Jermain Defoe has made a living of being in the right place at the right time…
This was never more apparent than on Sunday when he spun in behind Livingston defender Jon Guthrie to steer James Tavernier’s inch-perfect cross into the corner of the net.
It was the 300th club goal of an illustrious career that has seen him become one of the most revered strikers of his generation.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth, Defoe delves into the archives and reveals the top five goals of his career…
5 – Tottenham 3-1 Manchester City, April 21, 2013
Christian Eriksen played the ball through to me – it was a deeper pass. I bent my run as there was space and I remember receiving the ball on the left-hand side of the box, facing Vincent Kompany up.
I can remember Gary Neville saying in commentary “You don’t show Jermain Defoe onto his right foot” and as I came inside on my right foot, I just saw this little gap at the far post.
I just whipped it around Vincent Kompany and past Joe Hart into the inside netting, so that one was a great one for me.
4 – Rangers 2-0 Livingston, October 25, 2020
It was just one of those moments. If you look at my celebration, it wasn’t that I was shocked, I was just so delighted it came off.
I remember speaking with Tav (James Tavernier) because I know his range of passing is unbelievable, and I tried it against Motherwell – the same pass from him, I volleyed it and the goalkeeper made a great save.
I said to Tav earlier in the week, “Just look out for my movement…if I exaggerate my movement when I come short, I am going to spin in behind where I’ve got that space.”
We literally got it off to a tee! The ball was so inviting. As it came over my shoulder, I knew I had to hit first time, but I had to be relaxed with the finish.
I didn’t want to snatch at it and when I made contact, I just knew it was going in. When I watched it back, it felt like it was in slow motion. I didn’t break stride and I was so happy, delighted.
3 – Tottenham 1-3 Manchester United, September 12, 2009
It was actually an assist from Crouchy (Peter Crouch), shock!
It was a ball into the box, it was heading towards Crouchy and he was so good at this. He wouldn’t just head back across goal, he would look where I was.
I knew he was going to head it down, so I fainted to go to the near post to suck Rio [Ferdinand] in and I just checked back.
As Crouchy headed it down, I just overhead kicked it. But it was weird because as I made contact, I didn’t see it go in. So when I was on the ground, I just heard the crowd.
I turned around and saw the ball in the net, it was just so weird the way it happened. But I enjoyed that one because it was instinctive.
2 – Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth, December 9, 2017
It was a long ball from Lewis Cook and I just wanted to make the run into the channel as it was just before half-time.
He played it over the top and I had a little glimpse of where the goalkeeper was. I saw that he was just outside the six-yard box.
I thought if I can direct this back across goal to the far post, hopefully it’ll go in. After the game, I said to the lads that it was like a Van Basten finish!
Not as good as Van Basten’s because he hit on the full volley but it was similar.
I think I surprised the goalkeeper because I don’t think he expected me to shoot. But, to direct it back across goal and get it in that far corner, I was over the moon.
1 – Sunderland 1-0 Newcastle, April 5, 2015
It was derby day. Massive game, massive occasion. It’s so important for the football club.
All I wanted to do was to make an impact on the game – I was just so desperate to score and win.
It was the 44th minute or something, the ball went long and Fletch (Steven Fletcher) flicked it to the side of me and I have said this so many times…the reason why I volleyed it, was because I was so tired!
I had put so much energy into the first half, I thought I am not going to control this as I am so knackered, I’ll probably lose the ball, so I just hit it.
It was just one of those moments that soon as it left my foot – and it was on my left foot as well – I just thought inside “oh my god”.
I just hit it so sweet, so perfect and one of those you hit maybe once in training and fifty other times it’ll just go over the bar.
When it went in, I was just like “Wow” and when you watch it back, everyone can see the celebrations and obviously you can see me crying like a little baby.
It was such a special goal for me and the way I scored it – that’s definitely number one.