The Greatest Goal I Ever Saw: Odemwingie Scoring West Brom's Fifth In Black Country Derby
I’ve been lucky enough to see a vast amount of brilliant goals during my comparatively short time watching football matches. Some 40 yard screamers, others great team goals. But for me, nothing usurps Peter Odemwingie’s fifth in West Brom’s 5-1 thumping of Wolves at Molineux two seasons ago.
Granted, it wasn’t audacious, acrobatic, or indeed breath-taking. But for the importance of the strike – sending the fans into absolute delirium – it is top of the pile. Odemwingie grabbed a hat-trick that day in what was a phenomenal solo performance. We’d effectively gone to our neighbour’s backyard, torn them to shreds for 90 minutes, and then left seemingly unaware of the sheer magnitude of the result. Not only had we beat Wolves; we’d wiped the floor with them. And that is no exaggeration.
This was the 2011-12 campaign, guided under the watchful eye of then-coach Roy Hodgson, now with a rather more difficult task of trying to steer England to the World Cup finals next year. Albion were solid, resolute and resourceful under Hodgson. Few had even predicted us to score at Molineux, let alone smash in five. Odemwingie – deployed on the wide right – ran the defence ragged. Inventive, dynamic and always looking for the ball, his third and Albion’s fifth was the icing on the cake.
Marc-Antione Fortune picked up the ball from deep, slipped in James Morrison down the left wing, who squared precisely to Odemwingie’s feet for a simple, well executed and ultimately clinical finish. Nothing fancy, just a beautifully well-worked goal. Odemwingie – becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in a Black Country derby since Ronnie Allen in the 1954 Charity Shield – gathered the ball before holding up three fingers to spell out his number of goals to the fans.
The chants and serenading of the Wolves supporters lasted all night and all day after. Still to this day, that game remains one of the best I’ve ever witnessed. And Odemwingie’s telling goal, the best I’ve ever witnessed. He might have gone on to behave indifferently after that, but the lingering memory of him running into the box and stabbing home will never fade.
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