Shay Given's first hand memories of that Bergkamp wonder goal

Ireland legend was in goal for Newcastle when the Arsenal great produced a moment of magic

BY Raf Diallo 21:40 Thursday 2 March 2017, 21:40 2 Mar 2017

Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp (centre) celebrates his goal with team mate Robert Pires (left) as they take the lead against Newcastle during their FA Barclaycard Premiership match at Newscastle's St James's Park ground. Picture by Owen Humphreys PA Archive/PA Images

Fifteen years ago today, Dennis Bergkamp scored one of the all-time great Premier League goals.

The Arsenal legend was playing against Newcastle when he received a Robert Pires ball from the left side.

A mere mortal might have stopped the ball and slowed down play.

But operating from another dimension, the Dutch great flicked the ball around Newcastle defender Nikos Dabizas, pirouetted around his opponent before applying the finish. 

The goalkeeper in question was our own Shay Given and although no shot-stopper likes to concede a goal, the ex-Ireland and Newcastle man joined Off The Ball to share his own first hand memories of Bergkamp's magic moment.  

"It was an unbelievable goal of course. At the time I didn't think that. I just thought 'oh my God, he's scored'. But looking back, I've seen it about 20 million times in the last 20 years," he said.

"It's a fantastic bit of skill when you slip back into the cold light of day and then watch it back. I think Bergkamp said after the game that he meant it so I'll take his word for it and it was a great piece of skill.

"In the course of the game, you're focused on what you're doing. You're not bemused but it's like 'what just happened there' and he's through one on one with me and obviously he slots it in the corner. He's very composed with the finish as well but it's only when you look back at the replays later that night that you see he's got Nikos Dabizas touch tight to him and he's done an unbelievable bit of skill to flick it around the corner and spin the other way and get onto it and Bergkamp was one of the very few who could do that.

"And when he says he means it, some players might claim it and had a lucky bounce, but I think deep down you know he really did mean it. He was a class player."

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