An exciting weekend of top-quality football. But who were the top-quality players of the weekend
Goalkeeper – David De Gea
The scoresheet is all that matter’s ad it read Man United 2, Norwich 1. But Norwich sure made it interesting, with a determined, spirited performance. Giggs late winner cost them the points, but so too did De Gea and his string of fine saves. Especially in keeping the impressive Pilkington at bay. I’m not going to turn this into some sprawling ‘was he a good signing? Will he grow into the role’? Type affair. Let’s just say he looked the part this match.
Left Back – Aleksandar Kolarov
Kolarov was up and down the wing like he was running on Duracell. His pinpoint crosses set up a City’s opening goals, and he look assured with every touch. Blackburn didn’t really put him under pressure defensively, put he certainly impressed going forward.
Central Defence – Brede Hangeland
Fulham had an all round solid defensive display and Hangeland bossed the defence well. He also kept at bay the returning Zamora. Zamora looked without ideas all night, this may just be because he’s useless, but was also in part due to Hangeland’s good work at shutting him out of the game whenever he got the ball.
Central Defence – David Luiz
Maybe we shouldn’t judge a defender by their goals, but when they’re as good as this one, then what the hell. That goal capped a good all round display by Luiz, although Bolton never tested him or Cahill too much. May not be enough to win over his many critics, but a step in the right direction for once from Luiz.
Right Back – Bacary Sagna
Arsenal’s shaky defence will be pleased to see Sagna returning to the team and returning to form. He could do little about the Spurs goals, and contributed one of his own with a well taken header. Also got forward well, and almost provided for Benayoun. Kept Bale surprisingly quiet, and turned his performance around after a shaky few moments at the start.
Midfield – James Morrison
West Brom are the kind of team you usually skip on Match of the Day, but not this weekend. Morrison has been in fine form recently after also impressing a few weeks ago against Wolves. Scored one goal, and played his part in all the others. A true stand-out, and top four teams should keep watch.
Midfield – Yaya Toure
Pulled the strings in an impressive City performance. He was the heart of the team and made the most passes this weekend (103) and also had the most touches (118). City also had 78% possession of which much was due to Toure’s box-to-box, controlling performance in the centre set the tone for the whole team. If he can keep this up, maybe City can finish the season strong.
Midfield – Don Cowie
There were many Cardiff players who stepped up a notch on Sunday, and Don Cowie always seemed to be there in every Cardiff attack. I’ll be honest I don’t know that much about Cowie, or how much of a role he usually plays, but judging by this game he will be fine in the Prem if Cardiff make this the year the finally come up. Scored his penalty as well.
Forward – Mario Balotelli
I don’t like Balotelli. I don’t find his antics hilarious, and I don’t think of him as a loveable jester. I think of him as an idiot. But whatever I think, he showed just how good he can be this weekend. His goal was a typical mix of arrogance and skill. Only a great save by Robinson stopped him scoring two. If he can play like this all the time, he can be one of the Prem’s true greats.
Forward – Theo Walcott
Finally starting to answer the boo-boys. Well, maybe not in the long run, but he certainly regained some credibility by scoring his two goals in the North London Derby. His first goal was untidy, but his second was smoothly taken. By no means a perfect performance, but under the hateful eyes of his own fans, kept himself together long enough to score when the chances came.
Striker – Robin Van Persie
What can you say. 22 goals now this season, one of the best of which he added on Sunday. In a team desperately in need of a leader it is RVP who has taken on the role. With the team 2-0 they needed someone to stand up and make a difference. It was RVP as we knew it would be. A constant star all year.
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