Assists Explained - Week 30

9th March 2017By: Tom Green

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.

Man Utd 1 Bournemouth 1
Goal: Josh King
Assist: Marc Pugh

Manchester United missed the chance to go above Arsenal as they only mustered a draw against a resilient Bournemouth side at Old Trafford. After United took the lead, Bournemouth levelled when Pugh was felled in the penalty area by Phil Jones, with King scoring from the resulting spot-kick. As the live scoring feed does not award assists for penalties, it was added manually after all of Saturday's games had been completed.

Leicester 0 Hull 1
Goal: Sam Clucas
Assist: Kamil Grosicki

Leicester moved further away from the relegation zone after they came from behind to beat Hull and give caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare his second win on the bounce. Hull took an early lead at the King Power Stadium when a cross/shot from Grosicki was parried by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel into the path of Clucas, who scored from close range. As the feed does not award assists for goalkeeping parries, this too was added on Saturday evening.

Leicester 3 Hull 1
Goal: Tom Huddlestone o.g.
Assists: Marc Albrighton and Wilfried Ndidi

The Foxes sealed all three points in the final minute when a corner from Albrighton was flicked-on by Ndidi, hitting the back of Huddlestone's head and diverting the ball into his own net. Although the Hulll midfielder almost certainly would have dealt with the ball differently had it not been for the flick-on, we cannot assume this, so as there was only a minimal change of direction caused by the flick-on, this warranted a double assist being awarded.

Swansea 1 Burnley 1
Goal: Andre Gray
Assists: No assist

Fernando Llorente scored an injury time winner to give Swansea an important victory over fellow relegation rivals Burnley. The Clarets equalized in controversial style as a Swansea defender was deemed to have handled the ball in their own area, whereas it was actually Burnley forward Sam Vokes who was responsible. No assists are awarded for handballs resulting in penalties which are subsequently scored, other than for goal-line clearances.

Watford 1 Southampton 0
Goal: Troy Deeney
Assist: No assist

Southampton moved into the top half of the table as they won their first match back since the EFL Cup Final defeat. Watford scored the opening goal on Saturday afternoon when Deeney lashed home a loose ball. Initially, it looked as though Deeney received the ball from a lay-off by strike partner Stefano Okaka, the close-up angle from behind the goal showed a massive deflection off the shin of Steven Davis, causing no assist to be awarded.

Watford 1 Southampton 1
Goal: Dusan Tadic
Assist: Nathan Redmond

The Saints equalized just before the half-hour mark. Tadic received Redmond's flick, and although the Serbian's attempted through-ball back to Redmond was cut out, the ball returned to him to score from the edge of the area. Although it is unlikely (but possible) that Redmond got a touch on the ball as it returned to Tadic, this is irrelevant seeing as the last pass to the goalscorer (Redmond's initial flick to Tadic) had already been made and therefore still worthy of an assist.

Watford 2 Southampton 3
Goal: Manolo Gabbiadini
Assist: Sofiane Boufal

Southampton took the lead for the second time in the game when Gabbiadini scored his fourth Premier League goal in three starts, reacting first to a long-range strike by Boufal which was parried into his path by keeper Heurelho Gomes. Again, as the live scoring feed does not award assists for goalkeeping parries, this was also added manually on Saturday evening.

Watford 3 Southampton 4
Goal: Abdoulaye Doucoure
Assists: M'Baye Niang and Miguel Britos

After Redmond had ensured a two-goal cushion for the visitors, Doucoure reduced the arrears again when latching onto a cross from Niang which was flicked-on at the near-post by Britos. Similarly to the third Leicester goal, the ball was heading in Doucoure's direction even before the flick-on (although arguably it made the final touch easier) so assists were awarded to both the player who took the original cross and the player who flicked it on.

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 0
Goal: Roberto Firmino
Assist: Sadio Mane

Liverpool leapfrogged Arsenal into fourth place after a 3-1 win at Anfield on Saturday evening. Firmino opened the scoring when he ran onto a pass from Mane which Coutinho attempted to flick, but failed to make contact, only for Firmino to slot the ball past Petr Cech in the Gunners' goal. Even were Coutinho's dummy to be intended, the assist would have still been awarded to Mane for the last pass to the goalscorer. After all, who are we to say what is intentional and what is not?

Liverpool 2 Arsenal 1
Goal: Danny Welbeck
Assist: Alexis Sanchez

After Mane had put Liverpool 2-0 up, Welbeck halved the deficit after running onto a pass from Sanchez, who was relegated to the substitutes' bench. Although the Chilean's pass appeared to take a deflection off a defender on the way through, it was not possible to assess the true extent of the deflection without an angle from behind the goal. For that reason, the benefit of the doubt has to be given and the assist was duly awarded.

Sunderland 0 Man City 1
Goal: Sergio Aguero
Assist: Raheem Sterling

Manchester City bagged all three points at the Stadium of Light, taking the lead when Aguero converted a cross from Sterling. Although Sterling's cross took a deflection off defender Brian Oviedo on the way through, this contact took place almost immediately after Sterling's pass was made, making it difficult to assess where the ball was heading beforehand. Hence, the same benefit of the doubt was applied as for the Arsenal goal above.

West Ham 0 Chelsea 2
Goal: Diego Costa
Assist: Cesc Fabregas

Spanish striker Costa put Chelsea 2-0 ahead at West Ham when deflecting the ball into the net off his knee. The ball came to him after Fabregas' corner was inadvertently flicked-on by Pedro Obiang, but the assist was still awarded to the midfielder as it was deemed that the change of direction caused by Obiang on a horizontal plane was not significant. Some reports suggested that the corner was taken by Eden Hazard, but the Belgian was standing further down the touchline when the corner was taken.


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