De Bruyne, Suarez, Lampard: What is the Premier League's best ever assist?


The magic of Kevin De Bruyne during Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace was one of the greatest assists we’ve seen all season. 

His sumptuous ball into John Stones with the outside of his boot left fans and the media purring over the Belgian’s capabilities.

In fact, the cross was so good that it even prompted the Premier League to post an official highlights reel of 16 of the best assists in the history of the division.

And after digesting three-minutes of must-watch footage from the archives, we’ve ranked all 16 assists from best to very best. 

Of course, there have been countless assists that are omitted from the list that are worthy of a place in the all-time ranking, but for the sake of clarity we’ve purely utilised the 16 goals from the video to name the greatest assist in Premier League history. 

In a list full of raking long-range passes, spontaneous moments of divine intuition and some borderline-illegal slices of flamboyance, GIVEMESPORT count down and relive all 16 in descending order. 

Take a look at who makes the cut below…

16. David Beckham (Manchester United vs Arsenal, February 2001)

With the ball at his feet just inside his own half, David Beckham showcased his tantalising ability to spread the play with a diagonal through ball into the path of Dwight Yorke, who controlled the ball deftly on his chest and wriggled free of Igors Stepanovs before netting his hat-trick goal.

15. Roy Keane (Manchester United vs Charlton, February 2002)


Far from the kind of name you’d expect to see on this list, Roy Keane provided Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with an inch-perfect long-range pass from inside his own half, taking out the entirety of Charlton’s defence as the ball landed perfectly at the Norwegian’s feet as he bore down on goal.

14. Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea v Burnley, August 2014)

A real stroke of deceptive genius. 

As the ball dropped to Cesc Fabregas on the half volley, the entirety of Turf Moor – with the exception of Andre Schurrle, stood still in anticipation of a strike at goal.

The Spaniard, though, ever the manipulator, played an immaculately-timed pass into Schurrle, who finished with aplomb from a tight angle while a statuesque Burnley defence stood aghast at what had just unfolded. 

13. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool vs Fulham, February 2014)

It’s an unwritten rule that you get bonus points for any assist earned with the outside of the boot, and that’s helped Steven Gerrard into 13th here. 

A finely weighted pass into Daniel Sturridges’ path took the entire Fulham defence out the game in a flash. 

12. Xabi Alonso (Liverpool vs West Brom, April 2006)

Underestimate Xabi Alonso’s ability to do damage from deep at your peril. 

Having collected the ball on the edge of his own penalty area, Alonso did what he does best by sending the ball airborne and expertly into the stride of the onrushing Djibril Cisse, who rounded the keeper before converting into an empty goal.

11. Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal vs Leicester City, May 2004)


The door is never closed when Dennis Bergkamp is in attendance. 

On the final day of Arsenal’s invincibles season, Bergkamp threaded the ball through the eye of a needle with the outside of his boot to find Patrick Vieira in the penalty area. 

The dynamic Frenchman finished with aplomb to score what the commentator aptly described as a “picture goal” from the champions. 

10. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur, August 2019)

The gift of knowing where your teammates are without needing to look is one of the most impressive in the game, and one that De Bruyne has in abundance. 

Following a lay off from Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne arced a flighted cross towards the back post where an obliging Raheem Sterling was waiting to nod past Hugo Lloris. 

9. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City vs Stoke City, October 2017)

Another from the brilliant Belgian. 

While running at full tilt De Bruyne didn’t appear to have much on, but think again. 

Another arcing ball towards the back post was this time played along the ground towards Leroy Sane, who didn’t need to break stride before slamming home a first-time effort.

8. Jorginho (Chelsea vs Watford ,November 2019)


Jorginho’s assist bears similarity to the aforementioned De Bruyne cross. 

However, the Italian’s ability to take just enough weight off to allow Tammy Abraham to beat a sprawling Ben Foster to the ball gives it the edge in the ranking. 

It’s a shame that Jorginho hasn’t displayed this level of creative excellence more often.

7. Frank Lampard for (Chelsea vs Manchester City, October 2007)

The outside of the boot goals just keep getting better. 

Frank Lampard’s sumptuously weight ball manages to leave Micah Richards scrambling as it spins into the on running Didier Drogba, who was simply never going to miss despite Shay Given’s best efforts to close him down.

6. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool vs Newcastle United, September 2019)

Back when Liverpool’s front-three were at their most instinctive, Roberto Firmino pulled out something resembling a pirouette/backheel hybrid to complete a one-two with Mohamed Salah. 

The dumfounded Newcastle defenders could only stand and admire as the Egyptian waltzed through and dinked into the corner.

5. Dimitar Berbatov (Man United vs West Ham United, October 2008)


Despite going against every fibre in his body, Dimitar Berbatov scuttled down towards the touchline to chase what momentarily appeared to be a lost cause.

Not only did the Bulgarian keep the ball in play, he managed to spin and flick the ball beyond James Collins in a manner that induced audible astonishment from the Old Trafford crowd. 

A sprinting Cristiano Ronaldo was spotted and found to score a tap-in from just three yards. 

Vintage Berbatov at his sublime best. 

4. Luis Suarez (Liverpool vs Man United, March 2011)

Luis Suarez’s dogged determination knows no limits. 

Having stood up two United defenders inside the penalty area, Suarez jinked away from the duo with a deft touch of his left boot. 

There was still plenty to do, but the Uruguayan left two more victims for dead before providing the first of three goals for Dirk Kuyt in a 3-1 win for Liverpool

3. Gianfranco Zola (Chelsea vs Sunderland ,August 1999)

Two words: scoop-chip.

A rarely-seen feature in football is one of the most satisfying when it comes off, and Gianfranco Zola’s devilish flick of the right boot was emphatically finished by a scissor-kicking Gus Poyet.

An absolute delight to watch.

2. Dimitri Payet for (West Ham vs Watford, September 2016)

There’s something innately fascinating about the perfect execution of a rabona, even if it’s effectively a move of pure vanity. 

When Dimitri Payet was at the peak of his powers at West Ham, the Frenchman pulled off a simply outrageous rabona to provide Michail Antonio with a tap-in at the back post. 

The act of pure nonchalance left the commentator laughing in astonishment before declaring the moment “absolutely magnificent. 

1. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal vs Norwich City, October 2013)


A one-of-a-kind strike that is so quick, so instinctive that words couldn’t possibly do it justice. 

Stunning, one-touch combination play from Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud eventually culminates with a defence-splitting stab of the left boot from the latter. 

The ball lands on a silver plate for Wilshere, who caresses into the corner with his weaker right foot to cap a breath-taking move from the Gunners.

We don’t expect this will be topped for quite some time. 

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