By William Hill
Last Updated: 13th March 2020
You know what they say, goals win games. So, what better way to set yourself on the way to victory than to score in the opening seconds of a match in the most competitive division of them all?
We’ve taken a look back at the Premier League’s fastest ever goals.
Shane Long – Watford vs Southampton, 2018/19 – 7.69 seconds
Southampton striker Shane Long couldn’t believe his luck when he found himself through on goal against Ben Foster with just seconds played of the Saints’ away game against Watford.
The Irishman raced out from kick-off to close down Hornets defender Craig Cathcart as he tried to clear the ball upfield, only for it to hit Long before falling nicely into his stride.
Long made no mistake in capitalising on Cathcart’s misfortune and duly chipped the ball over Foster to give the Saints the lead within 7.69 seconds of kick-off – the fastest goal in Premier League history.
Ledley King, Bradford City vs Tottenham, 2000/01 – 9.82 seconds
Long’s effort at Vicarage Road saw him beat Ledley King’s record, which had stood strong since the 2000/01 season when the Tottenham legend struck against Bradford with just 9.82 seconds gone.
Back then, King played in midfield and after galloping forward with the ball in the early stages of the game he managed to find the bottom right-hand corner, much to Bradford goalkeeper Matt Clarke’s dismay.
King went on to become one of the division’s best ever defenders before injury curtailed his career. However, he’ll always remember his special Premier League goal.
Alan Shearer, Newcastle vs Manchester City, 2002/03 – 10.52 seconds
There aren’t many goal-based accolades in the Premier League era that Alan Shearer hasn’t received and the 260-goal hitman finds himself in third on the list of the division’s fastest ever goals.
Playing for Newcastle at the time, the striker punished Manchester City goalkeeper Carlo Nash on his return between the sticks, closing him down and using his body to block his clearance.
Unsurprisingly, Shearer had no difficulties slotting the ball home, giving the Magpies fans a reason to cheer inside just 10.52 seconds as Newcastle went on to win the game 2-0.
Christian Eriksen, Tottenham vs Manchester United, 2017/18 – 10.54 seconds
Playing at Wembley while Tottenham’s stadium was being completed up the road, Christian Eriksen did his best to better Shearer’s time of 10.52 seconds when Manchester United came to town.
A Harry Kane flick-on to Dele Alli after a long ball out from defence was backheeled into the path of the Denmark international and he made no mistake in curling the ball past goalkeeper David de Gea.
In the end, the official timekeeper of the game recorded Eriksen’s strike at 10.54 seconds, just a matter of milliseconds away from Shearer’s effort. But it did at least help his side secure a win.
Mark Viduka, Charlton vs Leeds, 2000/01 – 11.90 seconds
The only other player to net under the 12-second barrier, and the only one on our list to come from outside of Europe, is Australian Mark Viduka, who spent more than a decade playing in the UK.
But it was while playing for Leeds that he bagged the fifth-fastest Premier League goal of all time, with Alan Smith’s header falling nicely for him to steer a finish past Charlton goalkeeper Sasa Ilic.
It was a goal to remember for Viduka and a season to remember for Leeds, who went on to finish in the top four of the Premier League following an impressive campaign under manager David O’Leary.