Vincent Kompany Or Michael Keane?


Football commentary is frequently chastised for relying on cliches, but some events are so perfectly captured by a well-worn phrase that passing up the opportunity would be criminal.

The startling, rip-snorting strikes delivered by Michael Keane and Vincent Kompany, for the azure-clad Everton and Manchester City respectively, are unerring embodiments of bolts from the blue.

Like a thunderclap from a cloudless sky, both goals were violent works of art that seemed scarcely capable of originating from the boot of two no-nonsense centre-backs.

The Goodison Park crowd was still gasping at the replay on the big screen of Keane’s strike against Tottenham on Monday night when the comparisons to Kompany’s howitzer from four years early were first being drawn.

Kompany’s venomous drive against Leicester City in May 2019 was instantly dubbed a ‘once in a lifetime’ strike. While the Premier League-winning captain didn’t carry on playing long enough to prove that sentiment wrong, he was certainly around to witness a near replica from Keane.

But which goal was better? We take a granular look at how each stunner compares.

Surprise factor

The only people that weren’t surprised by either goal seem to be the scorers.

“You won’t believe me,” Keane insisted in a post-match debrief to Sky Sports, “but every now and again I do hit the ball like that in training.” Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville couldn’t muffle their laughter on the other end of the line but Keane doubled down: “I think my teammates have been expecting one for a while so, to see one come off is amazing.”

It’s safe to say that Kompany’s colleagues were not so confident. “I could hear people saying ‘Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!’” he remembered. “I’ve not come this far in my career to have young players tell me when to shoot! For 15 years, I’ve told people I’ll score one like that”

Pep Guardiola, watching on from City’s technical area, admitted he was thinking exactly what most of his players were yelling. Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was a little taken aback as well. “That was something we were not expecting,” the opposition manager admitted.

Keane may have been a hot shot in training but there was little evidence for his confidence from his competitive record. Not only was Keane’s cracker against Spurs his first-ever Premier League goal from outside the penalty area, but it was also the centre-back’s first goal from further out than the penalty spot.

Kompany may never had hit a strike from as far out as his pile-driver against Leicester but City’s long-serving skipper did sweep a sumptuous effort into the top corner against Crystal Palace in 2017.

Neither were expected to score but Kompany’s history of important goals for City just gives Keane the edge when it comes to unpredictability.


When revelling in his first viewing of the goal, Keane claimed: “I didn’t feel it come off my foot it was that sweet.” Lining up his sights from 32 yards out, Keane’s crisp effort barely spins, zipping through the chilly Merseyside air and right into the side-netting. Hugo Lloris, despite boasting a clear view of the strike, is completely flat-footed.

Kompany’s strike may have been from one yard closer to the net but it was unquestionably a better shot.

Whereas Keane’s attempt is originally flying into the middle of the goal before veering to the right, Kompany’s scorcher scarcely looks like going on target until it crashes in off the underside of the bar – another detail which sees Kompany comfortably win in this category.


Everton’s Premier League meeting with Tottenham had ticked into the final minute of normal time when Keane strode forward and had the thought: “Go on then.” (His words, not mine.)

The thumping strike earned Everton a hard-fought and heartily deserved draw, taking the Toffees one point clear of the drop zone. Yet, with nine games of the campaign still to play, Everton remain well and truly in the relegation mire.

There were 20 minutes remaining in City’s penultimate game of the season when Kompany cocked his leg. Initially he thought better of it and took one more stride forward before letting rip with a goal that kept the Premier League title in City’s hands.

At the halfway stage of the 2018/19 campaign, City had trailed Liverpool by as many as seven points. Yet, a sensational run of 14 consecutive league wins wrestled the title back. Kompany’s goal sealed number 13 of that sequence, nudging City back ahead of the Reds before a final-day victory over Brighton won the Sky Blues the title by a single point.

Keane’s goal may have been later in the contest but Kompany’s was at a more obviously crucial time of the season. Time will tell how pivotal Keane’s goal was, but Kompany nabs this one as well.


Recency bias is always going to inflate the quality of the shiny, new screamer dished up by the Premier League but Kompany’s title-winner has to come out on top in this comparison.

As good a goal as Keane’s effort was, it’s unlikely that he’ll be getting measured up for a statue outside Everton’s new ground because of it.


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