Who were the best defenders over the weekend? Cahill, Jagielka and more

Gary Cahill Chelsea 2

Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Norwich City stars all feature.

There were some superb defensive performances over the weekend which allowed teams to keep clean sheets and secure vital points at both ends of the table.

Arsenal got back on track, Manchester United secured a vital away win, Norwich held out against Spurs and Hull City dominated in Wales.

We’ve taken a look at some of the key individual performances across defensive areas.

Outfield Blocks

PlayerClubPosOutfielder BlockAppsMins
Johnny Heitinga Fulham DF 4 1 90
Scott Dann Crystal Palace DF 3 1 90
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 2 1 90
Nathan Baker Aston Villa DF 2 1 90
Chico Swansea DF 2 1 90

Cesar Azpilicueta is the name we’re going to pick out from this list because the Chelsea man has appeared regularly in this feature this season. He was superb during a spell in the game against Everton where the Toffees really got on top and his performance helped the Blues see out that pressure.

Tackles Won

PlayerClubPosWon TackleAppsMins
Liam Rosenior Hull DF 7 1 90
Glen Johnson Liverpool DF 5 1 90
Sylvain Distin Everton DF 4 1 90
Jon Flanagan Liverpool DF 4 1 90
Ron Vlaar Aston Villa DF 4 1 90

The encouraging sign from this stat for Liverpool fans is that both of their full backs are in good form. It was important for Liverpool that Glen Johnson got stuck in against Swansea while Flanagan proved once again that he’s just as comfortable down the left side of defence.

Effective Clearances

PlayerClubPosEffective ClearanceAppsMins
Maynor Figueroa Hull DF 14 1 90
Jose Fonte Southampton DF 14 1 90
Sébastien Bassong Norwich DF 12 1 90
Joseph Yobo Norwich DF 12 1 90
Nathan Baker Aston Villa DF 11 1 90

The two Norwich City central defenders deserve a lot of praise because they had to deal with a lot of pressure against Tottenham Hotspur. They cleared their lines effectively to consistently release the pressure on their team.

Duels Won

PlayerClubPosDuel WonAppsMins
Gary Cahill Chelsea DF 16 1 90
Gareth McAuley West Brom DF 15 1 90
Michael Williamson Newcastle DF 13 1 90
Liam Rosenior Hull DF 12 1 90
Glen Johnson Liverpool DF 10 1 90

Chelsea’s Gary Cahill was clearly difficult to get the better of during the Blues’ game against Everton. Cahill had to stay disciplined throughout the game because the Toffees had runners from several positions who could have hurt the Chelsea back four through the middle. He did well not to get drawn out of position.

Interceptions Won

PlayerClubPosInterception WonAppsMins
Phil Jagielka Everton DF 6 1 90
Fabricio Coloccini Newcastle DF 4 1 90
Erik Pieters Stoke DF 4 1 90
Angel Rangel Swansea DF 4 1 90
Martin Skrtel Liverpool DF 4 1 90

Jagielka wins this area, stepping in to intercept the ball more than any other defender over the weekend. That showcased a superb ability to read the game and cut off danger, it’s just a shame he wasn’t on the winning side.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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