The list houses some illustrious players, past and present, who have achieved this feat including the latest entrant
There is no doubt that goals win you games. But, these goals just don’t drop out of thin air. It takes a lot of build-up, creativity, speed and quickness to score a goal. Often, despite their best efforts, teams can’t find the back of the net.
So, while the world sings the praises of prolific goalscorers, the art of assisting has also gained importance. Plenty of players have made it their trade to spot the early runners and set them up for goals. In the Premier League, which is considered a fast-paced league, players are known for quick exchanges and setting up bursting counter-attacks, which leads to goals that please the eye.
We obviously praise the feats of a player who goes and scores braces and hat-tricks. But, some players have also shown their class and vision by providing plenty of assists in a single game.
In the Premier League, there have been eight instances of a player providing four assists which is the most in a single game. Paul Pogba became the latest one to achieve this feat. Arsenal legend Denni Bergkamp was the first to record this achievement. Late Jose Antonio Reyes, who also played for Arsenal, then reached this milestone against Middlesborough in 2006.
Interestingly, five Arsenal players have recorded this feat with Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor and Santi Carzola also notching up four assists in a single game. Adebayor though achieved it when playing for Tottenham against Newcastle United in 2012 while Carzola managed it against Wigan Athletic a season later. Let’s take a look at the top five players who have achieved this feat:
5. Dusan Tadic
Dusan Tadic didn’t enjoy a very fruitful spell in the Premier League with Southampton. He signed for the Saints in the summer of 2014 for a fee rumoured to be around £11m. But, he did enjoy the game against Sunderland on October 18, 2014.
Tadic provided four assists and scored once in an 8-0 thumping of a hapless Sunderland side. The result equalled the third-biggest home win in Premier League history. His goal in the game was his first in the league for Southampton.
4. Cesc Fabregas
The Spaniard established himself as one of the most creative and gifted players during his time in the Premier League. Fabregas, rightfully, is the second-highest assist provider in the Premier League with 111 in 350 games.
Among those, four came on October 4, 2009. Fabregas assisted four times and scored once in an emphatic 6-2 win against Blackburn Rovers. Fabregas assisted Thomas Vermaelen, Robin van Persie, Andrey Arshavin and Theo Walcott. He also scored the fourth goal for Arsenal to put the game effectively beyond Blackburn’s reach.
3. Dennis Bergkamp
One of the best players to ever play in the Premier League, the Dutchman oozed class every time he was on the ball. He was a cornerstone of Arsenal’s success in the late 90s and early 2000s. His combination with Thierry Henry, in particular, was one to watch and enjoy on many occasions.
Bergkamp scored 87 goals in 315 league games for Arsenal. He is also the fifth-highest assist provider in the Premier League with 94. Four among those came in a game against Leicester City in 1999.
Arsenal won the game 5-0 and Bergkamp set up a brace for Nicolas Anelka (who went on to score a hat-trick) and Ray Parlour to put the Gunners 4-0 up at half-time. In the process, Bergkamp became the first player in Premier League history to provide four assists in a single game.
2. Harry Kane
Harry Kane has established himself as one of the best forwards in the Premier League and in world football. He is the seventh-highest goalscorer in the league. He is also the highest scorer among active players in the league, the only active player in the top 10. His goal average of 0.68 goals/game is the highest among the top 10, level with the legendary Thierry Henry.
But, over the years, Kane has developed himself into more than just a traditional No. 9. He has also become more involved in the gameplay and setup goals for his teammates as well. Kane finished the 2020-21 season with the most goals and assists. His stats won him the inaugural “Premier League Playmaker of the Season” Award.
Last season, Kane provided 14 assists out of which four came in a league game against Southampton. On 20 September 2020, he contributed towards all five Spurs goals in a 5-2 away win against the Saints.
Kane scored the fifth goal after setting up the previous four for Son-Heung-min. It is the first and only instance of a player providing four assists to a single player in the Premier League.
1. Paul Pogba
The latest entrant on the list, Paul Pogba marked the opening day of the 2021-22 Premier League season with a stunning performance against rivals Leeds United. The Frenchman setup four out of the five goals for Manchester United in a thumping 5-1 win.
Pogba setup two goals for Bruno Fernandes (who eventually scored a hat-trick) including the opener and then setup the goal for Mason Greenwood, which put United in the lead after a stunning Luke Ayling equalizer.
Pogba rounded off his tally by setting up Fred with a low cross for United’s fifth goal of the evening to cap a perfect start to the 2021-22 season for United.