Suarez, Ben Arfa & the nominees for Goal UK's Goal of the Season in the Premier League

The Liverpool striker's stunning long-range effort against Norwich and the Newcastle star's mazy run versus Bolton are among those strikes in the running
By Stephen Darwin

As the Premier League reaches its climax on Sunday with the title race, relegation battle and fight for a top-four finish still all to be decided, there is one final chance for players to leave their mark on what has been an incredible season.

We have seen the net bulge 946 times in England's top flight this season and have witnessed some stunning goals along the way - from Papiss Cisse's impossible swerving volley that left Petr Cech bamboozled to Luis Suarez's chip that embarrassed John Ruddy as he desperately peddled back towards goal.

Along with those two astounding strikes has put forward two other screamers but which effort stands out as your goal of the season?


With 13 goals in 13 games, it would be fair to say Papiss Cisse has been the Premier League's stand-out performer of the second half of the season.

Alan Pardew's decision to splash out £10 million on the Senegal international has proved an inspired piece of business, with the 26-year-old having had nothing short of a remarkable impact on Newcastle and their Champions League qualification aspirations.

It did not take long for the former Freiburg striker to announce himself in the Premier League, either, as he notched his first goal a little under an hour into his debut with the winner against Aston Villa - smashing a half volley into the top corner of Shay Given's net.

While the goals started to dry up for strike partner Demba Ba, Cisse was banging them in like there was no tomorrow. After two in his first four, the one-time Metz forward smashed in an astonishing 11 goals in just nine appearances - but it was his second strike against Chelsea that particularly caught the eye.

In a fixture that Newcastle simply could not afford to lose if they were to stay on course for a top-four finish, Cisse provided a moment of genius as, from a seemingly harmless position out wide, he pounced on Shola Ameobi's knock-down and delivered a looping, swerving half volley that flew over Petr Cech and into the corner of the net.


It has been a difficult season for Liverpool and Luis Suarez but amongst the various incidents of controversy involving the Uruguayan, there have also been moments of pure magic that have demonstrated just what a precious talent the former Ajax star is.

With 11 to his name, Suarez has almost double the amount of Premier League goals of Craig Bellamy, Liverpool's second highest scorer in the league, and, in what has been a disappointing campaign for Kenny Dalglish's side in England's top flight, has been the one to lead from the front where others have struggled to hit top form.  

The 25-year-old started the season in blistering fashion with three goals in his first three games and, although he followed that up with another six before Christmas, his season will undoubtedly be remembered for all the wrong reasons following his eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra.

It would be long after his return from suspension that Suarez would net his contender for goal of the season, though, on a wet and windy evening in Norfolk.

Having already put the Reds in a commanding position with two well-taken goals against Paul Lambert's Norwich side, Suarez proceeded to seal his hat-trick with an unbelievable chip from just inside the Canaries' half, catching Ruddy off his line as the ball lofted up and over the keeper and into the net.


In what has proved to be another Tyneside transfer coup, Hatem Ben Arfa has started to show Newcastle fans exactly what all the fuss was about following a difficult first season in England.

The 25-year-old was heralded as the next big thing early on in his career and commanded a fee in the region of £10 million when he moved from Lyon to Marseille back in 2008.

After making the switch to the Premier League, initially on loan, in 2010, though, Ben Arfa found it difficult to adjust to life in England and a double leg break in October that year did little to help matters.

The 2011-12 campaign has, however, seen Ben Arfa make considerable strides in ensuring he realises his massive potential. Despite having started only 15 Premier League games, he is Newcastle's third highest scorer in the league with five goals - which includes his magnificent run and finish against Bolton.

With the game evenly balanced at 0-0 after 73 minutes, Ben Arfa, receiving a pass in his own half, initially flicked the ball and swivelled his body to leave his marker on his backside before accelerating through the middle and leaving another chasing Bolton midfielder trailing in his wake.

The France international then appeared to take a heavy touch but it turned out to be all part of his masterful plan to take the two last defenders completely out of the game before slotting past Adam Bogdan in the Trotters' goal.


He may not have been England's go-to man over the last 12 months but Peter Crouch has seemingly found a club in Stoke City where his talents are fully appreciated.

Despite possessing an international goal record of 22 in 42 appearances, Crouch has not turned out for his country since November 2010 but having reached double figures for the Potters during the 2011-12 campaign, he will still feel he has plenty to offer Roy Hodgson and the Three Lions camp ahead of Euro 2012.

Among his 14 goals this season, Crouch has netted twice against Arsenal, once against Manchester United and Liverpool and, of course, struck the opening goal of the game versus champions elect Manchester City to ensure his name would be part of this illustrious list.

With the ball having been chested back to him about 25 yards from goal, Crouch takes one touch to set himself and, with the ball still in the air, smashes a an unstoppable looping volley up and over the flailing arms of Joe Hart in the City goal to send the Britannia Stadium positively bonkers.

It is not the first time the gangly striker has delivered a moment of sheer jaw-dropping brilliance during his career, either. Remember that 'scissor-kick' effort for Liverpool against Galatasaray back in 2006? Sublime.

Follow Stephen Darwin on