The five best passes of the Premier League season

Coutinho Liverpool

Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Fulham players feature.

Steven Gerrard's sumptuous ball for Daniel Sturridge's goal against Fulham last night is being considered the best pass of the season.

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard was lauded for his role in Daniel Sturridge's goal during last night's enthralling 3-2 win over Fulham after supplying an exquisite pass to set up the striker for a simple finish.

Off balance and amongst a crowd of players, Gerrard somehow managed to bend a ball with the outside of his foot piercing through the Cottagers defence to leave Sturridge with the simplest task of rolling the ball in off the post past Maarten Stekelenburg.

Many plaudits suggested it was pass of the season, but these five may have other ideas about that assumption.

Mesut Özil (Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal - 14 Sep 2013)

Making his much-anticipated Gunners debut, Özil made an instant impression. He had already shown a couple of glimpses in the early exchanges of his talents but what was to come next went some way towards paying back the club's £42.4m outlay on him.

Having spotted a gap behind Ondrej Celustka at right back, the German darted into the space to collect Kieran Gibbs' lofted pass before bringing the ball down with exemplary control and, almost in one motion, rolling the ball perfectly into the path of Olivier Giroud to apply a finishing touch.

It announced Özil's arrival in style and put Arsene Wenger's side on the path to a hard-fought victory.

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United 1-1 Southampton - 19 Oct 2013)

The in-demand youngster further underlined his worth to a struggling Manchester United side with a stunning pass to tee up the opening goal for his side.

Robin Van Persie was the beneficiary of Januzaj's brilliance, carving open the Saints defence with a sliderule pass which release Wayne Rooney and, after his shot was parried, the Dutchman tucked home the rebound.

Januzaj's ball was threaded down the line from a wide left position and bent around the Saints backline from fully 40 yards to set up a well-worked opener.

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal 4-1 Norwich City - 19 Oct 2013)

The Frenchman's role in the goal is largely overshadowed by the fact it was Jack Wilshere who rounded off one of the best team goals in the Premier League era by volleying home with ice-cool composure past John Ruddy.

But Giroud, as well as Santi Cazorla, was heavily involved in the one-touch build up which ultimately led to Wilshere finding himself alone in the penalty area to stroke home.

The move began with Wilshere driving with the ball from his own half before slipping the ball wide to Cazorla on the left. The Spaniard rolled the ball back to Wilshere, who traded passes with Giroud to open the scoring.

The striker's scooped flick over the admiring and statuesque Canaries defence was exquisite and perfectly-timed to allow Wilshere to put the cherry on the icing.

Sascha Riether (Crystal Palace 1-4 Fulham - 21 Oct 2013)

The German will not expect many plaudits for his role in Pajtim Kasami's goal-of-the-season contender, but Riether certainly played his part for a strike that will stick in the memory for some time to come.

The right-back's ball over the top was expertly placed into the path of Kasami's onrushing surge into the Palace area before catching a volley with the sweetest of techniques and directing it into the far top corner.

Finishing of that class often puts the assist in the shade but Riether's involvement in this goal should not be overlooked having been the central reason behind Kasami's ability to hit the ball while airbound as he did.

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool 4-0 Everton - 28 Jan 2014)

Sturridge was the man who applied the finishing touch to an incisive move from the hosts in a pulsating Merseyside derby but Coutinho, as he is so often is, proved the architect behind the move.

Clipping a pass over a static Toffees rearguard for the lively Sturridge, Coutinho's vision and execution of pass was perfect for the striker to run onto without checking his stride.

The finish past a stunned Tim Howard was delightful, but the Brazilian's contribution was worth its weight in gold as he picked a lock in the normally water-tight Everton backline with ease.

What are your favourite passes of the Premier League season?

images: © Ben Sutherland, © Dean Jones

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