It’s hard to distinguish exactly what separates the match weeks during the Christmas period from the Premier League calendar.
It all merges into a festive, chocolate-filled hangover that will stick you to the couch between afternoon football and darts sessions. It’s an endless supply of football, however, which means there is plenty of room for outstanding performance.
Although Liverpool are still at the top of the table at the end of the 15th inning, their three-point cushion is by no means a big cushion, and the fact that they lost points to Big Sam’s West Brom in says a lot about openness and surprise. The 2020/21 season has been so far.
Outstanding performance can only be earned in the most prestigious way possible; have a place in the illustrious 90 mins team of the week.
Illan Meslier (GK) – The French giant bounced back from a forgotten visit to Old Trafford, which saw him concede six, winning a clean sheet against Burnley. Maybe a little lucky not to concede when he was “fouled” by Ashley Barnes, but Meslier made six impressive saves to keep Burnley at bay.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – Captain, leader, environmentalist. Bellerin was a breath of fresh air in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Chelsea and rose to the challenge as the team’s captain. A positive offensive performance was balanced with a resilient defense.
Kortney Hause (CB) – Hause scored his first Premier League goal this weekend and kept a clean sheet in another fine performance from Aston Villa. He lost defensive colleague Tyrone Mings to a red card in the first half and stepped up in his absence, making 11 clearances and winning nine duels.
Romain Saiss (CB) – Saiss appeared with a very important late equalizer for Wolves against Tottenham. His near post-run surprised the sleeping defenders and allowed him to return home and earn a big point for his team.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – Like Bellerin, Kieran Tierney looked much improved in a back four against Chelsea. He was allowed to attack and caused Reece James a myriad of trouble.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (CM) – The 25-year-old has quietly been one of the Premier League’s best midfielders this season. His performance against Southampton saw him complete six dribbles, win 22 duels, make 10 tackles and two key assists. Dominant.
Tanguy Ndombele (CM) – Although Spurs lost two points, Tanguy Ndombele was immense against Wolves. His first goal should have won them the game and his movement with the ball from midfield was impeccable. The 23-year-old is a joy to watch at full speed.
Bruno Fernandes (AM) – He could be blamed for allowing Leicester to score his first game but Bruno Fernandes has once again proven how essential he is for Manchester United. One goal and one assist make him 31 goal contributions in 28 Premier League games. Gorgeous.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – Did he want to score this goal? Probably not, but we’ll let him go because it was always an amazing finish and Saka’s overall play was fantastic. Left or right flank, he continues to provide a creative outlet for the Gunners.
Raheem Sterling (CF) – Sterling returned to his best in a routine Manchester City win over Newcastle. Composed, confident and nimble, the winger appeared everywhere and pulled defenders out of position with his deception.
Jack Grealish (LW) – A convincing victory at Aston Villa just doesn’t happen without their captain. Grealish was not on the scoresheet but created six chances for his teammates and led his team to victory.