Was Tevez's free-kick goal of the season? Not quite, but it was up there

Argentine's strike prompts <i>The Independent</i> football writers to select their league favourites of 2010-11
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The Independent Football

James Lawton, Sports Writer of the Year

1. Wayne Rooney: Man Utd 2-1 Man City

Stunning in its ambition and judgment. This would have been goal of the season in any context. When set against fears that his slump in form might be terminal, it carried the force of pure revelation.

2. Sandro: Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham

Had his breathtaking drive against Chelsea come from a noted virtuoso it would still have been remarkable. The workhorse young Brazilian moved on to another plane.

3. Carlos Tevez: Man City 3-0 Stoke City

His free-kick against Stoke, was perfect, swaggering self-expression. At such moments the troubled, and troubling, striker answers all questions about whether he is worth the pain.

Mark Fleming, Football Writer

1. Wayne Rooney: Man Utd 2-1 Man City

The face of Fifa 11, Rooney scored the type of scissors-kick you normally only find on a video game.

2. Luke Varney: Blackpool 2-1 Wolves

Nothing beats seeing a player thump it in from miles out, and this one was, as Barry Davies used to say, "a screamer".

3. Samir Nasri: Arsenal 2-1 Fulham

Magnificent dribble. His first goal that day was good but the second was even better.

Sam Wallace, Football Correspondent

1. Scott Parker: West Ham 3-1 Liverpool

This was a brilliant finish. Parker surged forward, played a quick exchange with Thomas Hitzlsperger, took a touch and then hit his shot quickly. The passing move that preceded it was also excellent, proving that the Hammers were – on their day – capable of so much more.

2. Samir Nasri: Arsenal 2-1 Fulham

It was the way he kept his cool in the box for his first goal of the game. It takes real ability to beat two defenders with the same trick in the space of a few seconds but Nasri did this, selling a dummy to both Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes before scoring.

3. Wayne Rooney: Man United 2-1 Man City

The combination of timing, power and athleticism makes a good overhead kick one of the awe-inspiring sights in football. Add the fact this one won the Manchester derby and it showed that if defences give Rooney just an inch, he can punish them.

Ian Herbert, Northern Football Correspondent

1. Wayne Rooney: Man Utd 2-1 Man City

He has said it is his best goal of all time and the quality of execution from Nani's cross at time of optimum pressure was exhilarating.

2. Fernando Torres Wolves 0-3 Liverpool

It was the self-confidence of his second goal which makes it stand out as emblematic of what Kenny Dalglish brought back to Liverpool – a 30-pass move leading to Torres' finish from Raul Meireles's pass.

3. Gareth Bale: Stoke City 1-2 Tottenham

The sweet, first-time volley with his left foot from the left side of the Stoke box for his second goal of the game was unstoppable – a reminder of Bale's blistering talent.

Glenn Moore, Football Editor

1. Nedum Onuoha: Chelsea 0-3 Sunderland

Onuoha's goals are rare – four in 124 league games – but this was worth waiting for. Put a Barcelona 10 shirt on his back and it could be Lionel Messi taking a slalom through the then-champions' defence.

2. Wayne Rooney: Man Utd 2-1 Man City

The build-up is not as good as Dimitar Berbatov's overhead kick goal against Liverpool but the first-time mid-air finish is a technical and acrobatic marvel.

3. David Jones: Wolves 2-1 Stoke City

Not quite as original as Ernie Hunt's legendary donkey-kick goal for Coventry, but this free-kick routine is worth a podium place for imagination and execution.

Jack Pitt-Brooke, Football Writer

1. Dimitar Berbatov: Man United 3-2 Liverpool

Cushioned a cross on his right thigh, turned away from goal and fired an overhead kick off the underside of the bar and into Pepe Reina's net.

2. David Silva: Blackpool 2-3 Man City

The City midfielder tricked his way past two defenders in a crowded box and curled the ball into the far corner.

3. Wayne Rooney: Man United 2-1 Man City

Remarkable agility to adjust and slam a scissors-kick home.