In a weekend full of tight Premier League matches, the stand out players proved the difference.
Olivier Giroud – Anyone who scores the winner in a derby game is going to be a hero for their side on that weekend, but Giroud did it in some style with a wonderfully improvised finish from a Theo Walcott cross to help the Gunners’ down Spurs.
Martin Skrtel – There was a lot of talk about whether Liverpool would be able to cope without Kolo Toure against Robin Van Persie and Manchester United, but Skrtel stepped up to the mark, with Van Persie even losing his rag with Skrtel’s defensive partner Daniel Agger as Liverpool kept their third consecutive clean sheet of the season.
Hatem Ben Arfa – How crucial will his performance against Fulham be in the context of Newcastle’s season? As the clock was ticking down at St James’ park, the dangerous Ben Arfa shifted inside and unleased a wonderful left-footed strike to leave David Stockdale with no chance in the Fulham goal. Will it kick start the Magpies’ season?
Alvaro Negredo – After Manchester City were struggling against Premier League new boys in Hull City, Pellegrini chucked on their new signing to see if he can make the impact. After missing one header, he managed to get on the end of a wonderful Pablo Zabaletta ball that broke Hull’s resistance. That along with Yaya Toure’s late free-kick harshly denied the visitors a point.
Jermaine Pennant – A lot of people didn’t seem to have faith in Mark Hughes’ appointment at Stoke City but Pennant’s late free-kick at West Ham has probably won the Welshman a few more fans. Many will have fancied the home side to take all three points on Saturday but Pennant’s intervention proved decisive.
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