Watford - Southampton striker Shane Long scored the fastest goal in Premier
League history as he netted after just 7.69 seconds of his side's 1-1
draw at Watford on Tuesday.
Long's record-breaking goal came immediately after the kick-off when
he blocked a clearance from Watford defender Craig Cathcart, allowing
the Republic of Ireland international to dink a cool finish over Ben
The 32-year-old's effort surpassed the previous fastest Premier
League goal, scored by Tottenham defender Ledley King in 9.9 seconds
against Bradford in December 2000.
It was only Long's fourth goal of the season for struggling
Southampton, with three of those now coming in his last four
King was watching Tottenham's game against Brighton on Tuesday when he discovered that his 19-year record had been broken.
After King's goal, the next fastest strike in Premier League history
was scored by Alan Shearer after 10.52 seconds for Newcastle against
Manchester City in 2003.
Christian Eriksen scored after 10.54 seconds for Tottenham against Manchester United last season.
Long's historic goal didn't prove to be the winner at Vicarage Road
as Andre Gray scored a 90th minute equaliser for FA Cup finalists
Even so, it could be a valuable contribution to the Saints's fight to avoid relegation.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's team are now six points clear of third bottom Cardiff with just three games remaining.
The strains of Elton John's 'Rocket Man' had barely finished booming over the loudspeakers when Long gave Southampton lift-off.
The goal actually came from Watford's kick-off as Roberto Pereyra
played the ball from the centre-circle back to Cathcart some 40 yards
from his own goal.
As the centre-back attempted to clear up field, Long charged it down and raced through before lifting in his landmark goal.
The Saints could have scored more with Nathan Redmond and Ryan Bertrand both hitting the woodwork.
Redmond was also denied by a good save from Foster and Long headed two other presentable chances off target.
Watford dominated after the break and Abdoulaye Doucoure attempted to
convert a cross from Kiko Femenia but could only bundle the ball into
Angus Gunn's arms.
Christian Kabasele felt he should have been awarded a penalty after a
shove by Long in the area, but referee Mike Dean thought otherwise.Southampton could not hang on and Gray swept home from close range to
lift Watford up to seventh and keep Hasenhuttl's men looking over their
shoulders a little longe