Viva Valencia! Twitter reacts to Antonio’s thunderbolt

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

It was an unlikely source of an opening goal for Manchester United and it arrived in unlikelier fashion, which was perhaps what made Antonio Valencia’s rocket against Everton all the more special.

With just four minutes on the clock in Sunday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford, there appeared to be little danger when Nemanja Matic’s sideways pass from the left found Valencia on the edge of the box.

But, without even bothering to bring the ball under control, the Ecuadorian nonchalantly swung his right foot through it, unleashing a humdinger of a shot past Jordan Pickford.

The strike was so ferocious that Pickford only dived in an attempt to save it after the ball had nestled into the back of the net.

On second thought, the Toffees goalkeeper could actually have been bowled over by the sheer force of the strike that had just beaten him.

As expected, Twitter was soon flooded with reaction to the Goal of the Season frontrunner.

Considering it came from fellow former winger converted into a full-back, perhaps Ashley Young may be inspired to have a go next weekend?

Meanwhile, ex-Red Devils captain Rio Ferdinand was slightly less exuberant in his appraisal of the effort, compared to a large majority of fans on Twitter who absolutely went bonkers.

Even FOX Sports Asia’s very own John Dykes was counting his lucky stars that he got returned home from an evening of fast cars to be greeted by the sight of an even faster strike.

The effort was made even more remarkable by the fact that Valencia’s only goal of last season came in far different, less glamorous circumstances. Left with an open goal after a costly slip by former team-mate Victor Valdes.

One is arguably the greatest right-back of all time. The other is… Cafu?

And while Valencia may be widely known as the shy, retiring sort that eschews the limelight, even he could not resist a rare bit of self-indulgence on Sunday evening. That’s how good the strike was.