Assists Explained - Week 21

5th January 2017By: Tom Green

As game weeks run from Tuesday to Monday, all points scored on Boxing Day are attributed to the previous week.

The allocation of assists is often a major talking point and this article gives managers an insight as to certain points were or were not given.

Please note that assists awarded during live updates are provided by a feed – no assists are awarded by the feed for penalties, own goals, rebounds off the woodwork, goalkeeping parries/dropped crosses etc. Also, “double assists” are never awarded by the feed. Goals are subsequently reviewed by the Fantasy League Assist Panel and amended manually after all of the day’s matches have been completed.

Liverpool 1 Stoke 1
Goal: Adam Lallana
Assist: Sadio Mane

Liverpool moved up to second and closed the gap on leaders Chelsea to six points after coming from behind to beat Stoke City 4-1 at Anfield on Tuesday. Liverpool were gifted an equalizer after former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson failed to clear the danger from his box. Mane’s pass found Lallana, whose first touch rebounded off Johnson but bounced back to allow him to finish from a tight angle. However, as the goalscorer had received the ball following a clean pass from a team-mate (the precise definition of an assist) prior to the defensive intervention, the assist was subsequently awarded to Mane.

Liverpool 3 Stoke 1
Goal: Giannelli Imbula o.g.
Assist: Divock Origi

Stoke rounded off a bad day at the office after Giannelli Imbula‘s own goal condemned them to a fourth game without a win. Imbula diverted Origi's cross into his own net as the hosts went 3-1 up. As the live scoring feed does not award assists for own goals, this assist was also added manually after the match had been completed.

Southampton 1 Tottenham 1
Goal: Dele Alli
Assist: No assist

Tottenham remain only one point outside of the Champions League positions as they fought back from a goal down for an impressive 4-1 win at St. Mary’s. Tottenham got back on level terms when Moussa Sissoko crossed from the left, taking a deflection off a Southampton defender before looping up for Alli to score with a header. Without the deflection, the ball was heading to the penalty spot as opposed to the edge of the six yard box where Alli made contact, so was regarded a significant change of direction. For this reason, no assist was given.

Southampton 1 Tottenham 3
Goal: Heung-Min Son
Assist: No assist

Spurs secured a two-goal cushion when Son raced onto a long raking pass from Christian Eriksen which was deflected into his stride by Oriel Romeu before sliding the ball past Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal. Although the main TV angle didn't suggest a major change of direction, the side-on angle showed that Son received the ball more than 20 yards closer to goal and in a much more central position than he would have done without the deflection. As a result, this has to be considered a significant change of direction and no assist has been awarded.

Hull 1 Everton 0
Goal: Michael Dawson
Assist: Curtis Davies

Hull were able to move off the bottom of the Premier League after they threw away the lead, twice, against Everton to draw at the KC Stadium. Hull were given an early lead through club captain Michael Dawson after he smashed it in from a Curtis Davies header following a Robert Snodgrass corner. The Scot was not awarded a double assist as the flight of the ball was going away from the goal prior to Davies' header but subsequently went along the six-yard box, taking out several Everton defenders in the process. Without the header, Dawson would have received the ball in a much different position, if at all.

Burnley 1 Sunderland 0
Goal: Andre Gray
Assist: No assist

Gray became the first Burnley player ever to score a Premier League hat-trick after his three goals eased his side to victory over a lacklustre Sunderland. Gray scored the first of his goals when a ball was lofted clear from the back, Ashley Barnes went up in a challenge with John O'Shea and Papy Djilobodji, with the ball deflecting at an angle of approximately 45 degrees off O'Shea (were it to have been Barnes, Gray was clearly offside) straight into Gray's path. The striker then had a clear run on goal and slipped the ball past Vito Mannone in the Sunderland goal.

Burnley 4 Sunderland 0
Goal: Ashley Barnes
Assist: Scott Arfield

Barnes made it 4-0 for the home side from the spot after Seb Larsson tripped Arfield in the area. As the live scoring feed does not allocate assists for penalties that are subsequently scored, this was added manually after all of the day's matches were completed.

