20 Best Goals in Ligue 1 This Season
This article presents the 20 Best Goals in Ligue 1 so far this season. The league has witnessed numerous great contests and some sublime finishes throughout this term, and I could easily have filled this list twice over.
I have tried to include goals that combine technical mastery and create a spectacle, although the context of the match and the opposition has also been considered.
Enjoy this collection and look forward to many more excellent additions over the coming months.
20. Milos Krasic vs. Lorient
Milos Krasic’s reinvention at Bastia continued apace with this neat individual goal.
Loriet’s defence were certainly below-par on the day, but the Serbian winger still needed to display some excellent technique to find the net.
The movement and dribble were enough to spread panic among the Breton back line, while the chip—so effortless—was enough to send the Bastia fans in attendance into delirium.
Having personally enjoyed the warmth and atmosphere of the Stade Armand Cesari and the passion of the Corsica fans, I can say that there are few who appreciate a hero more than those in the Cap Corse.
Could Krasic be the club’s latest icon?
19. Salomon Kalou vs. Evian
Fantastic improvisation by the former Chelsea man as he back-heeled a zipping shot-cum-pass beyond the Evian goalkeeper.
Lille demonstrated their class during a one-sided clash with Evian, but the highlight was certainly Kalou’s lightning-quick responses to Florent Balmont’s ferocious strike.
18. Kevin Berigaud vs. Lyon
In truth, Kevin Berigaud has scored a handful of goals this term that would merit inclusion on this list. This finish against Lyon came a week after a similarly delectable goal where he again demonstrated his fantastic close control.
Against Lyon he controlled a long pass, on the run, with the ball coming from behind, and a height, shrugged off the attentions of a defender, retained his balance, before firing an unstoppable shot into the net.
Just don’t ask me about the celebration!
17. Nelson Oliveira vs. Nice
A delightful little moment of class from the Portuguese forward who has enjoyed a revival of sorts since arriving at Rennes, on loan, during the summer.
At times, he has seemed a cut above the competition, not least against Nice when he controlled the ball with his knee before volleying it home off the post.
A sterling effort from a player who could well be a valuable wild card for Portugal next summer—should they make it to Brazil.
16. Steeven Langil vs. Sochaux
Struggling against Guingamp, Sochaux had resorted to packing the defence in order to protect their goal.
This didn’t stop Steeven Langil.
The attacking midfielder cut inside from the right and turned to fire a curling, right-footed shot into the far corner of the goal. The finish beat six defenders and left the Sochaux stopper rooted to the spot.
On first watching, there is a suspicion or two of a deflection, but in truth, there won’t be many strikes that better Langil’s this term.
15. Foued Kadir vs. Ajaccio
Rennes outclassed Ajaccio with Foued Kadir obtaining some recognition with a fine individual effort.
The Algerian international received the ball on the edge of the box, accelerated toward a defender, beat him with a delicate shimmy and a swift foxtrot, before hammering the ball into the far corner of the goal.
The move was reminiscent of another North African, Adel Taarabt, who so often earns a crucial yard of space with a swift change of balance, before punishing a defence with fantastic brutality.
Kadir found the net five times in his first seven games for Rennes, where he is on loan from Marseille. Having flitted between the French divisions over the past few years, Kadir finally looks like he belongs firmly in Ligue 1.
14. Benoit Pedretti vs. P.S.G.
Benoit Pedretti hasn’t quite hit the heights expected of him when he first entered the scene at the beginning of the last century. Twenty-two caps is scant reward for all of the hype that accompanied his early performances at Sochaux, but goals like this provide insight into the career that Pedretti might have had.
His most beautiful contribution this season came against Paris Saint-Germain; watch the evidence in the accompanying video and imagine what Pedretti’s career might have been had he been demonstrating his worth regularly for clubs of the stature of Paris, rather than against them.
13. Nicky De Preville vs. Guingamp
The Reims forwards connected superbly before a moment of genuine magic from Nicolas De Preville.
The striker laid the ball off before backing away into space, admittedly, fairly easy to find among the Guingamp defence. When it was returned to him, he jumped backward and sent an acrobatic scissors kick past the flailing arms of Kossi Agassa.
The Togolese stopper is typically difficult to beat, but not for de Preville, who turned to glorious innovation to beat the obdurate gardien.
12. Andre-Pierre Gignac vs. Evian
Powerful forward Andre-Pierre Gignac may find himself on the receiving end of criticism from those who believe he lacks the technical prowess to be a truly elite forward.
Moments like this, however, remind everyone of the quality the international possesses.
