Heroes of the Premier League’s midweek action
It didn’t quite lived up to its ‘Blockbuster week of football’ tag just yet but there were still plenty of notable moments in the midweek Premier League fixtures
Chelsea kicked things off by beating Southampton 4-2 at Stamford Bridge with Diego Costa well and truly back to his best, helping himself to a brace against the spirited Saints.
Following that result, Spurs travelled to Selhurst Park to face an in-form Crystal Palace and just about managed to keep their title hopes alive thanks to a rasping long-range effort from Christian Eriksen late on in the game.
Spurs’ North London rivals Arsenal kept their top-four hopes alive by beating Leicester City through a Robert Huth own goal late on. Alexis Sanchez also thankfully came out of the game relatively unscathed after Christian Fuch’s hurled the ball at his face from a yard away.
You might have missed it but there was another game on Wednesday as Middlesbrough managed to sneak a 1-0 win against fellow strugglers Sunderland courtesy of Marten de Roon’s strike.
And then finally we had the Manchester derby on Thursday, a game billed as the must-see match of the week that descended into a snooze-fest as United stifled City to escape with a point in a drab 0-0 draw.
So taking all of the above into consideration, who were this week’s best and worst performers?
Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)
Key Stat: De Gea was only the second goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at the Etihad in the Premier League this season.
Right Back: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
Key Stat: Bellerin created three chances for Arsenal, only Mesut Ozil (four) managed more.
Centre Back: Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Key Stat: Gary Cahill scored his fifth goal of the season, only two defenders (Gareth McAuley and James Milner) have scored more.
Centre Back: Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough)
Key Stat: Gibson won 83% of his overall duels and completed 87% of his passes as Boro stood firm.
Left Back: Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur)
Key Stat: Davies won 75% of his duels and created three chances, making Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to drop him against Chelsea look even more baffling.
Centre Midfield: Ander Herrera (Manchester United)
Key Stat: Herrera made six defensive actions for United as they kept City’s attack out.
Centre Midfield: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
Key Stat: Xhaka completed 88 passes at an accuracy rate of 93%. Starting to finally come good?
Right Wing: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Key Stat: Zaha completed 4/5 take ons (80%) against Spurs in an electric display on the flank.
Attacking Midfield: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Key Stat: Eriksen’s goal meant he has now been directly involved in 20 for the season (eight goals, 12 assists).
Left Wing: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Key Stat: De Bruyne created five chances in the Manchester derby and looked like the only player capable of breaking United’s resistance.
Striker: Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Key Stat: Costa scored twice and provided an assist in Chelsea’s 4-2 win. He’s now managed 20 goals in the league this term.