18 of the best assists in PL history: Berbatov, Ozil, Fabregas, Cantona…

Quick Reads
Dimitar Berbatov during Manchester United v Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park, Liverpool. September 2010.

We all have a list of the greatest goals we’ve ever seen in our heads, but unbelievable passes followed by bog-standard finishes tend to be sadly forgotten about.

A wonderful assist and a brilliant finish make for particularly special goals, of course, while there are plenty of examples of great team moves which live long in the memory.

And there are some of both of those types of goal on this (absolutely non-exhaustive) list of some of the best assists the Premier League has ever seen.

Remind us of the ones we’ve missed on Twitter @planetfutebol.

Cesc Fabregas – Chelsea v Burnley

We’re still not sure how Fabregas was able to control this ball to Andre Schurrle so perfectly. We’re putting this straight into the arms of the goalkeeper 99 times out of 100 and missing it completely the other one, but that’s why we’re not professionals.

Olivier Giroud – Arsenal v Norwich

If we could combine both of Giroud’s touches into one then it’d be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the assist world, but the instinctive outside-of-the-boot ball is deserving of a place on this list in its own right.

This was Arsenal at their best and most fluent, and you’re unlikely to find a better – or at least a slicker – team goal anywhere.

Dimitar Berbatov – Man Utd v West Ham

This is the moment at which James Collins died. Everything the Welshman did since is non-canon, performed by an actor taking on the role of James Collins.

There are some touches where you wonder how a player even thought to try something, let alone pull it off. This is one of those.

Steven Gerrard – Liverpool v Fulham

What even is that? It’s not quite a trivela, not quite a chip and not quite a toe-punt. It might need its own name. Whatever it is, it’s sensational.

Gianfranco Zola – Chelsea v Sunderland

The goal Gus Poyet scored for Chelsea against Sunderland in 1999 might well have been the best of his career. Yet, somehow, his flying scissor volley wasn’t the best part about it. Damn Gianfranco Zola.

Mesut Ozil – Arsenal v Aston Villa

If a backheel volley is the only way to ensure Arsenal beat the offside trap, then a backheel volley is what Mesut Ozil would produce. We wouldn’t have been able to forgive Olivier Giroud if he’d screwed this one up.

Eric Cantona – Man Utd v Tottenham

Stop it, Eric. This is obscene.

Dimitri Payet – West Ham v Watford

Troy Deeney claimed moments like this were enough to inspire Watford to launch a revenge mission and score four unanswered goals. And you know what, it’s absolutely worth it.

David Silva – Man City v Man Utd

Man City needed goal difference to win the title in 2012 and this 6-1 victory at Old Trafford helped a great deal. Silva’s ball to Edin Dzeko was the icing on an already overdecorated cake, and a classic case of finding the single exact route to a team-mate.

Riyad Mahrez – Leicester v West Brom

This came at a point when Mahrez – and Leicester – could do no wrong. An absolute gem of a backheel, perfectly weighted to the point that he might as well have picked the ball up and dropped it onto Andy King’s boot.

Kevin De Bruyne – Man City v Southampton

He did this in the fourth minute of stoppage time on the final day of the season to make City the first team to break the 100-point barrier in the Premier League. Outrageous.

Frank Lampard – Chelsea v Man City

We still can’t quite work out how Lampard got this pass between those two City centre-backs.

Wayne Rooney – Man Utd v Aston Villa

Made even better by the fact the beauty of the pass is matched by the beauty of the finish.

Luis Suarez – Liverpool v Man Utd

One of the greatest goals never scored has to settle for a place as one of the greatest assists ever produced thanks to Dirk Kuyt’s cheeky goalpoaching.

Dennis Bergkamp – Arsenal v Leicester

You can tell how sad this has made the goalkeeper.

Alex Song – Arsenal v Everton

Remember when Alex Song was good enough to earn a move to Barcelona?

Leroy Sane – Man City v Newcastle

This looks like when one of the older lads at school who once had trials at Ipswich joins in with the year below for 10 minutes.

Juan Sebastian Veron – Man Utd v Birmingham

Like Rooney to Van Persie, David Beckham’s finish makes this all the better.


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