Portsmouth's seven-year stay in the Premier League in the 2000s was marked by frequent relegation run-ins and one glorious 07-08 season that included an eighth-place finish in the Premier League and a victory in the FA Cup final.
These days, Pompey toils in the top quadrant of League One, with promotion to the EFL Championship almost as elusive as a return to the top flight.
On paper, the club's Premier League run was far from inspiring, but during the mid-2000s, Portsmouth scored an assemblage of wondergoals that, as a collective, can be categorized somewhere between an anomaly and absolutely mind-blowing.
Almost every one of these goals came from 30+ yards out and from positions where any player in their right mind would not even think about taking a shot.
Maybe it was the fearlessness instilled by manager Harry Redknapp, or maybe it was the unignorable allure of lovely T90 Nike balls. Either way, no team has any right scoring so many ridiculous goals in such a condensed time period.
But let us not question the reasons behind these goals but rather enjoy them for their sheer beauty and outlandishness.
Portsmouth Wonderstrikes 2004-2008
Patrik Berger vs. Charlton
Aug. 21, 2004
It's the volley we all dream of scoring. As Berger turns his hips around you think, "surely he won't." The flick is audacious enough, but to swivel and hit the ball as it perfectly drops to knee height is nearly impossible.
Not only does Berger make a clean strike, but he also gets the perfect amount of dip to send the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net. Beautiful stuff.
Reminder that Patrick Berger scored one of the most under appreciated goals in Premier League history.Unbelievable goal. pic.twitter.com/03LAHghvbW
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) January 28, 2022
Matthew Taylor vs. Sunderland
Oct. 29, 2005
A common theme in this list is players shooting from distances they really shouldn't be shooting from. There's just something about the Nike Total 90 ball of the 2000s though that lent itself to bouncing up perfectly for thunderous half-volleys.
Pedro Mendes vs. Manchester City
March 11, 2006
With Portsmouth playing in a crucial relegation battle against Manchester City, Pompey found a bit of magic from Portuguese midfielder Pedro Mendes, who scored twice within the 90 minutes with almost identical strikes.
On a corner in the first half, Mendes controlled a clearance on the edge of the area before sending in a wicked half-volley. The second came in the third minute of second-half injury time after Mendes won a ball he had no business getting to, taking a couple of touches before thumping home another dipping half-volley.
Both clubs ended up avoiding relegation and Mendes' goals proved to be crucial in Pompey's survival. After losing eight times in 10 matches, the Man City game marked a stretch of six wins in 10 to round out the season — with the club finishing four points above the relegation zone.
Andres D'Alessandro vs. Charlton
April 18, 2006
A rare bit of dribbling magic on this list, D'Alessandro somehow weaved his way out of the corner and feinted to create a small opening for a shot. Despite being off balance and moving away from goal, the Argentinean managed to send his left-footed shot to the the top corner at the far post for his only goal in a Portsmouth shirt.
Matthew Taylor vs. Everton
Dec. 9, 2006
A year after scoring an astonishing goal against Sunderland, Taylor somehow increased the level of difficulty against Everton. A loose ball popped up in the midfield, and Taylor decided to give it a whack with his left foot.
Tim Howard stood helplessly in the Everton penalty area, as Taylor's strike from 40 yards out plunged from out of the sky and hit the back of the net on the fly.
Noé Pamarot vs. Newcastle
Nov. 3, 2007
Described on Wikipedia as a "right-footed defender who is also known for his great strength," Noé Pamarot somehow managed to pull off one of the best left-footed strikes the Premier League has ever seen with this ferocious first-time hit from a full 30-yards out.
Glen Johnson vs. Hull City
Nov. 22, 2008
Before he was at Liverpool, Glen Johnson was a promising defender scoring screamers for Portsmouth. On that one November evening in 2008, Johnson decided he would recreate Mendes' goals from two seasons earlier — only in his own interpretation.
Not many fans would trust their right back running in at full speed, controlling a cleared corner with his chest, then hitting a first-time shot with his weak foot. Yet, that's exactly what Johnson pulled off. Fittingly, Johnson earned BBC Goal of the Season for his finish. Somehow, his goal was the only one on this list to take home the award.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 22, 2022