We’ve witnessed some goalscoring history in the Premier League already this season, with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane becoming the first players from their respective nations to reach a century of Premier League goals.
In Burnley’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday, another such landmark was reached as Chris Wood became the first New Zealander, and the first player from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in general to reach 50 strikes in the English top flight.
A mainstay of Sean Dyche’s battling Burnley side for a number of years now, all but one of Wood’s Premier League goals have come for the Turf Moor side, with his very first in the top flight arriving when he was a youngster with Leicester City.
During his time in the North West, Wood has developed into a reliable, physically imposing striker, who has steered Burnley away from relegation trouble on a number of occasions and even fired them to a record 7th placed finish in 2018. Here we look back on some of the finest goals so far from Chris Wood’s Premier League career.
5 of the best goals from Chris Wood
1. First goal: Vs Everton (16th August 2014)
Although he is now a Burnley icon and the club’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League, Chris Wood’s first Premier League goal actually came whilst wearing the blue and white of Leicester City, during their first game back in the Premier League following the club’s promotion in 2014.
With the club trailing 2-1 at home to Everton on the first day of the season, a Leicester attack resulted in the ball pinballing around the Everton penalty area, eventually landing at the feet of Chris Wood. The New Zealand striker made no mistake, sweeping a clinical first-time finish past Tim Howard to ensure that Leicester’s first Premier League game in over a decade wouldn’t end in defeat.
Unfortunately, Wood found opportunities hard to come by at the King Power Stadium, and after eventually returning to the Championship, the 22-year-old striker wouldn’t be back on the Premier League scoresheet for another three years.
2. 50th goal: Vs Crystal Palace (20th November 2021)
16 of Chris Wood’s 50 Premier League goals have been headers, and so it was no surprise to see him reach the half-century mark with another fine header against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
With the scores at 1-1 in a chaotic but very entertaining match, a headed pass by James Tarkowski found Wood on the left-hand side of the six-yard box, and the striker stooped to plant a pinpoint header inside Vicente Guaita’s near post.
In the end, it was only enough to claim a point for the Clarets following a thrilling 3-3 draw, but it’s pretty clear that once again Wood’s goals will be key if Burnley are to keep the wolves from the door and stave off the threat of relegation.
3. Best goal: Vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (25th April 2021)
Chris Wood’s best two goals for Burnley came in the space of just a couple of weeks near the end of the 2020/21 Premier League season, against Wolves and then Fulham. Out of the two, his opening strike against the former at Molineux narrowly edges it as his best Premier League goal.
After touching down a long forward pass, Wood showed great control to turn Wolves captain Conor Coady inside out before rifling a shot across Rui Patricio from an improbable angle to give Burnley the lead.
It was a goal that highlighted his other attributes outside of his physical strength and aerial prowess in what eventually turned out to be his greatest ever Premier League performance, as Wood hit a hat-trick and Burnley cruised to a 4-0 victory.
4. Most Important goal: Vs Crystal Palace (23rd November 2020)
During his time at Burnley, Chris Wood has been a beacon of consistency, reaching double-figure goals in every full season he’s been at the club. In the relegation-threatened 2020/21 season, his goal contributions were more important than ever.
Following a terrible start to the campaign, Burnley faced Crystal Palace during Matchweek 8 in what was already setup to be a vital game in their season. Just a few minutes into the game, a flick-on found Wood completely free in the Palace penalty area, and he made no mistake in front of goal as he smashed a powerful strike beyond Vicente Guaita.
It was Burnley’s first home goal of the Premier League season, and it proved to be enough for the hosts as they ground out a priceless 1-0 victory. The goal and win sparked Burnley’s season into life as they went on to win nine more games and finish a healthy distance above the relegation zone.
Without that first win, their campaign may not have gotten off the ground at all.
5. Most Memorable goal: Vs Manchester United: (22nd January 2020)
The 2019/20 campaign was an impressive one for Burnley, as the team finished in a comfortable 10th place and claimed some impressive results in the process. But of all the fine victories they claimed, none stand out more than their terrific win at Old Trafford in the second half of the season.
In the first half of that clash against Manchester United, a deep free kick was flicked on to Wood in the United penalty area, and the striker shinned a volley past David De Gea to give the Clarets a dream lead. Wood went on to set up a Jay Rodriguez stunner in the second half as Burnley ran out 2-0 winners in Manchester.
It was Burnley’s first win over United at Old Trafford since 1962, and the singular high point of Sean Dyche’s managerial tenure at the club. For Wood, and the Burnley faithful, it is a goal that either is unlikely to ever forget.
Manchester City and England fan. Writer of opinion and features on all things Premier League and beyond.