One year ago today, something truly incredible happened. It was one of those moments that causes you to celebrate by running around your apartment in your slippers. It was one of those moments that, when you’ve seen the replay, causes your jaw to drop to levels that were not thought to be possible.
That was my experience with Dele Alli’s wonder-goal against Crystal Palace. I’m sure you all went through something similar. It may have been the marquis highlight from a 2015-16 Spurs season that saw Tottenham achieve their highest finish ever in the Premier League.
Even looking back at it today, the skill on display is still unbelievable. Mile Jedinak is 6’2. Here’s a big, strong defensive midfielder coming to close Dele down, and he pulls off the unthinkable. He puts the ball over Jedinak’s head, turns, and fires a volley perfectly into the back of the net. There was no chance for Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey.
The commentators calling the game reacted predictably, with one proclaiming: “Ohh this young man is a sensation!”
Here was a 19-year-old scoring a wonder-goal to give his team a late lead in a crucial London derby. Sensation is definitely the right word.
The strike certainly got Mauricio Pochettino excited. He came down the touchline to join his players in a group hug around Dele.
It’s no surprise the goal was named the 2015-16 Premier League Goal of the Season by the BBC.
It’s a goal that really sums-up Dele’s play-style too. He puts himself in a smart position around the box, he decides to take an ambitious effort at goal, and he has the technical skill to pull it off. No matter how high his footballing career takes him, this goal will always be associated with Dele at his best.
Dele’s goal certainly overshadows the third goal scored in that match. Nacer Chadli put the cherry on top with a brilliant curler from outside the box.
For now, this is the best goal Dele has ever scored. But we all recognize the immense talent he has. I would not be surprised if he finds a way to outdo this goal during his career.
Even if he does, this goal against Crystal Palace will never be forgotten. It was the moment that the rest of the footballing world turned and recognized just how skillful and promising this young man is.
But above all, it was a goal and a moment that represents everything being a Tottenham fan is about. To Dare Is To Do, and Dele certainly did.