It was a Premier League weekend in which the Manchester clubs won ugly, Liverpool and Chelsea played out yet another draw, Arsenal struck late again against Burnley, and Tottenham had a wobble at home to West Brom.
Marco Silva’s Watford impressed against a Newcastle team starting to look a little nervous, while Everton’s season went from bad to worse with a 4-1 humiliation against Southampton?
But as the league sides gear up for a round of midweek games this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, which players impressed at the weekend?
Petr Cech (Arsenal). The Arsenal man made several strong saves in what was a tight contest at Turf Moor against Burnley. But for his heroics, Arsene Wenger’s side might not have come away with all three points.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea). Azpilicueta had to be at his alert best against Liverpool on Saturday, even with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane on the bench. The Spaniard rose to the occasion and kept the Reds at bay with plenty of attack-halting blocks and interceptions.
Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace). The French centre-half seems to be a one-man crusade to prove Jurgen Klopp right now, and his strong display against Stoke – combined with his last-minute winner – go some way to doing just that.
Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal). Mustafi’s return to the starting lineup has been welcomed in an area where Arsenal don’t look particularly strong. After his goal against Tottenham last weekend, he put in a very good showing at Turf Moor and helped the side keep a clean sheet.
Marvin Zeegelaar (Watford). The former Sporting Lisbon man had a rude awakening in English football last week when he caught an Andy Carroll elbow just seconds into his debut. He recovered well from that and put in a fantastic showing against Newcastle on Saturday, picking up the man-of-the-match award in the process.
Fernandinho (Manchester City). While Man City ground out the win at John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday, Fernandinho was the barrier in midfield to prevent them being caught on the hop. The Brazilian made more interceptions than any other Man City player, and only Nicolas Otamendi had more touches of the ball.
Will Hughes (Watford). The former Derby County midfielder was one of the most promising prospects at one time, but his eventual move to the Premier League was greeted with little fanfare. He has gradually begun to make his mark in the divsion, however, and put in another strong showing at St. James’ Park at the weekend.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City). Even aside from his fortunate winner against Huddersfield, Sterling always looked a threat to a home side that held out and maintained their shape for so long before being cruelly denied at the death.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea). Hazard treated Anfield like his own playground at times on Saturday, going past the midfield like they weren’t even there. Would probably have been man of the match if Chelsea had come away with the win.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool). The hot streak continues. Salah has now scored 10 Premier League goals in 13 games, and offered timely reminder of why Chelsea allowed him to leave too early. But for a Cortois sve at the end too he could have won the game late on.
Charlie Austin (Southampton). Southampton have been finding goals hard to come by this season, but had no such trouble against Everton on Sunday. Key to that was Austin who, despite struggling to nail down a place in the starting lineup, as on hand to score twice against the struggling Toffees.