Liverpool's greatest PL goal: The case for Emre Can

It is easy to understand why many fans might be reluctant to acknowledge that Emre Can scored Liverpool's greatest ever Premier League goal against Watford on May 1, 2017.

The propensity for recency bias is a jarring element of football analysis in the modern era, especially when it comes to a club with a history as illustrious as LFC's.

Thus, in this case, it feels like Can's spectacular strike might be hampered by its proximity to our vote.

But, speaking objectively and without a hint of exaggeration, it would be a travesty if the German did not emerge as the victor come the close of our poll - and here's why.

We start with the backdrop to this momentous act.

Liverpool went into that trip to Vicarage Road off the back of a home defeat to Crystal Palace that looked to have dealt a significant blow to their top-four hopes.

That weekend saw fifth-placed Manchester United close the gap to the Reds to just a point; Arsenal, too, were within touching distance.

The Hornets, meanwhile, had won their last three outings on home soil without conceding a single goal.

Jürgen Klopp and co would no doubt have preferred to be coming up against a confident, physically imposing backline in more favourable circumstances.

With half-time approaching in this crucial fixture, the visitors had acquitted themselves well in terms of their defensive approach, snubbing out Watford's direct attack without too much difficulty.

But worries over their ability to break down Walter Mazzarri's defence persisted, with the hosts' back five effectively shutting down all ordinary routes to goal. 

And so, in added time, Can simply elected to take the extraordinary route.

Lucas Leiva's chipped pass forward promised little as it began dropping behind Emre's hopeful dart into the box, forcing him to turn his back to goal.

Yet, seconds later, the boundaries of Opta's generosity in defining assists were receiving their sternest test.

Quite frankly, the laws of physics seemed under threat from the sight of a six-foot-tall powerhouse exhibiting the elasticity of a ballet dancer in arcing the ball past a rooted Heurelho Gomes and into the net.

Had Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton been present that night, they would likely have left at half-time in order to reconsider their findings.

That said, any scientist worth their salt would see this goal for what it is: an outlier, an aberration, an anomaly.

Nobody scores overhead kicks with the ball crossed in from that angle. Ever. And even if someone does in the future, it is unlikely their effort will be as important.

Can's strike at Vicarage Road not only took the breath away, it helped propel Liverpool back into the Champions League qualifiers - a crucial step in the club's journey under Klopp. 

As such, it is unique in offering up both exquisite beauty and irrefutable significance.

And for that reason, no matter when it was scored, it is Liverpool's greatest ever Premier League goal.

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