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English Premier League: Christian Eriksen (1′) Tottenham 1-0 Manchester United

Christian Eriksen’s 11 second strike for Tottenham against Manchester United on Wednesday was the third fastest goal in Premier League history. But who else has scored one of the quickest goals of all-time?

8.1 seconds: Christian Benteke (Belgium 6-0 Gibraltar, World Cup qualifier 2017)

Belgium striker Benteke registered the fastest international goal of all time with his 8.1 second effort and it was even more impressive because Gibraltar started with the ball in the centre circle.

The hosts, playing in Portugal because their stadium does not meet FIFA standards, played the ball backwards from the kickoff to Jamie Bosio, who then tried to pass across to a teammate. But Benteke intercepted the pass and ran into the box before putting a shot past goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim.

Christian Benteke was the star in Belgium's 6-0 defeat of Gibraltar in October 2016
Christian Benteke’s goal after less than nine seconds was the first of his hat trick against Gibraltar.

8.3 seconds: Davide Gualtieri (San Marino 1-7 England, World Cup qualifier, 1993)

San Marino, buoyed by their 0-0 draw with Turkey earlier in 1993, scored only the third goal in their history, in a World Cup qualifier against England in Bologna after just 8.3 seconds. Assisted by a short back-pass from Stuart Pearce, computer clerk Davide Gualtieri’s goal remains the fastest in World Cup qualification history, and brought his team’s all-time goal difference down to a more respectable minus 84.

The visitors went on to win the game 7-1, but it was to be Graham Taylor’s last as manager. England had needed to win by a seven-goal margin and for Poland to do them a favour against Netherlands and, as neither happened, England finished third in the group.

“I’m probably more famous in Scotland,” Gualtieri told the London Evening Standard in 2003 when asked about his status in his homeland.

“In ’95, we played the Scots here and their fans came wearing T-shirts which said ‘Gualtieri — eight seconds’. I was in the Halloween pub in town when some of them found out who I was. They bought me drinks all night and wouldn’t let me leave.”

9.9 seconds: Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 Bradford City, Premier League, 2000)

King’s first ever goal for Tottenham not only wrote him into the history books of his club but also the Premier League. The future Spurs captain scored within 10 seconds of the six-goal thriller at Valley Parade to register the competition’s fastest goal. 

The opener was rough justice on the Bantams as referee Neale Barry was forced to restart the game after a Tottenham player had encroached into the City half. When the whistle sounded to signal the beginning of the match for the second time, King found himself in acres of space to drill in a 25-yard shot which deflected off the unfortunate Andy O’Brien and went in after just 9.9 seconds.

The goal beat the previous best record of 13 seconds set by both Chris Sutton and Dwight Yorke with Blackburn and Aston Villa in 1994 and 1995 respectively, and still stands today as the quickest English top-flight goal since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.

10.12 seconds: Roy Makaay (Bayern Munich 2-1 Real Madrid, Champions League, 2007)

Bayern Munich had their work cut out when they welcomed Real Madrid for the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 second-leg clash after losing the first leg 3-2 at the Bernabeu.

If there were any prematch nerves, they didn’t show when Roberto Carlos miscontrolled a pass back to him virtually from kickoff. Hasan Salihamidzic pounced on the left-back’s error and fed the ball through for Makaay, who swept his first-time finish past Iker Casillas after just 10.1 seconds for the competition’s quickest ever goal.

However, Bayern could not repeat their heroics in the next round when they were defeated by eventual winners AC Milan, for whom Paolo Maldini scored a first-minute opener in the 2005 final that remains the quickest goal ever scored in a Champions League final.

Alan Shearer’s 283 league scoring record may never be beaten.

10.40 seconds: Alan Shearer (Newcastle 2-0 Manchester City, Premier League, 2003)

The Premier League’s top goal scorer of all time has the second fastest goal ever in the Premier League.

When the Manchester City defence directed the ball back to goalkeeper Carlo Nash everything seemed fine, that is until the keeper slipped momentarily giving Shearer a chance to close him down. That he did, and he slotted home the opener to get the Magpies off to a flying start.

“I thought I’d give Carlo an early touch to help his confidence,” explained Steve Howey, who made the backpass. Craig Bellamy made sure of the win to hand Kevin Keegan a bad return to St James’ Park following his decision to walk out on the Tyneside club in January 1997.

10.89 seconds: Hakan Sukur (South Korea 2-3 Turkey, World Cup finals, 2002)

Sukur scored the fastest goal in the history of the World Cup finals when he netted 10.89 seconds into the 2002 third-place playoff against South Korea. Sukur had arrived at the tournament amid high expectations, but that effort — which helped his side to a 3-2 win — was his only strike of the tournament.

“The goal was late in coming,” he said after the game. 

Czechoslovakia’s Vaclav Masek had previously held the record, netting just 15 seconds into a 3-1 defeat to Mexico at the 1962 tournament.

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