Who were the best defenders over the weekend? Dier, Clichy and more

Hull City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers stars all feature.

The Premier League returned over the weekend after a long wait and there was no shortage of entertainment and talking points as sides all over the country got off to positive and disappointing starts to the campaign.

Manchester United are under instant pressure while Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City all secured important wins which will breed confidence this morning.

We’ve taken a look at the best defensive performers in key areas.


James Chester Hull DF 1 1 90
Nathaniel Clyne Southampton DF 1 1 90
Eric Dier Spurs DF 1 1 90
Brede Hangeland Crystal Palace DF 1 1 90
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal DF 1 1 90

It’s always handy when defenders pop up with key goals and in Eric Dier’s case, he made the literal difference on his debut for Spurs. Nathaniel Clyne also deserves a mention for keeping his head with a great finish in an intimidating Anfield atmosphere.

Outfield Blocks

  TeamPosOutfielder BlockAppsMins
James Chester Hull DF 3 1 90
Phil Jagielka Everton DF 2 1 90
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal DF 2 1 90
Winston Reid West Ham DF 2 1 90
Philippe Senderos Aston Villa DF 2 1 90

No defender was more effective in terms of outfield blocks than Hull’s James Chester. Any defender who can get into good positions and block well is showing a good awareness of the game, those around him and where he needs to be to cut off the danger.

Tackles Won

  TeamPosWon TackleAppsMins
Gaël Clichy Man City DF 8 1 90
Rio Ferdinand QPR DF 6 1 90
Erik Pieters Stoke DF 5 1 90
Joel Ward Crystal Palace DF 5 1 90
Calum Chambers Arsenal DF 4 1 90

Gael Clichy was right on the money for Manchester City, which is partly surprising because he was playing out of position at right-back against Newcastle United. His timing with his tackles was superb and allowed City to break up the pressure when Newcastle were able to build attacks.

Duels Won

  TeamPosDuel WonAppsMins
Erik Pieters Stoke DF 14 1 90
Armand Traore QPR DF 14 1 90
Gaël Clichy Man City DF 13 1 90
Mathieu Debuchy Arsenal DF 11 1 90
Javier Manquillo Liverpool DF 11 1 90

In terms of defensive duels, Stoke’s Erik Pieters and QPR’s Armand Traore won more duels than any other defender over the weekend. Those sides will need them to maintain that impressive level of performance if they are going to fight for top half of the table places this season.

Effective Clearances

  TeamPosEffective ClearanceAppsMins
Martin Skrtel Liverpool DF 20 1 90
Ryan Shawcross Stoke DF 18 1 90
Ashley Williams Swansea DF 15 1 90
James Chester Hull DF 13 1 90
Curtis Davies Hull DF 13 1 90

Liverpool central defender Martin Skrtel was one of the best in this area last season and he’s maintained his effectiveness at the start of this season. He did the basics of no nonsense defending well against Southampton, which allowed him to help his side regularly ease pressure during their 2-1 win.

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