Alon-so Near, So Far

By: Matt Sims 31st October 2018

Game Week 12 witnessed three goals for which the corresponding assists (or lack of them) caused some debate amongst the Fantasy League Assists Committee and managers alike.

Firstly, no assist was awarded to Georginio Wijnaldum for his part in the first Liverpool goal against Cardiff.

The Dutchman’s shot was charged down by Joe Bennett, before falling to Mohamed Salah who scored from the resulting loose ball.

However, as the defensive intervention was not a goal-line clearance and caused a significant change of direction (i.e. Salah would not have received the ball in that position were it not for the deflection), then no assist was given.

In similar circumstances, no assist was awarded for the fourth Chelsea goal as the backheel from Marcos Alonso was heading goalwards before being deflected off Burnley's Chris Wood, making the ball travel parallel to the edge of the six yard box to goalscorer Ruben Loftus-Cheek - highlighting a significant change of direction.

Without this intervention, Loftus-Cheek would not have received the ball in this position and cannot be deemed a goal-line clearance either as Wood was situated outside the six yard box while goalkeeper Joe Hart was only just in front of the goal-line.

Hence, this explains why no assist was awarded for this goal as a result.

Conversely, it was decided to award Alexandre Lacazette with an assist for his fortuitous (albeit illegal) touch that led to Arsenal’s second goal at Crystal Palace.

Lacazette handled the ball from a Granit Xhaka corner, which pushed the ball forward, flicking off the head of Jordan Ayew and presenting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a tap-in.

After viewing the goal from a number of different angles, we were unable to prove that the subsequent header significantly changed the direction that the ball was heading after Lacazette's touch (i.e. Aubamayeng would have received the ball in a similar position irrespective of the defender's flick-on), and as a result, the attacking player is awarded the benefit of any doubt.

The fact that Lacazette's contact was with his hand as opposed to any other body part is irrelevant as the goal was allowed to stand.

The full Fantasy League assist rules can be found on the Scoring Points page within the Game Guide by expanding the ‘Assists’ section.

We are always happy to explain why assists were or were not given, so if you do ever have a query, feel free to email [email protected]

However, rest assured that such decisions are not taken lightly and there is always a stated reason within the Fantasy League assists rules why a particular stance has been taken.


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