The first two touches, both with his right foot, were exceptional, while the finish, with his left, is unstoppable.
11. Radamel Falcao vs. Lyon
Generally, this season, Radamel Falcao has proved himself to be, as expected, a great scorer of goals rather than a scorer of great goals.
However, when he ended his mini slump of three games without a goal against Lyon in late October, he demonstrated how he could also be a scorer of great goals.
After expertly controlling a long pass from defence, he bore down on goal and then had the presence of mind to chip the ball over Anthony Lopes.
10. Mathieu Valbuena vs. Lorient
Sterling stuff from Mathieu Valbuena as he sent a tremendously powerful free kick into the Lorient net.
Certainly, the goalkeeper, Fabien Audard, took a slight step to the right before Valbuena’s strike beat the wall, but nonetheless, Ligue 1 will not witness many set pieces struck more sweetly than this one by OM’s diminutive playmaker.
If Valbuena can preserve this kind of excellent set-piece delivery throughout the season, then France could really benefit from his twinkle toes next summer…should they qualify, that is!
9. Greg Sertic vs. Nice
Former France U-21 international Gregory Sertic opened the scoring in Bordeaux’s 2-1 away victory over Nice with this superbly struck effort.
The goal reminded me of Steven Gerrard’s unforgettable late strike in the FA Cup final of 2006; here, Jussie provided the cutback for Sertic’s crisp strike.
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs. Guingamp
One of the goals coming later on this list shows Zlatan Ibrahimovic at his balletic, technical best. This one, however, emphasises the power that Ligue 1’s star attraction possesses.
Against Guingamp, he won the headed against the defender, touched the ball sweetly away from the keeper, shrugged off aforementioned defender before hammering home.
The split seconds of forward play were a textbook demonstration of just how effective a target man can be.
Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll, take note.
7. Claudio Beauvue vs. Ajaccio
Fantastic innovation from Guingamp’s Claudio Beauvue as he greeted a cross with an agile, acrobatic overhead kick to send it swirling into the Ajaccio net.
That the goal came in the 86th minute, and that it was EAG’s equaliser in a game they went on to win, only adds to its beauty.
6. Vincent Aboubakar vs. Valenciennes
Cameroon frontman Vincent Aboubakar has scored a few terrific goals this season. This one, however, is the pick of the bunch.
Aboubakar beat the defensive line to meet a long through ball, he saw off the challenges of the trailing defender and then, majestically, sent both he and the opposition goalkeeper off balance with a delicious Cruyff-esque switch of balance.
The finish was also the sole goal in Lorient’s 1-0 win over Valenciennes—it could prove to be a valuable three points for the Breton club.
5. Jordan Ferri vs. Evian
Evian might have secured a memorable victory over Lyon back in the early weeks of the season; however, OL added their own timeless contribution to the mix.
The 21-year-old Jordan Ferri may only be at the beginning of his career, but I doubt he will ever strike a shot quite as purely as the one he buried against Evian.
4. Mevlut Erding vs. Ajaccio
Many of us may have assumed he was finished when he was spat out by P.S.G. back in 2012, but the Turkish international demonstrated his class for Stade Rennais in the opening week of the campaign before moving to Saint-Etienne.
The sole goal was enough to secure a valuable away win in Corsica, against Ajaccio. The sinuous movement and excellent feints must be commended, but questions do have to be asked about the opposition defender that took a bizarre tumble halfway through the festivities.
3. Lucas Moura vs. Lorient
Lucas Moura’s terrific start to the season continued with this fine volley against Lorient.
Taking up a perfect body position, the Brazilian superstar shaped up to receive Lucas Digne’s cross before finishing, with aplomb.
Moura has recently promised that he will be in Brazil’s squad for the World Cup next summer. With goals like this, he will be hard for Felipe Scolari to resist.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs. Bastia
Typically sublime stuff from Zlatan as he controls the ball majestically against Bastia, watching it fall and then gracefully volleying it, on the turn, with his heel, into the net. Holding off several defenders in the process, this was a terrific example of the brute force, the bruising nonchalance and the balletic poise that combine to make Ibrahimovic such an extraordinary talent.
The goal was so magnificent that one fan went as far as to draw a flip book to celebrate the finish.
1. Edinson Cavani vs. Bastia
Bastia certainly had a tough old time of it when they met Paris in Week 10 of the Ligue 1 season.
Not only did they have to deal with that Zlatan excellence, but they also had to contend with the innovation and ambition of Edinson Cavani.
The stunning change of pace and body movement are only two aspects of the magnificent P.S.G. forward line—one that is not just proving to be a handful for French defences, but for Champions League back lines as well.