Gazza’s debut strike

Last updated : 31 March 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Gazza had been left out of the Gansu Tianma team on the opening day of the season in order that he could make his competitive bow in front of his home fans, and he didn’t disappoint.

Fourteen minutes into the game he beat two players and fired the ball home from 20 yards out, with his team going on to earn a 2-0 victory over Hailifeng.

Afterwards manager Zhang Bohong said: "It was really pretty, he stole the ball in midfield, beat two defenders and carried it all the way to the edge of the penalty area. His shot went into the upper left corner of the net. It was a world-class goal.

"He was all over the field, in the front, in the back. You could say he flew around the whole field. Not only did he organise the attack he also helped out in defence."

It’s a long time since Gazza received such praise from a manager.