Chelsea 4 Stoke 2
Goal: Diego Costa
Assist: No assist

Chelsea equalled the top-flight record of 13 consecutive wins in a single season after they eventually beat a resilient Stoke side at Stamford Bridge. Diego Costa sealed all three points for the Blues five minutes from time after a long throw from Marcos Alonso was headed up by a Stoke defender, allowing the Spanish striker to run behind to collect the loose ball before battling his way through to score. Without the attempted defensive header, Costa would have received the ball in a completely different position and thus no assist was awarded to Alonso as a result.

Southampton 1 West Brom 1
Goal: Matt Phillips
Assist: Hal Robson-Kanu

West Brom’s fine first half of the season continued as Robson-Kanu fired in a stunning winner for the Baggies to beat Southampton at St. Mary’s. However, their equalizer came when Chris Brunt slid the ball forward, Robson-Kanu flicked the ball past Maya Yoshida and into the path of the in-form Phillips, who scored with aplomb. Without the flick from Robson-Kanu, Phillips would have needed to move into a much more central position to the other side of Yoshida and thus the assist was solely awarded to the Welshman.

Watford 1 Tottenham 4
Goal: Younes Kaboul
Assist: Adlene Guedioura

Tottenham moved into the top four for the first time since October after they easily dispatched Watford at Vicarage Road on New Year’s Day. The Hornets scored a late consolation goal when Guedioura's free-kick was bundled in at the second attempt by Kaboul, although there was some doubt at the time as to when the ball crossed the line. As the save from Kaboul's first attempt does not remove the assist, it was duly awarded to Guedioura.

Everton 2 Southampton 0
Goal: Leighton Baines
Assist: Enner Valencia

Everton boss Ronald Koeman enjoyed a win over former club Southampton as they started the new year with a 3-0 victory. Baines scored from the spot after West Ham loanee Enner Valencia was fouled in the area to put the Toffees two goals to the good. The assist was later added on after all the day’s matches were completed.

Man City 1 Burnley 0
Goal: Gael Clichy
Assist: No assist

Manchester City overcame a one-man deficit for most of the game to beat Burnley 2-1 at the Etihad after Fernandinho was sent off during the first half. The hosts grabbed an opening goal early into the second half through the unlikely source of Gael Clichy. A cross from the full-back on the opposite flank, Bacary Sagna, was only partially cleared to Clichy on the corner of the box, cutting inside and scoring from 18 yards. As Clichy would have received the ball much wider were it not for the defensive header, no assist was awarded to Sagna.

Man City 2 Burnley 1
Goal: Ben Mee
Assist: Sam Vokes

After City had extended their lead, Burnley hit back from a goalmouth scramble. Vokes' back-header was cleared off the line, with Mee adjudged to have scored from the follow-up. A goal-line clearance is one instance where the defender's intervention does not remove the assist, so Vokes was duly awarded two points.

Sunderland 1 Liverpool 1
Goal: Jermain Defoe
Assist: Didier Ndong

In-form Defoe scored two penalties as Sunderland twice came from behind to earn a point against Liverpool at the Stadium of Light. The first penalty came after Sunderland midfielder Ndong was fouled in the area by Ragnar Klavan. Again, as the live scoring feed does not award assists for penalties, this was added after the game. Defoe's second goal came following a handball from Sadio Mane, for which no assist was awarded as it was not a goal-line clearance.

West Brom 3 Hull 1
Goal: James Morrison
Assist: No assist

West Brom recorded back-to-back victories for the first time this season after they beat Hull 3-1 at The Hawthorns. West Brom had to come from behind following another Robert Snodgrass goal, but were able to wrap up all the points after Morrision scored a third to kill the game off. Hal-Robson Kanu cut inside from the right to fire in a cross. This was initially mis-controlled by Salomon Rondon, but deflected off Harry Maguire into the Morrison's path - with the defender's invention being deemed significant enough not to warrant an assist.


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