Who were the best Premier League midfielders over the weekend? Ozil, Toure and more

Ozil Arsenal 2

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Stoke City and Crystal Palace stars feature plus more.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City all strengthened their positions at the top of the Premier League this past weekend while Liverpool and Manchester United dropped points in the race for a top four place.

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There were some stand out midfield performances, which setup important wins for Premier League sides and we’ve taken a look at the best performers across five key statistical areas relating to midfield.

Goals

PlayerClubPosGoalsAppsMins
Yohan Cabaye Newcastle MF 2 1 90
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 2 1 90
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 1 1 90
Adam Johnson Sunderland MF 1 1 90
Jesús Navas Man City MF 1 1 82

Goal coring midfielders are worth their weight in gold because they take a lot of pressure away from the attack. Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle and Santi Cazorla of Arsenal stepped up when their sides needed a big performance and they both showed great composure and experience in front of goal.

Tackles Won

PlayerClubPosWon TackleAppsMins
Matthew Taylor West Ham MF 5 1 90
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 4 1 90
Craig Gardner Sunderland MF 4 1 28
Yohan Cabaye Newcastle MF 3 1 90
Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 3 1 90

Breaking up the play is key for several midfielders, as they look to stop the opposition getting on top. The duel between Taylor and Cabaye during the West Ham against Newcastle one was great to watch as Taylor got stuck in with more tackles than anyone else while Cabaye tried to break up West Ham’s fluency to stop them building momentum which would have threatened Newcastle’s lead.

Accurate Passes

PlayerClubPosAccurate PassAppsMins
Jack Wilshere Arsenal MF 96 1 90
Jack Cork Southampton MF 87 1 90
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 83 1 90
Mesut Özil Arsenal MF 82 1 86
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 80 1 90

Four Arsenal players in the top five tells the story of their game against Fulham. They had plenty of possession and used the ball well, as Cazorla’s goals eventually helped the Gunners to a very important win.

Accurate Crosses

PlayerClubPosAccurate CrossAppsMins
Robert Snodgrass Norwich MF 4 1 90
Charlie Adam Stoke MF 3 1 90
Oussama Assaidi Stoke MF 3 1 72
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 3 1 90
Ahmed Elmohamady Hull MF 3 1 90

The two Stoke names on this list are worth focusing on because although the side lost at Crystal Palace, Adam and Assaidi both showed great precision to deliver the ball to teammates from difficult areas. Stoke are not a side that always play slick, passing football and crossing the ball for their forwards and attacking runners from midfield is one of their main tactics.

Dribble Contests Won

PlayerClubPosWon ContestAppsMins
Craig Noone Cardiff MF 8 1 90
Yannick Bolasie Crystal Palace MF 6 1 86
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 4 1 90
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 4 1 90
Yaya Touré Man City MF 4 1 90

Midfielders who can dribble effectively are valuable because they put the opposition defence on the back foot. Bolasie deserves a mention because Palace have been under a lot of pressure in recent weeks to get results and he took the game to Stoke City effectively, pushing their midfield and defensive heavyweights back.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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