Premier League

Castrol Game Changer Award 2021/22 - the nominees

The six players nominated for the Castrol Game Changer Award
The six players nominated for the Castrol Game Changer Award / 90min | Castrol
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The new Castrol Game Changer award will be awarded to the player with the single most game-changing performance during the 2021/22 Premier League Season.

It has been a memorable season with so many amazing individual performances, and below are this year's six nominees.

Click here to vote for your 2021/2022 Castrol Premier League Game Changer.


1. Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba was inspired against Leeds on the opening day
Paul Pogba was inspired against Leeds on the opening day / 90min | Castrol

Date: 15/08/21
Fixture: Manchester United 5-1 Leeds United

Paul Pogba’s Manchester United career has often flattered to deceive, but the World Cup winner was at his brilliant best as Leeds were put to the sword on the opening day of the season.

The Red Devils ran out comfortable 5-1 winners over their bitter rivals at Old Trafford, with Pogba’s Game Changer performance kicked off with a wonderful clipped assist for Bruno Fernandes’ opening goal.

The Frenchman then played a sensational through ball to help restore United’s lead, before he grabbed his third assist of the afternoon after setting up Bruno again. Pogba wasn’t done there though, as his perfectly weighted low cross from the left flank allowed Fred to put the gloss on an exceptionally impressive scoreline.


2. Aaron Ramsdale

Aaron Ramsdale pulled off a number of incredible saves
Aaron Ramsdale pulled off a number of incredible saves / 90min | Castrol

Date: 30/10/21 
Fixture: Leicester 0-2 Arsenal 

If you're looking for a goalkeeping display of the highest quality, look no further than Aaron Ramsdale's Game Changer performance for Arsenal against Leicester at King Power Stadium.

The England international goalkeeper made save after save after save to keep Mikel Arteta's Gunners in the ascendancy, and seemingly had complete control of his penalty area as well as Leicester’s supporters - who he successfully wound up for the majority of the afternoon.

The highlight of Ramsdale’s wonder outing was a tremendous fingertip save from James Maddison's dipping free-kick, before getting up immediately to dive at the feet of Jonny Evans to prevent him from tapping home the rebound.


3. Steven Bergwijn

Steven Bergwijn bagged an incredible late double at Leicester
Steven Bergwijn bagged an incredible late double at Leicester / 90min | Castrol

Date: 19/01/22 
Fixture: Leicester 2-3 Tottenham 

With 79 minutes gone at King Power Stadium and Tottenham 2-1 down, Antonio Conte turned to his substitutes bench to send on Steven Bergwijn. What he didn't know at the time was that the Dutchman would set a new Premier League record with a Game Changer performance.

Bergwijn bagged what appeared to be a dramatic equaliser after 94 minutes and 52 seconds, ramming home from close range to seemingly steal Spurs a point. But before anybody could catch their breath he was through on goal again, and coolly rounded Kasper Schmeichel to slide the winner home off the far post. 

No side has ever trailed later in a Premier League game and come back to win.


4. Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo's hat-trick downed Tottenham at Old Trafford
Ronaldo's hat-trick downed Tottenham at Old Trafford / 90min | Castrol

Date: 12/03/22 
Fixture: Manchester United 3-2 Tottenham 

It's been a turgid season of torment at Manchester United, but one can only imagine how bad things might have been had they not re-signed Cristiano Ronaldo at the start of the season.

The evergreen Portugal legend has continued to find the back of the net with startling regularity, and he put in a Game Changer display when eventual Champions League qualifiers Tottenham arrived at Old Trafford. 

Ronaldo opened the scoring for United, smashing home from 25 yards out, before he showed his predatory instincts to slide Jadon Sancho's accurate centre home. Spurs levelled once more after Harry Maguire put through his own net, but 37-year-old Ronaldo had the last laugh - rising highest at a corner to power United to a much-needed three points.


5. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne put in a world class performance at Wolves
Kevin De Bruyne put in a world class performance at Wolves / 90min | Castrol

Date: 11/05/22 
Fixture: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-5 Manchester City 

With Liverpool slipping up against Tottenham four days previously, Manchester City rocked up at Molineux to face Wolves knowing they had to take advantage. 

Not only did Pep Guardiola's side do that, they put in a convincing display to dismantle the hosts - led by an inspirational Game Changer performance from Kevin De Bruyne

The brilliant Belgian scored not one, not two, not three, but four times in the first hour of the game - his hat-trick after 24 minutes the quickest treble of the season by far. Wolves had no answer to his brilliance, with victory allowing City to maintain control of the Premier League title race.


6. Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan's goal won Manchester City the Premier League title
Ilkay Gundogan's goal won Manchester City the Premier League title / 90min | Castrol

Date: 22/05/22 
Fixture: Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa

Manchester City’s title dreams would have evaporated on the final day of the season were it not for the brilliance of Ilkay Gundogan.

Trailing 2-0 with just over 14 minutes remaining, the German stepped up when Pep Guardiola needed him most with a Game Changer performance for the ages.

First, he bulleted a header past Robin Olsen at the back post, before Rodri levelled the scores just two minutes later with a fabulous strike from distance. With the Etihad rocking and City’s fans in full voice, Gundogan completed the sensational comeback just five minutes after he’d got the ball rolling.

Reading the game brilliantly as always, Gundogan stole in at the back post to prod home Kevin De Bruyne’s cross-shot, sealing a fourth Premier League title for City in five years in the process.

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