Last time out we asked our Premier League fan community to pick the best goal they’ve seen their team score – but what about those unsung heroes on the other side of the pitch?
This week they picked the best save they’ve ever seen from a goalkeeper playing for their side:
The most important save made by our legendary goalkeeper David Seaman was in the 2003 FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United when Paul Peschisolido’s header was disallowed. Seaman literally made a fingertip save on the line to deny the goal, an absolutely incredible stop in a crucial game.
During Villa’s 2019 play-off semi-final against West Bromwich Albion, Jed Steer made three saves in two games that would prove crucial to their promotion. First a fantastic save from a shot from Jay Rodriguez destined for the top corner, then two fantastic penalty saves in the return leg sent Villa on his way to Wembley.
Artur Boruc made a crucial save at Reading in April 2015, a moment that was pivotal in our promotion to the Premier League. After taking an early lead, Boruc made an incredible response refusing Jamie Mackie, one that proved to be game-changing as we held on for a 1-0 win.
The best save I’ve seen a Brentford goalkeeper make was a stunning stop by loan Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny in 2010. Towards the end of an unremarkable goalless draw at Bristol Rovers, he somehow reached out as he dove the other way. deny Chris Lines a winner. We couldn’t believe what we had seen.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Difficult to choose one! I went for two – one from the Championship and one from the FA Cup. First, David Stockdale’s double penalty against Sheffield Wednesday in our run to promotion to the Premier League. Second, Jason Steele saves four – yes four – penalties against Newport County in the FA Cup. Brilliance.
Petr Cech made some special saves during his time at Chelsea, none better than his goal-line stop of Liverpool’s Andy Carroll to help win the 2012 FA Cup Final. ‘Big Pete’ managed to keep Carroll’s header off the line with a flying right hand and the help of the underside of the crossbar.
There aren’t many bigger venues than Wembley and the Championship play-off final. The entire stadium stopped as Watford’s Troy Deeney was about to send the ball into the back of the net before Julian Speroni’s hand somehow thwarted him to keep the match goalless. The rest, as they say, is history.
Jordan Pickford’s best save came when Everton finished 18th in the league in May 2022, helping us get within two safety points in a 1-0 win against Chelsea. A shot from Mason Mount hit the post and he frantically sprinted over the line for a stunning save from Cesar Azpilicueta.
Twenty years ago, Edwin van der Sar kept out Arsenal’s Invincibles in a goalless draw at Highbury. Arsene Wenger called him “unbeatable” – and while there wasn’t a single standout save, I remember the Dutchman fending off a fierce drive from compatriot Dennis Bergkamp before finishing off Freddie Ljungberg’s successor.
One save that immediately comes to mind is Illan Meslier’s in September 2020 from our Yorkshire derby game against Sheffield United. It was a world-class rescue of a man who was only 20 years old at the time. John Lundstram’s goal-oriented effort seemed to go in 100% and I still don’t understand how Meslier managed that! We kept a clean sheet in that game and went home with all three points.
Our biggest save came from Kasper Schmeichel in the FA Cup final against Chelsea. When two former Foxes, N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell, created a chance that led to Schmeichel going full length and pushing Chilwell’s header onto the post, it felt like the odds were in our favor to go through and get our first FA Cup win.
Time stood still when Arkadiusz Milik of Napoli went through on goal in the 91st minute. An equalizer would have sent Liverpool out, but then Alisson came out of goal and spread to clear the ball. Liverpool changed the course of football history and went on to win their sixth European Cup.
Think back to the 1999 Third Division play-off final for the most important save I’ve ever seen a City goalkeeper make. A penalty shootout against Gillingham at Wembley to literally save the club from oblivion. Enter Nicky Weaver. The Manchester City we all know today might not even have existed if Weaver hadn’t saved two penalties from 12 yards out.
On a rainy evening in Moscow, with Manchester United on the brink of European success, Edwin van der Sar produced a save that earned Sir Alex Ferguson his second Champions League win and underlined his reputation as the world’s best manager. It denied Nicolas Anelka and left John Terry in tears.
February 2002 Stadium of Light, the Derby! Newcastle United came close to securing Champions League football. Kevin Phillips cuts in from the left and unleashes a hammer from 25 yards out and he goes straight into the top corner until Shay Given’s catlike reflexes zip him over the crossbar – a stunning save and as great a moment as the winner in the 64th minute by Nikos Dabizas.
The best save I’ve seen was Jordan Smith’s against Ipswich Town in May 2017, the last game of the season. The Ipswich striker had a chance to make it 1-1, but Smith saved the shot on the crossbar, also saving Forest from relegation to League One.
Fond memories of a great day at Elland Road courtesy of a series of excellent saves from Kelvin Davis to take victory, a clean sheet and extend Saints’ lead at the top of the Championship. The best was Luciano Becchio’s goal line recovery from five yards out and then denying the rebound. Davis was vital in our eventual promotion to the Premier League, but that game was Kelvin’s very best.
When I think of Spurs reaching the Champions League final in 2019, Hugo Lloris’ save from Sergio Agüero in the quarter-finals brings to mind Hugo Lloris’ penalty save. How different it could have been if the captain had not skillfully done justice to refusing the Argentinian. Spurs advanced to the semi-finals on the away goals rule.
West Ham United
It is the 26th minute of the quarter-final of the Europa League and Youssef En-Nesyri of Sevilla shoots a ball into the goal. Alphonse Areola reacts acrobatically and keeps the score at 0-0. We won that game in the end and I do believe if we had conceded at this point West Ham would have struggled to turn the game around.
Wolves were winning 1-0 against promotion rivals Cardiff when Mike Dean awarded not one but two penalties in stoppage time. The first was taken by Gary Madine, but John Ruddy dove low to the left and brilliantly pushed the ball back for a corner. Junior Hoilett took second and smashed it against the crossbar, resulting in pandemonium as the whistle blew. Wolves were promoted to the Premier League eight days later without kicking another ball!