They say the toughest job in football is putting the ball in the back of the net but ever so often there are lightning-quick starts to matches that begin with the ball rattling the net soon after kick-off.
As far as the top tier of English football goes, Shane Long holds the distinction for scoring the fastest goal in Premier League history.
Like Long, there have been plenty of other players who have made rip-roaring starts to Premier League matches before finding the back of the net.
Long, in fact, broke a 19-year-old record when his goal for Southampton against Watford in April 2019 made him the record-holder for the quickest goal in Premier League history.
With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the fastest goals in Premier League history.
Fastest goals in Premier League
|Shane Long (Southampton)
|Phillip Billing (Bournemouth)
|Ledley King (Tottenham)
|Alan Shearer (Newcastle)
|Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
Shane Long for Southampton vs Watford, April 2019
Shane Long’s 7.69 seconds strike for the Saints against the Hornets came when he first closed down a clearance by a defender before the ball’s ricochet fell for him kindly in the direction of goal. Long then showed great composure to chip the outrushing goalkeeper and give Southampton the earliest lead in Premier League history.
Phillip Billing for Bournemouth vs Arsenal, March 2023
The most recent entrant on this list, Phillip Billing didn’t waste much time to get on the scoresheet against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. A cross from the right took a deflection off a body before the ball trickled across the penalty area and evaded Arsenal bodies before finding its way to Billing, who produced a fine finish to score just 9.11 seconds into the game.
Ledley King for Tottenham Hotspur vs Bradford City, December 2000
The Spurs legend held the fastest goal in the Premier League’s history record for 19 years courtesy his strike against Bradford City in 2000. The former England defender found himself higher up the pitch than normal after kick-off and decided to have a pop from range. Fortunately for him, his shot from range took a wicked deflection and wrong-footed the goalkeeper as the ball made its way into the net after just 9.82 seconds.
Alan Shearer for Newcastle United vs Manchester City, January 2003
The leading goal-scorer in the history of the Premier League, Alan Shearer is fourth on the list for the fastest goal scored by players. He did so against Man City in 10.52 seconds after denying the goalkeeper an attempt at a clearance. Shearer chased down a simple back pass to the goalkeeper and got in the way of the clearance before pouncing on the ricochet to slot it into an empty net.
Christian Eriksen for Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United, January 2018
Straight after kick-off, a long ball forward from Spurs to the edge of United’s box was flicked on into the penalty area where Dele Alli was positioned to square the ball for Christian Eriksen to finish first time with his left foot. The Dane scored this goal against United in just 10.54 seconds.