It’s the moment all football fans live for: when the ball crosses the line and hits the back of the net. Whether it’s a 30-yard screamer, two-yard tap in or outrageous overhead kick, it doesn’t matter – it’s the outpouring of emotion, the feeling of ecstasy, the togetherness and shared elation.
Of course, some goals do stand out above the rest for their importance, creation or technique.
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In our new series My Favourite Goal, presented by Nissan, we asked players of our women’s team to describe their favourite City goal, kicking off with Caroline Weir…
My favourite goal is the one against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in the first professional women’s Manchester Derby.
It’s an obvious choice but it was such a special moment – for me personally and for the team – to have scored in a Derby on such a big stage with a record-breaking crowd and amazing atmosphere.
Scoring the winning goal is one of the highlights of my career.
As the first Derby at the Etihad with such a big crowd – and with it being the first game of the season – there was so much tension, although we didn’t really realise it at the time.
It’s only after that you realise how big the crowd was.
During the week leading up to a game, you’re not focusing on the hype outside – you’re focusing on training and preparation, looking after yourself: eating, sleeping and maintaining your performance.
That’s the best way.
The first half
None of us had been enjoying the first half to be honest. We weren’t playing well – it was a typical first game of the season.
Everyone was a bit nervous and tentative and we weren’t playing how we'd hoped to play.
The turning point
There were quite a few things said at half-time because it really wasn’t good enough.
Coming out in the second half and scoring so early really settled us down. There was a feeling of relief to have finally gone ahead and we played a lot better and we were definitely the better team in the second half.
It was a game of two halves. We all really enjoyed the second half.
Sometimes, in a game, if things aren't going our way, I can feel a bit fed up so I decide to try and do something about it.
I remember picking the ball up and up until that moment, I hadn’t had a shot. In my head, I was thinking: ‘Just don’t hit it over the bar! Get over it!’
It could have gone anywhere but that’s what I remember thinking just before I hit it.
I guess a lot of it is down to instinct and practising it in training every day. I can’t describe the thought process behind how many touches I felt I needed to take or even the shot itself.
To be honest, I knew pretty much as soon as I hit it that it was going in. People always say that but I did actually feel like – the way I hit it – it was definitely on target.
Then, it was just a case of whether or not it’s saved… but I think I knew straight away it was going in.
That’s one of my favourite feelings! My celebration is a bit embarrassing to be honest – there isn’t much to it: I was just running around!
The team came running to me. There are some good pictures of us all – we’re all buzzing with it! I would have been the same whoever scored – I’d have celebrated like that.
It’s a great feeling, especially in that stadium with that atmosphere at home with all the City fans. It’s a moment you don’t forget – the feeling you train for day in, day out.
Those feelings don’t come around that often so you have to try and enjoy it while you can!
I don’t really notice things like that too much. It’s always something to work towards but I guess it is true: I scored the first goal in a professional women’s Manchester Derby.
That’s a cool thing to have. Maybe I’ll look back in a few years and think about it. Right now and at the time, I was just happy to score and start the season with three points, ready to move onto the next game.
I won’t lie: I’ve watched the goal back a few times! Although more straight after – not so much now. It feels like a long time ago and a lot had happened since then.
But it’s something to tell the grandkids about one day!