Felipe Anderson stunned London Stadium with a West Ham United wonder goal of the highest importance last Saturday afternoon, the winning goal in the 3-2 Premier League victory over Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace.
Four days after the crucial three points for the Hammers, we are going to analyse that goal, the club-record signing’s fifth in the space of six games for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, the importance of it and its chances of picking up the West Ham Goal of the Season award.
We will start by taking an in-depth look at the goal itself in East London, scored in the 65th minute of Saturday’s entertaining London derby. To make the score 3-1 in the favour of the hosts and virtually put the match beyond all doubt after a classy Irons comeback from a goal down.
To do this, we have enlisted the help of our good friends over at wyscout.com to bring you the below four images, illustrating the sequence of the Premier League and West Ham December Goal of the Month contender. All of the images in this analysis being provided by Wyscout.
The first image below displays the move in the build-up to the stunning strike, with veteran Hammers right-back Pablo Zabaleta shifting the ball onto striker and goalscorer earlier in the game Javier Hernandez, who spotted Anderson in a better position. As you can see, his pass is halfway to finding the ex-Brazil international.
The No8, signed from Lazio in July for a fee almost totalling up to £50 million, has controlled the ball and assessed his options, the one that most wingers would go for from this position is a cross. But not the man who has netted six in the league this season, leading the club’s top scorers list. Below, we see him attempting a shot.
The chances of scoring from this angle and outside the box are incredibly low and none of Anderson’s five goals in English football up until this point had come from positions outside of the penalty box. However, despite clearly not looking like it en-route to Wayne Hennessey’s goal, this fact was about to change in the most spectacular of circumstances.
Our final graphic shows the ball bulging the back of the net, the shot that had appeared to be sailing wide of the top right-hand corner had indeed been heading for it the whole time. Anderson achieved near perfection with his effort, which curled in and gave Hennessey no chance.
As he peeled away in celebration of a fourth home goal in Claret & Blue, the majority of London Stadium erupted in cheers, but not just because of the phenomenal quality of the goal they had just witnessed. But because of the importance it carried, which we are going to take an in-depth look at next.
This wasn’t any regular goal from Anderson, even if it had been a normal effort such as a tap-in from close-range. The importance could not be denied as it rounded off a comeback that would undoubtedly win his team the game.
When the wondrous strike crossed the goal-line to give Pellegrini’s boys a two-goal cushion, it would have been hard to imagine any way the away team could have got back into the game. However, they did, with Jeffrey Schlupp notching their second of the afternoon, after Luka Milivojevic had broken the deadlock for them inside the opening 10 minutes.
The 76th-minute header of the former Leicester City man meant that Anderson’s strike was the match-winning goal in the 3-2 triumph, giving the East Londoners not only a third victory on the trot, but a third victory in the space of seven days.
Three points for only the sixth time this campaign was also significant due to moving the club up into tenth and the top half for the first time in 2018/2019, albeit they did move back to 11th after Wolverhampton Wanderers’ win at Newcastle United a day later. In addition, a third goal meant that only reigning champions Manchester City have scored three or more goals in a PL match this season more than West Ham and this was all down to Anderson’s wonder goal.
Goal of the Season for West Ham?
At first glance, the goal would undoubtedly become the front-runner for the West Ham Goal of the Season award won by Pedro Obiang for his Tottenham Hotspur Wembley strike last season, in the minds of many members of the Claret & Blue Army.
But, although not even half of the 18/19 campaign has passed us by yet, the strike might not be the leading candidate, due to the fact that it already has strong competition from three Hammers goals already scored this term. This is in spite of so much of the season being left to play.
For the final phase of our tactical analysis, we are going to touch on all three of those strikes, scored by Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks and Robert Snodgrass respectively in wins over Everton and Macclesfield Town and earlier on in Saturday’s Palace triumph.
First up is the now-injured for the majority of the term, Yarmolenko. In the below image, we can see his Goodison Park strike in the Irons’ first league victory under Pellegrini back in September, the Ukraine man stepping on from the right and finding the far corner from just inside the area to double the lead, it would eventually finish 1-3.
Another threat to the 25-year-old’s goal in what will, without doubt, be a tight race to the Goal of the Season crown, with some more fierce competition surely set to pop up in the first few months of 2019 is Fredericks’ first for the club. It was the fourth in an incredible 8-0 Carabao Cup thrashing of Macclesfield and an absolute rocket from just inside right of the Silkmen area.
Perhaps the most realistic contender other than Anderson’s Palace beauty is a goal that arrived in the same match, in fact, under 20 minutes earlier, that of Snodgrass. As you can see, this one, the leveller in the clash, also came from outside the box and involved a sweet left-footed volley that buried in the same corner of a hapless Hennessey’s goal. Will any of these efforts end up stealing the award away from Anderson?
In conclusion, our statistical tactical analysis today has found that Anderson’s match-winning West Ham wonder goal against the Eagles was as crucial as it was spectacular. It handed the Hammers the three points as well as giving them a genuine Premier League December Goal of the Month candidate.
The former Brazil man himself will be desperate to not only keep up his remarkable scoring run in Claret & Blue but to carry on scoring goals of this calibre and this importance as his first season and what has been a hugely successful start to the next stage of his career in England, thunders on.
If you love tactical analysis, then you’ll love the digital magazines from totalfootballanalysis.com – a guaranteed 100+ pages of pure tactical analysis covering topics from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and many, many more. Get your copy of November’s issue for just £4.99 here or preorder the first of TWO December issues right here.