There was goals flying in everywhere in matchday 15. It was a magnificent weekend of Premier League action that made for a spectacular episode of Match of the Day. Chelsea stay top of the pile after the weekend’s fixture whilst a win for Swansea took them off bottom. Liverpool couldn’t get past West Ham whilst Manchester United picked up a crucial win over Tottenham.
Who were the top perfomers in matchday 15?
Goalkeeper – David de Gea (Manchester United)Embed from Getty Images
Manchester United secured a narrow 1-0 win over Tottenham, giving them a vital three points as they look to return to the top four. David de Gea made five saves to help the Red Devils keep a clean sheet against Mauricio Pochettino’s men including a world-class stop to deny Christian Eriksen. De Gea continues to show why he is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Right-Back – Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal continued their charge to the top of the table with a 3-1 victory over Stoke at the Emirates despite playing nowhere near their best. The introduction of Hector Bellerin in the first half swung the game in the Gunners’ favour. He assisted Theo Walcott for his equaliser and was a constant menace down the right, taking advantage of Joe Allen playing out of position. The Spaniard has been sorely missed by Arsene Wenger, who will be glad to have his youngster fit again.
Centre-Back – Gary Cahill (Chelsea)Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea maintained their position at the top of the table thanks to a 1-0 win over West Brom. The win also extended the Blues’ impressive defensive record under Antonio Conte. Gary Cahill was excellent in the heart of the defence as he helped his side keep another clean sheet against the Baggies. The England international made two interceptions, nine clearances and 75% of his aerial duels against Tony Pulis’ men.
Centre-Back – Jonny Evans (West Brom)Embed from Getty Images
Although Jonny Evans was on the losing side of the match, he was equally as impressive as Cahill and done well to nullify the threat Chelsea posed for the majority of the game. The former Manchester United defender won 100% of his aerial duels, making two interceptions and five clearances. Evans also made a chance for his team-mates from centre-back with a delightful long ball.
Left-Back – Marcos Rojo (Manchester United)Embed from Getty Images
Argentine defender, Marcos Rojo, has received a fair amount of criticism following his move from Sporting Lisbon. But alongside Phil Jones in the absence of Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly, Rojo has grown in confidence and delivered a top-drawer performance against Spurs. Jose Mourinho was impressed with his performance and hopes he can stay injury free. Rojo made 14 clearances – more than any other player – and four blocks playing as a centre-back. The Argentine was made available for sale in the summer, but United may have second thoughts if he can keep his performance levels up.
Midfield – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United)Embed from Getty Images
Another man enjoying a resurgence at Manchester United is summer signing, Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The playmaker, who was one of the best players in the Bundesliga last year, was signed for over £30m from Borussia Dortmund but found himself frozen out of the side after United’s loss to Manchester City. After scoring in the Europa League, Mkhitaryan was given a starting berth against Spurs and delivered, scoring a fantastic goal leaving Hugo Lloris no chance to become the first Armenian to score in the Premier League. His day was unfortunately halted due to injury following a poor tackle by Danny Rose but Mourinho confirmed it wasn’t serious and hoped the have the winger back for the Sunderland fixture on Boxing Day.
Midfield – Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)Embed from Getty Images
Crystal Palace rescued a point against Hull in a thrilling 3-3 draw and had Wilfried Zaha to thank after a sensational performance against the Tigers. Mike Phelan’s men didn’t know how to handle the winger, who was fouled for the penalty that Christian Benteke coolly converted. The ex-Manchester United man got his name on the scoresheet to cap a wonderful performance, dancing past the Hull defenders into the box before rifling an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net. Zaha is one of the best attackers in the league on his day but lacks consistency which hurts the Eagles.
Midfield – Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea)Embed from Getty Images
Swansea secured a massive three points against relegation rivals Sunderland at the Liberty Stadium in a 3-0 win. The Swans remain in the relegation zone, but three points lift them off the bottom. Key to their survival will be Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is enjoying a tremendous season which continued against the Black Cats. The Icelandic midfielder opened the scoring from the penalty and also set up Fernando Llorente for his first of the game meaning he has scored four and assisted four in his last eight games.
Forward – Diego Costa (Chelsea)Embed from Getty Images
Diego Costa is becoming a regular in our team of the week and makes the cut yet again after a match-winning goal against West Brom. The Spaniard is an early shoe in for the PFA Player of the Year award after a stunning campaign thus far. He beat Gareth McAuley to the ball with ease before charging into the box and firing home from an acute angle. The strike was his 12th goal of the season already meaning he is averaging a goal every 110 minutes.
Forward – Stefano Okaka (Watford)Embed from Getty Images
Watford piled misery on Everton by holding onto a 3-2 win after Romelu Lukaku clawed one back in injury time. The Hornets exploited the Toffees’ weakness at set-pieces to condemn them to a fourth successive away defeat with Stefano Okaka bagging a brace. The Italian’s first goal was sublime as he back-heeled a cross from Nordin Amrabat and his second was from a corner. Not a bad way to open your account for your new club.
Forward – Jamie Vardy (Leicester)Embed from Getty Images
Leicester picked up a big win over Manchester City in an entertaining six-goal thriller. Their star forward, Jamie Vardy, picked up a hat-trick. His first was a composed finish into the bottom corner, and for his second he rounded Claudio Bravo far too easily to slot in. To complete his hat-trick, he managed to squeeze the ball into the net from a ridiculous angle after Bravo rushed out. Vardy will hope his three strikes can boost his confidence so he can re-discover his form of last season.
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