Difference makers. Every successful side needs them, a player who can transform the narrative of games when the pressure is on.
This season several stars have specialised in breaking open games which are level, producing moments of inspiration to put their side’s ahead. We’ve looked at the five players in Europe’s top five leagues to have produced the most goals and assists when scores are level this season.
Victor Osimhen – 11
Victor Osimhen’s name has been on the lips of football fans across Europe this season, with the Napoli forward having spearheaded the club’s charge towards a long-awaited league title.
Osimhen is the leading scorer in Serie A this season and has scored 21 goals in just 23 league appearances for Luciano Spalletti’s side, who are 19 points clear at the top of the table and closing in on a first Scudetto since 1990.
Victor Osimhen does it once again! 🎯
Chest, knee, volley, BOOM!
Incredible stuff from Napoli's striker to open the scoring 🙌 pic.twitter.com/0aV0Bdm9Sk
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 29, 2023
The Nigerian international has often scored his goals at crucial times for the Serie A leaders, with nine of his haul having put Napoli ahead. He has also provided two assists when the scores are level, with his electric understanding Khvicha Kvaratskhelia having tormented defences this season.
Osimhen and Napoli will be ones to watch when the Champions League quarter-finals get underway in April.
Antoine Griezmann – 11
Antoine Griezmann has found his form at Atletico Madrid this season and is the leading assist provider (8) in La Liga this season.
After a contractual dispute with Barcelona that limited his minutes on the pitch for the Spanish side, he has returned to prominence since an agreement between the clubs was reached.
🚨| OFFICIAL: Antoine Griezmann has won the La Liga Player of the Month award for March. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/kXiRLQs7iC
— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) March 30, 2023
Griezmann has 17 goal involvements in 19 league starts for Atletico this season, with 11 of those (5G, 6A) having come when the scores are level.
The 32-year-old – who was excellent as France reached the World Cup final in Qatar – has been a key figure in Atletico’s improvement since the turn of the new year with Diego Simeone’s side unbeaten in ten La Liga matches.
Neymar – 11
Neymar began the season in spectacular form for Paris Saint-Germain, as the forward provided eight goals and six assists – including two assist hat-tricks – across the first seven Ligue 1 games of the season.
Despite that output slowing somewhat, the Brazilian recorded 24 goal involvements in 20 league appearances for PSG, before his campaign was curtailed as a result of an ankle ligament injury in March.
He is one of just five players to have recorded 10+ goals and 10+ assists in one of Europe’s top five league this season, with 11 of those (7G, 4A) having handed PSG the lead.
Bukayo Saka – 12
Mikel Arteta this week lavished praise on Bukayo Saka, admitting the consistency the winger has shown this season is ‘rare’ for a player of his age.
The 21-year-old has been one of the stars of the Premier League season for Arsenal, who are eight points clear at the top of the division and chasing a first league title since 2003/04.
🙌 Start the week by enjoying all of Bukayo's 12 @PremierLeague goals so far this season
⚡️ @BukayoSaka87 pic.twitter.com/N2iCionk7i
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 27, 2023
Saka has 12 goals and ten assists for the Gunners in the Premier League this season, with only Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne having created more goals. More than 50% of Saka’s goal involvements have come when the scores are level, as the England international has often proved the difference for the north Londoners.
He will be a contender for the Player of the Year accolades if Arsenal go on to be crowned champions this season.
Lionel Messi – 14
Lionel Messi continues to produce game-changing moments, with the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner having been at his creative best for Paris Saint-Germain this season.
Messi leads Ligue 1 for assists (13) and has scored 13 league goals for the French champions, a return of 26 goal contributions in just 23 appearances.
He has scored five goals and laid on nine assists when the scores are level this season, a contribution which has helped PSG create a seven-point lead at the top of the division.
The 35-year-old remains crucial to club and country and passed a century of international goals for Argentina during March’s international break.
Read – MVPs: Every Premier League club’s key man ahead of the season run-in
Read Also – Five of the best players Chelsea loaned to Vitesse Arnhem
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