After spending more than £70 million (so far) this summer, Manchester United’s most important signing and much discussed mystery striker revealed himself to be returning club legend Own Goal, who scored the winner against Spurs at Old Trafford to open the new season on a positive note.
Own Goal left the club during the summer of 2013 during the disastrous transition from the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson to David Moyes, but Louis van Gaal has smartly brought him back in his second season in charge and the payoff was immediate. Own Goal scored in the 22nd minute against Tottenham, giving Man United three points to start the season despite only having one shot on target in the match. It also marked the first time Own Goal scored the first of a new Premier League season.
1 – This is the first time a Premier League season’s first goal has been an own goal. Reinvention.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 8, 2015
To honor the occasion, Man United’s official website published some facts about their beloved hero, including his place amongst their all-time top scorers.
‘Own goal’ is the club’s fifth-highest scorer in history with 181 goals. Only Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, Wayne Rooney and Jack Rowley have netted more times for the Reds.
Some pundits might argue that a reliance on Own Goal demonstrates the team’s weakness, especially after such large investment in rejuvenating the squad, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Though it is possible to be over-reliant on him, to have Own Goal frequently come through for them when they need him most is the mark of a successful team, as Ferguson proved during his tenure.
Own goal might not be the most technically proficient or aesthetically pleasing scorer, but he gets result. And the points he delivers are just as important as all others. So to have Own Goal score the winner in the first match of a new season is something Man United fans should be celebrating. It just might be a sign that they’re on the path to reclaiming old glory.