At last night's end of season awards, the extremely dapper and handsome Juan Mata walked away with the goal of the season trophy for his extremely handsome and dapper goal against Liverpool. And fair enough. Even Vanilla Ice voted for him, and are you going to argue with Vanilla Ice?
However. Here at the Busby Babe we roll a little differently. Most goals, like most people, are somewhere between average and slightly rubbish, and we want to know which is the best. Goal. The best person is on your own conscience. Here are five of the less-than-great goals that United scored this season: pick your favourite, or pick Other and tell us what fools we are in the comments, and why.
Angel Di Maria vs. QPR, 14 September 2014
Di Maria scored one and made one in this game. And though we don't have the video, we're including them both here. Not because either was particularly brilliant, but because each time he was trying to do the opposite thing. The cross, above, went in; the shot, later on, went straight to a handily positioned teammate. Looking back, things were going wrong from the start ...
Juan Mata vs. Liverpool, 14 December 2014
Okay, so his goal in the Anfield game was better. But this one was funnier, for two reasons. First, and while you can't see it above, he was significantly and obviously offside, and injustice is the sweetest taste of all. And second, Liverpool's defence actually got criticised for this. They successfully played the man offside, and got stick for it. That takes some doing.
Ashley Young vs. Newcastle, 4 March 2015
As moments of high farce go, this was the season's high point that didn't involve Phil Jones. Some of the papers reckon Tim Krul might be moving to Old Trafford next season. Nice to see him practising the first-time pass to Young.
Marouane Fellaini vs. Tottenham, 15 March 2015
Nothing particularly special about this goal on the surface: it's a decent pass, but nothing more; it's a confident finish, but not much else; it's Tottenham, but it's Tottenham. However, it's included as a staging post in the season. This goal comes about as a direct result of United playing Van Gaal football: the circulation of possession makes the space, pulls Spurs out of position, and then the direct passing takes advantage of it. This was pretty much the first goal (and the first game) of the season where it was possible to say: yes, that's the plan, and the plan is working.
Marouane Fellaini vs. Crystal Palace, 9 May 2015
There have been a couple of late goals — in the vein of "look at Manchester United doing that thing they always do, the bastards" — this season. Daley Blind took the wind out of West Brom's sails in October, while Robin van Persie did the same to Chelsea later that month. But those were both to save draws, whereas this was for (a) a win, and (b) actually quite an important win, given the state of the table at the time. Playing badly and winning. Just like the good old days.
Two Marouane Fellaini goals. What an odd season.