Demarai Gray’s stunning strike in Everton’s 1-1 draw away to Manchester City has been voted as Budweiser’s November and December Premier League Goal of the Month.
The attacker’s phenomenal effort came out on top from a shortlist of eight goals, with the winner chosen by a supporters' vote combined with the choices from a panel of experts.
Gray’s remarkable effort came in the second half of a tight contest with the champions on New Year’s Eve and rescued a crucial point for the Toffees.
“The strike, as soon as it left my foot, I knew it was going in,” said Gray proudly on the goal. “To get a point at the Etihad was obviously good as well.”
The Premier League title-winner is fast developing a reputation for scoring scintillating goals at Everton and this one at City has led to some debate on social media as to whether it tops Gray’s brilliant last-minute effort at home to Arsenal last season.
For Gray, though, there’s one clear winner between the two: “For me personally, it’s better than Arsenal.
“I have lost my footing just before I have hit it as well so for me this one. Obviously, Arsenal was nice because of the occasion, the last-minute winner, but this strike is my favourite.”
Although the goal was a brilliant individual effort in many ways from Gray, the Everton forward was keen to heap praise on his teammate Vitalii Mykolenko for the role the left-back played in the move.
“It was a counter, I picked up the ball, looked up and there are four City players around me,” explains Gray.
“The run from Myka gets pushed under the rug a bit, but if he doesn’t make that run, I don’t get the extra seconds, it was like an assist from him.”
Gray has been in fine recent form for the Toffees, particularly since the league restart, following up the above exquisite strike with a goal from the penalty spot against Brighton and then an imposing attacking display against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Earlier this week, he admitted he is embracing the responsibility of being one of the Everton players looked upon to make a difference in the attack.
“Attacking players have a lot of responsibility because you win games by scoring goals,” Gray told Everton's Official Matchday Programme for Southampton. “The space I am in now, and the way I have matured, I have realised that I am probably looked at as one of the players to make a difference.
“For me, feeling valued really helps, and I feel like at Everton, everyone is behind me. I do like the responsibility of trying to win us games, and the manager has made me feel like I can be that person."
You can hear more from Gray in this weekend’s matchday programme where the Goal of the Month winner discusses harnessing pressure, what it felt like to win the Premier League title with Leicester City, and his growing importance at Everton.
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