Comment and Analysis @p_smith86
Harry Wilson's stunning Carabao Cup free-kick against Manchester United explained
Derby's Liverpool loanee scored set-piece at Old Trafford
Last Updated: 26/09/18 6:36pm
Harry Wilson scored a stunning free-kick in Derby's Carabao Cup victory at Manchester United on Tuesday night. Here we dissect the strike and look at how he did it…
With Derby trailing to Juan Mata's opener at Old Trafford, Liverpool loanee Wilson stepped up to take a free-kick around 32 yards from goal just before the hour mark.
The Welshman struck a swerving left-foot effort into the far corner, past a wrong-footed Sergio Romero, sparking wild celebrations from the Derby players and in the dugout. They would go on to win the third round tie on penalties.
The ball took just 1.06 seconds to travel from Wilson's boot to the United goal. That means Wilson was able to achieve a speed of 61.7mph with his shot. While not a rocket, the strike was hard enough - and accurate enough - to leave goalkeeper Romero no chance of switching direction to stop it.
Wilson was able to generate that speed and swerve by hitting what's known as a 'knuckleball' free-kick.
It's a technique made famous by Cristiano Ronaldo and, in contrast to traditional set-piece shots which involve bending the ball deliberately and significantly in one direction, allows the taker to generate unpredictable movement from the ball in the air.
From a straight run up, the ball is struck just below its centre with the upper section of the instep of the boot and, when hit correctly, wobbles - rather than spins - through the air on its way towards goal.
"It was a bit too far out to curl it so I've just gone to put my laces through it, try to put a bit of movement on it," Wilson told Sky Sports. "I've done that and it's nestled in the corner so it's nice."
Ahead of last season, Chelsea defender David Luiz, who also uses the technique, explained to Sky Sports how it's done - and why applying some top spin can help keep the ball down. "You know when you play ping pong or table tennis and you touch the ball for topspin? When I touch the ball I try to move my knee up quickly for the ball to do this movement," he said.
Both Wilson and his manager Frank Lampard told Sky Sports it is something the player works on regularly in training.
It's typical of him and Mason Mount. They practice, they're hungry, they want to be great free-kick takers, and they want to be great Premier League players in the end.
Frank Lampard on Harry Wilson and Mason Mount
"He does it in training and funnily enough, when we got the free-kick, I turned around to the bench and said it was a bit too far out," said Lampard. "It certainly proved me wrong. But I was right behind it. He got the movement and it's typical of him and Mason Mount. They practice, they're hungry, they want to be great free-kick takers, and they want to be great Premier League players in the end."
"I don't think I've seen a better free-kick, ever," said Darren Bent in the Sky Sports studio. "For him to get that kind of movement and knuckleball as they call it, it was unbelievable."
Jamie Redknapp was also impressed. "He opens his foot up and hits it with a side foot. It bamboozles the keeper, he doesn't know where it's going."
Do you agree? Watch the video below of some stellar free-kicks and then vote for your favourite...
If you're reading on skysports.com comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'.