Here. Settle down. Now take a look at these three goals:

Comparing goals is great fun, but empirically speaking is a giant waste of time. Once one gets into the whole obnoxious issue over whether he or she “meant it,” which in turn spirals into the debate over whether the striker was “closely marked,” or if the keeper was “off his line,” or “should have got a hand to it,” the joy of football has bled out all over the floor.

But there are moments in the sport where aesthetic beauty breaks out beyond the subjective and starts flirting with the objective truth of the matter. I had thought—perhaps naively—that Cisse’s goal for Newcastle against Chelsea was one of those moments. According to the Independent’s assembled best and brightest, it was not.

So, to save the reputations of several writers I quite admire, let’s reverse engineer an apologist back story here.

EDITOR: “Alright you stupid wankers, it’s end of season time, which means these idiot fans want totally utter fucking useless lists which they can gob over for the next I don’t how long.”

WRITER: “Right chief.”

EDITOR: “Shut up. Now, we all know Cisse’s is the one, yeah? But we’ve got to keep this interesting. So only one of you gets to pick his, and it has to be third in the ranking. We need to get lots of Crouch in there, right? He’s English, he plays for a team everyone is pretty much indifferent too, that’s called broad appeal.”

WRITER: “Right chief.”

EDITOR: “Clean out your desk sport, you’re gone. Now I know most of you already made your picks last month anyway, so you can submit those, alright. And only one Rooney goal, we have a reputation as the British outsider hipsters to uphold. Alright? Now hop to it.”

WRITER: “Right chief.”

EDITOR: *Punches writer*