatic night ever witnessed by the Craven Cottage faithful. David Trezeguet’s second minute opener put the Old Lady into a 4-1 aggregate lead but Roy Hodgson’s team did not know when they were beaten on the way to the final of the Europa League (where they’d eventually lose to Atletico Madrid). Bobby Zamora pulled the first back before Zoltan Gera claimed a brace to set up a dramatic end to the final 40 minutes. Clint Dempsey duly stepped up with a brilliant chipped goal to win the tie 5-4 on aggregate with eight minutes remaining in surely the most dramatic Europa League match to date.
3.Â Inter Milan 3 – Barcelona 1 (Champions League semi-final first leg, April 20, 2010) Whilst the second leg in the Nou Camp saw an incredible rearguard performance from the Nerazzurri and crazed celebrations at full-time, this was the match where Jose Mourinho’s side put one leg in the final. Barcelona rarely lose by two goals and it didn’t look likely when Pedro slotted home the opener. Inter responded with goals by Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito to prove that Jose Mourinho’s side were not just about defending but could also outscore even the best teams in Europe.
4.Â Manchester City 0 – Tottenham 1 (Premier League, May 5, 2010) The penultimate game of the Premier League season was billed as the 60 million pound match by Fleet Street as Harry Redknapp’s swashbuckling side headed to Eastlands looking to secure fourth spot and entry into the Champions League. Whoever would have made the premier competition in Europe would have finally laid rest to the “Big Four” dominance in England and it was Tottenham who performed well on the night, attacking throughout despite a draw being enough to leave them in pole position to claim fourth. Peter Crouch’s late goal sealed the win and set up the Tottenham adventure in Europe that has seen them beat European champions Inter Milan at home and now face AC Milan over two legs in the first knockout round of the Champions League 2010/2011.
5.Â Bayern Munich 0 – Inter Milan 2 (Champions League final, May 22, 2010) The two sides came into this match looking to create history by securing a treble of domestic title, cup and the Champions League trophy. Jose Mourinho emerged as the major winner, claiming “Big Ears” for the second time and securing his position as coach of Real Madrid just days later. Diego Milito was the main star with two goals in the match, exploiting some weak defending from Munich and showcasing his expert finishing. Massimo Moratti enjoyed his finest hour as Inter president and the question now at the San Siro is whether anyone can ever live up to the Special One?
6.Â Germany 4 â€“ England 1 (World Cup 2010 last 16, June 27, 2010) Germany eviscerated both England and Argentina but this game warrants inclusion in our top 10 list because of the drama at the end of the first half that simply has to ensure FIFA adopt goal line technology. Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski had put Jogi Low’s side 2-0 up with some typical attacking football. The Three Lions responded with a header from Matthew Upson and then looked to have drawn level before the break with a Frank Lampard effort that rebounded off the bar and clearly over the line. The goal was rejected by the Uruguayan officials and a stunning German performance was rewarded with second half goals from Thomas Muller with Mesut Ozil memorably skinning Gareth Barry for the fourth.
7.Â Uruguay 1* – Ghana 1 (Penalties 4-2) (World Cup quarter-final, July 2, 2010) For many the World Cup failed to live up to the hype and certainly the opening weeks of the tournament in South Africa witnessed some turgid games. This match, or at least the final seconds of extra time, saw the most dramatic of circumstances that had they been in a film would have been denounced asÂ unbelievable. Sulley Muntari’s opener was cancelled out by Diego Forlan in normal time but the late scramble, which eventually saw Luis Suarez save with his hand on the line, receive a red card and then Asamoah Gyan miss a penalty to send Ghana through must be one of the craziest moments of insanity in World Cup history.
8.Â Holland 0 â€“ Spain 1 (AET) (World Cup Final, July 11, 2010) Like the tournament that preceded it, this game failed to really ignite but the win for La Furia Roja was a victory for good football and the gold trophy was handed to the best team in South Africa. An aggressive Dutch side were shown in full glory with Nigel De Jong’s now infamous kung-fu kick on Xabi Alonso in the first half. Arjen Robben was presented with two great chances in the second period but the Dutch winger failed to take his opportunities and in extra time, Spain’s tiki-taka finally paid off to secure another 1-0 win. Andres Iniesta fired past Stekelenburg after a searching ball fromÂ substituteÂ Cesc Fabregas to set off wild celebrations in Johannesburg and Spain.
9. PSV 10 – Feyenoord 0 (Eredivisie, October 24, 2010) Feyenoord’s current poor standing in Dutch football was highlighted for the world as PSV took them to the cleaners and scored 10 goals without reply. In their defence, Feyenoord had Kelvin Leerdam sent off but it was just 2-0 at half-time. Jonathan Reis claimed a hat-trick, both Jeremain Lens and Balazs Dzsudzsak notched braces and Ibrahim Afellay, Ola Toivonen and Orlando Engelaar also scored in what is Feyenoord’s heaviest ever defeat.
10. Barcelona 5 – Real Madrid 0 (La Liga, November 29, 2010) Barcelona produced one of the greatest team performances of all time as they smashed their great rivals Real Madrid with some incredible football. Jose Mourinho described the loss as a “historically bad result for his club” and to see Los Blancos reduced to shadows showed many that this current Barca side will take some stopping. Xavi volleyed the opener past Casillas and Pedro scored number two to leave Madrid with a mountain to climb despite the best efforts of Cristiano Ronaldo. A quick fire brace by David Villa sealed the win early in the second half and a fifth from Jeffren in the 90th minute completed the stunning victory.