The 11 Premier League players with the most match-winners in 2021-22
The Premier League is littered with attacking talents that consistently find the back of the net for their respective teams. But some players have made a habit of netting victory-earning goals in the 2021-22 season.
A desire to win the Premier League Golden Boot is what all of the elite attack-minded players in England’s top-flight will have in the back of their minds when a new campaign begins.
You can imagine that bagging goals in a league widely regarded as Europe’s best on a weekly basis is an unrivalled feeling, but some strikes will undoubtedly feel extra special – decisive ones that lead a club to three points.
We’ve taken a look at the top 11 match-winners in the Premier League in 2021-22.
=4. Phil Foden (4 match-winning goals)
The Manchester City star is ranked joint-fourth on the list of players with the most match-winners during the 2021-22 campaign.
Over 50% of the England international’s league goals since the season opener in August 2021 have been pivotal in settling matches for Pep Guardiola’s title-chasing side.
Foden’s 82nd-minute winner for City away at Everton in February 2022 was the most memorable out of his four game-deciders. He capitalised on Michael Keane’s defensive error to silence Goodison Park.
Speaking ahead of the 2019-20 season, Guardiola infamously claimed: “He [Foden] is the most talented player I have ever seen.”
And his breathtaking ability is now matched with a predatory instinct in front of goal.
=4. Bernardo Silva (4 match-winning goals)
Foden’s equally brilliant team-mate has also been no stranger to finding game-winners in 2021-22 – these four goals have come against Leicester City, Burnley, Aston Villa and Watford.
The 27-year-old has been a hugely impressive acquisition for the reigning Premier League champions since his arrival from Monaco in July 2017.
Silva has racked up three league titles in Manchester, chipping in with his fair chunk of goals season-on-season and operates in a variety of positions across the forward line and midfield.
=4. Raheem Sterling (4 match-winning goals)
The third and final City player on this star-studded list.
Sterling’s finishing capabilities have been scrutinised throughout his trophy-laden career, but he’s still consistently found the net in Premier League games ever since he burst onto the scene at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers.
And the England international is up to double figures (10) for league goals in 2021-22.
His cool finish from the penalty spot to earn City a narrow 1-0 victory over Wolves at the Etihad in December 2021 was the most important of the bunch. It was also Sterling’s 100th Premier League goal.
🚨 Raheem Sterling scores his 100th Premier League goal 🚨
Only seven players have reached 100 PL goals at a younger age 💯 pic.twitter.com/sI1FjNv4PY
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 11, 2021
=4. Sadio Mane (4 match-winning goals)
There’s so often a focus on Mohamed Salah’s brilliance for Liverpool – rightly so – but Mane is another who has continued to be crucial for Jurgen Klopp’s men in their quest for Premier League glory in 2021-22.
His match-winner over West Ham United at Anfield in March 2022 was crucial in keeping the Reds on the coattails of league leaders Man City.
The goal was a header, and we’ve become accustomed to witnessing the Senegal international’s aerial prowess – despite his diminutive size – in recent years.
Mane’s positional flexibility has also contributed to him finding the target with remarkable regularity.
“We saw this year he can play easily as a No.9 as well,” Klopp said in April 2019 after Liverpool smacked Huddersfield 5-0 in the Premier League. “You see how he is in the air. I’m not sure somebody has jumped that high since Air Jordan.”
=4. Bukayo Saka (4 match-winning goals)
Saka has arguably been Arsenal’s standout player in the 2021-22 season, as Mikel Arteta’s side aim to secure a top-four spot to end the long-awaited wait for Champions League football to return to the Emirates.
He’s the north London team’s joint-top scorer in 2021-22 with 10 goals in all competitions. His match-winner over Villa on away turf in March 2022 maintained Arsenal’s rich vein of league form at the time.
This youngster keeps on getting better and better.
=4. Ivan Toney (4 match-winning goals)
Some doubted whether Brentford’s star striker could impact Premier League matches in the same way he tore apart defences in the Championship in 2020-21.
It hasn’t been as easy for Toney against some of Europe’s finest defenders, but 12 league goals still represent a healthy return for the 26-year-old.
A third of these have helped the club to victories and Brentford are now in a position where their top-flight status for next term is all but secure.
=3. Heung-min Son (5 match-winning goals)
Only Salah has netted more league goals in the 2021-22 season than Son – Tottenham’s winger has 17.
His seemingly telepathic partnership with England captain Harry Kane is probably the main reason why Spurs remain in contention for a top-four finish in the latter stages of 2021-22.
The 29-year-old’s winner in the club’s league opener over City in August 2021 was a thing of beauty – his best of the five match-deciders.
Cutting in on his left foot after bamboozling Nathan Ake, he unleashed an unstoppable hit into the bottom corner and get the Nuno Espirito Santo-era off to a deceptively great start.
17 – Son Heung-min has scored the most non-penalty goals of any player in the Premier League this season:
17 – Son Heung-min
15 – Mohamed Salah
14 – Diogo Jota
12 – Sadio Mané
10 – Kane, KDB, Vardy, Ronaldo
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 9, 2022
=3. Raul Jimenez (5 match-winning goals)
Bruno Lage’s Wolves have outperformed expectations this campaign and the match-winning goals of their talisman is a key reason why.
Winners against Southampton, Everton, West Ham, Spurs and Watford have all helped his side boast a tally of 49 points after 32 games – already four more than they managed under Nuno Espirito Santo in 2020-21.
“For a striker he [Jimenez] is so mobile, but also physically so good and talented technically on the ball. I can imagine him playing with us,” Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan said in April 2020.
“Maybe [he’s] not on that level yet, but he reminds me a little bit of Lewandowski because I’ve played with him. In terms of style, I think there is still a lot of potential.”
After the fractured skull Jimenez suffered against Arsenal in November 2020, it initially looked like the Mexico international would have to call a premature end to his career, but he’s still as good as ever.
=2. Diogo Jota (6 match-winning goals)
Not many predicted the impact that Jota would end up having at Liverpool when he arrived from Wolves in September 2020. In fact, some even questioned the signing of the Portugal international.
But he’s been nothing short of a revelation under Klopp’s stewardship. In 2021-22, out of his six league match-winners, his near-post finish in the club’s 2-0 win at the Emirates in March 2022 was by far and away his most crucial.
The Reds delivered a below-par performance in the capital before the 25-year-old sprung his side into action in typical Jota fashion in the second half.
=2. Mohamed Salah (6 match-winning goals)
Since Salah returned from AFCON heartbreak in January 2022 – he lost to team-mate Mane’s Senegal in the final – there’s no denying that he’s not been at the same level he was at in the first-half of the 2021-22 season.
His last match-winner came in a 3-1 home victory over Norwich City in February 2022, but Salah’s still the league’s top-scorer in 2021-22 (20), and you wouldn’t bet against him being the difference maker for Klopp a few more times in the decisive weeks to come.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (7 match-winning goals)
Ronaldo has come under criticism by some for his part in Manchester United’s dismal 2021-22 season, but if it wasn’t for the legendary forward’s seven match-winning goals in the league since his Old Trafford return, their Premier League position would be even more underwhelming than it already is.
His two home hat-tricks in wins against Spurs and Norwich in 2021-22 were showings of a man determined to drag his team to a top four finish.
Despite being 37, he’s still the one to stand up and be counted time after time.