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Monday, 25 February, 2002, 10:39 GMT
Goal king Cole
It may not have been a thing of beauty, a net-busting super-strike worthy of the Beautiful Game.

But because of what it means, Andy Cole's Worthington Cup winner has to get the nod as BBC Sport Online's Goal of the Week.

Not only did it win the trophy for Blackburn, it also gave England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson the gentlest of nudges in the ribs that Cole is still a goalscoring force to be reckoned with.

For all the criticism levelled at him, Cole must have something about him that has persuaded managers like Kevin Keegan, Sir Alex Ferguson and Graeme Souness to pay out a combined total of 16.25m for his services.

Gambling

Coles has that priceless asset among the best goalscorers that cannot be coached into a player - a predatory instinct.

And it was that which saw him poach the winner against Tottenham.

There appeared to be little danger when Henning Berg pumped a long ball into the Spurs area.

Ledley King was underneath it and appeared to have it under control.

But the best strikers are pro-active instead of reactive, and Cole was already on the move, gambling that King might make an error.

It paid off. King was unable to get power into his header on a high dropping ball, and with Matt Jansen in his field of vision, he nodded the ball back across and towards his own goal.

With no team-mates to help him out, King had to try and retrieve the situation himself, but like a shark spotting a struggling seal in the water, Cole had smelled blood .

Slow motion

As Jansen continued to pressure King and push him towards the dange area, Cole nipped in.

He poked a foot at the bouncing ball with enough force to propel it goalwards.

The trajectory and looping pace of Cole's effort appeared to fool Neil Sullivan, whose dive was more designed to stop a shot with the full meat behind it.

From King's defensive header, to Cole's looping toe-poke effort, the goal was almost played out slow-motion.

It may not have been a memorable goal to win a cup final, but it was a goal that Andy Cole will never forget.

Goal of the week

The winning strikes
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