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90min’s favourite football moments of 2023

Another year of football is in the books, and boy, what a year it was.

We bore witness to the rise of Jude Bellingham, the fall of Chelsea and Manchester United, another year of dominance from Manchester City, another year of calamities from VAR, and much, much more.

And after all that fun, the team of writers and editors have decided to once again pick out their favourite moments of the calendar year.

Derry City vs KuPS Kuopio is probably not a game of football you knew was played in 2023.

Heck, given that Derry are a League of Ireland team and KuPS play in the Finnish top flight, I’d be surprised/impressed if you knew those two football teams even existed to be honest. But despite that, and despite the fact that it was only a Europa Conference League second round qualifying game, it was by quite a distance the best footballing moment of 2023 for myself and my dad.

And that’s because our local team, Derry, the big underdogs for the tie, ended up securing their place in the next round of the competition thanks to their best performance at the Ryan McBride Stadium in a very, very long time.

After going behind in the first half, the Candystripes clawed back two goals in the second half via Will Patching and Cian Kavanagh to win the game. If you click on the X video above, you’ll see how much that win meant to the fans in attendance (including me).

Jarrod Bowen

West Ham lifted a European trophy / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

I could try to be funny and obscure but was there really anything better than Jarrod Bowen’s winner for West Ham in the Europa Conference League final?

Thousands of Hammers in dreamland in Prague, the end of a 43-year wait for trophy success and something to really rival West Ham winning the World Cup for England in 1966.

Ange Postecoglou

Tottenham are fun again / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

2022/23 was getting pretty dire and most wrote Tottenham off as a relevant entity in the wake of Harry Kane’s departure, but Ange Postecoglou has helped me discover feelings again,Ā like some 14-year-old kid.

You remember feelings, right?Ā I had built up a shell around myself. A cold, calculated shell that couldn’t be broken by anything butĀ catenaccio.

But now we’re loving Big Ange instead.

Nicolas Jackson, Reece James

A rare enjoyable moment for Chelsea fans / Visionhaus/GettyImages

As a Chelsea fan, positive moments have been few and far between in 2023.

Beating Tottenham 4-1 was pretty nice, but the best moment of 2023 will be when this hellish year is finally over and we can pretend like 2024 is going to be better, even if we all know this circus will never end.

Dejan Kulusevski

A memorable win / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

Tottenham 2-1 Sheffield United – the latest comeback in Premier League history.

Spurs refused to be beaten by the Manager of the Month curse, by the Blades’ increasingly deep block, by Wes Foderingham putting on a masterclass of time-wasting.

My dad in the stands said the scenes at full-time were like nothing he’s ever experienced in his many, many, many years of going to White Hart Lane.

Katie McCabe

A famous goal / Andy Cheung/GettyImages

RepublicĀ of Ireland captain Katie McCabe scored her nationā€™s first-ever goal at theĀ Womenā€™s World Cup this summer with a corner swung straight from the flag into Canadaā€™s net.

99 years earlier, Argentine winger Cesareo Onzari curled a corner pastĀ a Uruguay side that hadĀ won gold in Paris. Thereafter, any goal scoredĀ directly from a corner would be known as an Olympic goal.

Just six years beforeĀ scoring an Olympic goal against the Olympic champions, McCabe wasĀ part of an Ireland side treated by their football association ā€œlikeĀ the dirt onĀ their shoeā€, changing out of their loaned international tracksuits in airportĀ toilets.

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