The Analyst: Man United and Liverpool leading the way with goals from the bench

This week in the Premier League it was the turn of the substitutes to show just how important they can be, with Divock Origi doing it in dramatic style. But who are the division's super 'super subs'?

With managers now able to name nine substitutes, the ability to pick the right player to come on at the right time is even more crucial.

Fortunately it paid off for three Premier League teams this week with Patrick Bamford returning from injury to rescue a draw for Leeds, Arthur Masuaku scoring from distance to beat Chelsea and Divock Origi pouncing in added time to get all three points for Liverpool.

Here at Planet Sport, we look at which teams have scored the most goals via substitutes and which individual players have contributed the most from the bench this season.

How important are substitutes?

Manchester United bench Oct21

At the time of writing, 42 goals have been scored by substitutes in 149 Premier League matches, meaning a goal is scored by a substitute every 319 minutes (or around 3.5 matches).

In the 2020/21 campaign, 90 goals were scored by players off the bench across 380 matches (every 380 minutes), highlighting the increased importance of replacements this term.

When it comes to players contributing from the bench, Liverpool and Manchester United lead the way with five goals apiece.

With the bigger teams having greater squad depth, it is perhaps no real surprise to also see Manchester City (4 goals) and Chelsea (3 goals) well placed when it comes to goals scored by substitutes.

In contrast, substitutes are yet to register a goal for the Tottenham this season despite the north London side sitting in fifth. Manager Antonio Conte's claims that "the level of Tottenham is not so high" also appplies to their replacements it seems.

Southampton and Norwich City are the only other teams whose substitutes have yet to register for them.

Fellow bottom-half teams Crystal Palace and Watford have four goals apiece from substitutes, however.

Which players are providing the goods off the bench?

Alexis Mac Allister Brighton Aug21

Two players lead the way when it comes to goals and assists from the bench, with Alexis Mac Allister and Riyad Mahrez both having two goals and one assist.

Brighton's Argentina international Mac Allister has appeared eight times off the bench, like Mahrez and the two have also played an extremely similar number of minutes.

Mac Allister scored the winning goal as a substitute in Brighton's first game of the season and has continued to be used largely as a replacement since.

When Mahrez's Manchester City beat Brighton 4-1 on matchday nine, both the Algerian and Mac Allister netted from the bench. The Brighton midfielder scored a penalty before Mahrez made the margin of victory more comfortable in a three-minute cameo.

Riyad Mahrez Man City Pep Guardiola Oct21

Six more players have netted twice apiece and it is Divock Origi who comes out on top with the fewest minutes played as a substitute.

In only 38 minutes played, across three appearances, the Belgian has contributed two goals, further enhancing his reputation as one of the league's top 'super subs'.

He was sent on with 16 minutes to play at West Ham, with Liverpool losing 3-1 and made an immediate impact. Origi scored with an instinctive turn and swivel, but it was not enough to save his team.

The striker had to wait until last weekend against Wolves to get another chance from the bench and he did not disappoint. Origi scored the winning goal in the 94th minute to pick up a crucial three points at Molineux.

After the match, manager Jurgen Klopp said he thought Origi "was a legend" and hopes "people will write books about him".

Hopefully, a stats article will suffice.

The best of the rest

Marcus Rashford celebration Man Utd Oct21

There are five more players who have netted twice after being introduced as substitutes.

Manchester United's England duo of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have scored four times between them after coming on. Rashford missed the first seven league matches due to a shoulder injury and in his first game of the season he scored the equaliser against Leicester City.

Then an impressive 19-minute appearance at Tottenham yielded another goal for Rashford to help his team to a 3-0 victory.

All eight of Lingard's Premier League appearances have been from the bench. He has undoubtedly contributed when he has played though, and has two goals to show for it. The attacking midfielder found the net against Newcastle and former club West Ham in consecutive matches in September.

Crystal Palace striker Odsonne Edouard is next on the list with five appearances from the bench and two goals that came in the same match against Tottenham.

In what was his first league match for the Eagles, Edouard made the most immediate of impacts by scoring twice in only six minutes, securing all three points for his new club in the process. Since then the Frenchman has managed just one goal in 11 outings for Palace.

Yoane Wissa Brentford Nov21

Yoane Wissa has scored twice from the bench for Brentford. He made the score 3-3 against Liverpool in one of the games of the season, with his 82nd-minute left-footed shot earning his team a deserved draw.

Perhaps unlucky to not start the next match, Wissa once again came off the bench to deliver the knockout blow to West Ham. Wissa, who boasts three goals and an assist for the Bees in the EFL Cup, pounced in the 94th minute to net the winner.

Watford attacker Cucho Hernandez scored his second goal as a substitute this week against Manchester City in his side's 3-1 defeat. Cucho impressed on the right wing in the absence of influential winger Ismaila Sarr and will be pushing to start for Claudio Ranieri's team against Brentford on Friday evening.

His other goal off the bench came against Aston Villa on the opening weekend of the season.

READ MORE: Gerrard’s Villa eased in the FA Cup betting after being handed a trip to Man United

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