Who were the best defenders over the weekend? Skrtel, Azpilicueta and more

Martin Skrtel

Chelsea, Liverpool, Norwich City, Newcastle United and Swansea City stars all feature.

There were plenty of stand out defensive performances over the weekend as seven teams kept clean sheets, which meant more points in bids for European glory and Premier League safety.

Liverpool deserve a special mention for the way they kept a very talented Arsenal side quiet while Norwich City also did superbly to earn themselves a point against Manchester City.

We’ve taken a look at the best performer over several key areas.


Martin Skrtel Liverpool DF 2 1 90

Skrtel deserves a mention because he got Liverpool off to a great start against Arsenal with a first-half brace. He was imposing in attack and solid at the back, providing a platform which Liverpool never gave up.

Tackles Won

PlayerClubPosWon TackleAppsMins
Billy Jones West Brom DF 7 1 90
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 6 1 90
Jon Flanagan Liverpool DF 5 1 90
Angel Rangel Swansea DF 5 1 90
Kolo Touré Liverpool DF 4 1 90

Again, it’s no surprise that Liverpool feature prominently here. Jon Flanagan and Kolo Toure did well to get stuck in, breaking up the play which made it very hard for Arsenal to move the ball around easily.

Effective Clearances

PlayerClubPosEffective ClearanceAppsMins
Dan Burn Fulham DF 22 1 90
James Collins West Ham DF 22 1 90
James Tomkins West Ham DF 15 1 90
Sébastien Bassong Norwich DF 14 1 90
Ashley Williams Swansea DF 13 1 90

Fulham’s Burn and Norwich’s Bassong both played extremely well in games where their clubs would have been tipped for defeats before kick-off. They both made key clearances which stopped Manchester United and Manchester City from being able to maintain pressure.

Aerial Duels Won

PlayerClubPosAerial WonAppsMins
Gareth McAuley West Brom DF 9 1 90
Curtis Davies Hull DF 7 1 90
Nemanja Vidic Man Utd DF 6 1 90
Steven Caulker Cardiff DF 5 1 90
James Collins West Ham DF 5 1 90

Gareth McAuley was particularly dominant in the air but he wasn’t able to stop the Baggies from falling to defeat away at Crystal Palace. He cut out the aerial threat but unfortunately Palace has too much in terms of pace, movement and skill on the deck.


PlayerClubPosInterception WonAppsMins
Davide Santon Newcastle DF 6 1 90
Michael Dawson Spurs DF 5 1 90
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 4 1 90
Jose Fonte Southampton DF 4 1 90
Liam Ridgewell West Brom DF 4 1 45

Had it not been for Santon then Newcastle’s defeat to Chelsea could have been a lot worse. Cesar Azpilicueta also made it difficult for Newcastle to build much attacking pressure during the game.

image: © etyek

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