The Premier League’s congested winter match docket meant there were plenty of visibly tired legs in Tuesday’s matches. Most of these teams played on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, leaving very little time to recover between matches.
The quality of the matches might have dipped as a whole, but you’d have a hard time arguing that fatigue prohibited players from delivering world-class goals. In fact, quite the contrary. We were blessed with a couple of worldies despite the short turnaround, including some delightful net-rattlers of the volley variety.
Perhaps the best of the bunch was Lucas Perez’s laser-guided left-footer.
That ridiculous attempt meant Arsenal’s comeback from 3-0 was well and truly on, and wouldn’t you know it? The Gunners somehow managed to scrape back and earn a point against Bournemouth. Perez’s mouthwatering volley put them in prime position to do so.
Another bit of wizardry in the box came off the foot of Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.
That’s some preposterous body control to turn and get low enough for that volley. Zaha had to stop his momentum entirely, change direction and still find enough whip in his leg to beat the keeper. And he did.
And as a bonus, here’s a half-volley from Swansea’s Angel Rangel. It might not have the sex appeal of Zaha and Perez’s beauties, but the stakes were massive. Also, he’s a right back.
Those three points pushed the Swans on the brink of escaping the relegation zone and left Palace sitting on 16 points, one clear of the drop. Tuesday’s slate of matches might not have looked too enticing on paper, but they delivered regardless.