There were plenty of impressive defensive performances this weekend, with Premier League sides at the top and bottom of the table improving their positions as we roll into February.
Arsenal, Sunderland, West Ham United and Southampton were the only teams to keep clean sheets.
We’ve taken a look at five key statistical areas are examined the best defensive performers for each.
|James Collins||West Ham||DF||2||1||90|
Any defender who can get between the attacker and his own goal is spot on in terms of position. A great effort from the two Cardiff players on this list, who helped the Welsh side to a narrow win against Norwich. Interestingly, only one defender whose team kept a clean sheet appears in the top five.
|Joel Ward||Crystal Palace||DF||5||1||90|
|Ryan Bertrand||Aston Villa||DF||3||1||90|
|Ciaran Clark||Aston Villa||DF||3||1||90|
The two Aston Villa players on this list deserve a mention because their efforts were in a losing cause. Clark and Bertrand really got about and broke up the play well, which gave their side a chance of getting back into the game against Everton.
Hangeland put in a tremendous shift in terms of clearing lines over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the West London side from falling to a heavy defeat at home against the Saints.
Aerial Duels Won
One of Hull City’s main tactics was to hit Tottenham over the top, with routine aerial deliveries. The fact Dawson and Vertonghen dealt so well with that threat forced Hull to play more on the deck, which made them easier for Tottenham to contain despite conceding one goal.
|Damien Delaney||Crystal Palace||DF||7||1||90|
|Gareth McAuley||West Brom||DF||5||1||90|
Delaney read the game superbly against Arsenal, stepping in to intercept the ball before it could find an influential Arsenal forward. Unfortunately for the Palace defender, his teammates weren’t on the same page and the Gunners secured a 2-0 win.
image: © etyek