Handling expectations is part and parcel of being a Premier League footballer, but possessing players capable of performing on the biggest of occasions is invaluable to sides seeking success.
This group of players are amongst those to have continually delivered against the biggest sides in the division, scoring with regularity against the ‘top six’ since the start of last season.
Here are the six Premier League players with the most goals against the ‘big six’ since the start of the 2019/20 campaign:
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 7 goals in 15 games
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has improved immeasurably since the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, flourishing as the club’s attacking focal point and developing into a leading Premier League forward.
The 23-year-old has long been regarded as a player with potential but his goalscoring record was often questioned, Calvert-Lewin responding with a career-best 13 league goals last season before starting the new season in blistering form.
Calvert-Lewin is the second leading goalscorer in the division having netted seven times in just five league fixtures, taking his tally to 20 Premier League goals since the start of last season.
Seven of those strikes have come against ’top six’ opposition including match-winning efforts against both Chelsea and Tottenham, in addition to scoring vital goals in draws with Manchester United and Liverpool.
Calvert-Lewin’s form has seen him move into England contention and he scored on his senior debut against Wales earlier this month, the forward developing nicely in a new-look Everton side and proving more than a handful for even the division’s best defences.
Sadio Mane – 7 goals in 15 games
The signing of Sadio Mane stands as one of Liverpool’s best buys in recent years, the Senegal international arguably Jurgen Klopp’s first major purchase on Merseyside and a player who has played a vital role in the Reds’ recent success.
Last season saw Mane become a talismanic figure for Liverpool as they ended their three decade wait for league title success, scoring a succession of important goals throughout the campaign and often defining the club’s biggest fixtures.
Mane has now scored seven goals in 15 appearances against ‘top six’ sides since the start of last season, including both goals in a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.
He also scored during Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Manchester City last season, a result which moved the Reds clear of the defending champions in one of the crucial results of their title-winning campaign.
Jamie Vardy – 7 goals in 15 games
Jamie Vardy has long tormented the division’s best defences and the evergreen forward has remained a thorn in the side of several leading clubs since the start of last season.
Vardy enjoyed a fine individual campaign last time out to win a maiden Premier League Golden Boot, scoring 23 league goals including strikes in both fixtures against Arsenal and a consolation in defeat to Manchester City as Leicester narrowly missed out on a top four finish and Champions League qualification.
The Foxes’ forward has begun the new season in similar fashion and scored a memorable hat-trick in a 5-2 thrashing of Manchester City earlier this season, becoming the first player in history to net a treble against a Pep Guardiola side in an away fixture.
Vardy then proved the scourge of Arsenal once more with a late winner at the Emirates, incredibly his 11th goal in 12 career games against the north London side with only Wayne Rooney having ever scored more Premier League goals against the Gunners.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8 goals in 14 games
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a talismanic figure for Arsenal since arriving at the club from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, scoring prolifically to establish himself as one of the finest forwards in English football.
Aubameyang has scored 22 league goals in each of the past two campaigns and has compiled a fine record against the division’s leading sides since the start of the 2019/20 campaign, scoring eight goals in just 14 appearances against the top six.
Those goals included strikes in league draws with Tottenham and Manchester United, but it was in cup competition where Aubameyang has often proven decisive, playing a crucial role in Arsenal’s run to FA Cup success last season.
The Gabon international scored a brace to help defeat Manchester City in the semi-final, before thriving at Wembley once more to score twice as Chelsea were beaten in the final, the club captain inspiring the Gunners to the first major silverware of Mikel Arteta’s reign.
Danny Ings – 9 goals in 16 games
Southampton’s signing of Danny Ings from Liverpool has proven a masterstroke with the forward having played the best football of his career at St Mary’s, flourishing following a nightmare spell with injury to become one of the division’s most dangerous frontmen.
Ings finished as joint-runner-up for the Golden Boot last season and has proven he can score goals no matter the opposition, scoring nine times against top six sides in 16 appearances since the start of last season.
Only Manchester City have escaped Ings’ goalscoring touch since the start of the 2019/20 campaign, the forward’s form seeing his earn a recall to the England squad following a five-year absence, scoring his first international goal against Wales last month and moving into contention to be the Three Lions’ first-choice deputy to Harry Kane.
Marcus Rashford – 9 goals in 12 games
The Premier League’s leading big-game player since the start of last season, Marcus Rashford has scored nine goals in just 12 appearances against the ‘top six’ during that time.
Rashford has often excelled in the biggest fixtures for Manchester United, scoring braces in league victories over Chelsea and Tottenham, in addition to vital goals against both Manchester City and Liverpool respectively.
The 22-year-old also scored a double – including a sensational free-kick from distance – in a League Cup victory over Chelsea last season, his improving goalscoring record ever more impressive given his fine record against the division’s best.
Last season saw the England international score a career-best 22 goals in all competitions and he has begun the new campaign with seven in just nine appearances, including a first ever Manchester United hat-trick against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.