Southampton striker Shane Long has scored the fastest goal in Premier League history, netting after just 7.69 seconds against Watford at Vicarage Road.
Before many spectators even had a chance to get settled into their seats, Irish international Long had charged down Craig Cathcart’s clearance and chipped the ball over Ben Foster to open struggling Southampton’s account.
According to official league timing, the goal is the fastest scored in any of Europe’s top-four leagues (English Premier League, Spainish La Liga, Italian Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga).
The strike is only the second ever Premier League goal to be scored within 10 seconds of the kick off, surpassing former Tottenham defender Ledley King’s record of 9.9 seconds set in 2000.
Shane Long has scored four goals this season, including three in his last four starts. (AP: Adam Davy)
Sadly for Southampton, they could not hold onto the lead, which lasted until the 90th minute, when Andre Gray slammed home the equaliser after a goalmouth scramble.
Southampton are in 16th spot on the Premier League ladder, six points ahead of Cardiff City in the final relegation spot, while Watford moved up to seventh on the ladder, just one point above Everton.
Quick fire NSL goal still faster
As quick off the mark as Long was, Premier League stars will need to up their game if they wanted to better Australia’s fastest goal.
Former Socceroo Damian Mori netted after a scarcely believable 3.69 seconds for Adelaide City in a 2-2 National Soccer League draw against Sydney United in December 1995 — a strike that held the world record between 1995 and 1998.
Long has however beaten Tim Cahill’s best effort. The former Socceroo great scored, what was at the time, the MLS’s fastest goal ever back in 2013, scoring after just eight seconds for New York Red Bulls against Houston Dynamo.
The fastest goal in a professional game was then claimed by Ricardo Olivera, who netted after 2.8 seconds in a Uruguayan league game, but that was surpassed in an FA recognised amateur match by Marc Burrows, who scored after 2.56 seconds for Cowes Sports reserves against Eastleigh Reserves in 2004.
Nawaf Al Abed of Al-Hilal currently claims the record having netted after two seconds against Al-Shoalah in the Saudi Arabian league.
However, this match was subsequently expunged from the record books after ineligible players were used, meaning the official record is contested.