London-based duo Mathieu Flamini and Nemanja Matic impressed at the weekend – but which player comes out as HITC’s London-based midfielder of the weekend?
According to the head-to-head table above provided by Opta Stats, the two midfielders put themselves about and stood up to the challenge during their side’s respective away matches.
French international Flamini has often been questioned for his lack of pace and inability to stamp his authority on games unlike former Arsenal great Patrick Vieira.
But during the Gunners’ 2-0 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, he did prove his credentials as he protected his side’s makeshift back four well, winning four tackles and making four interceptions.
Chelsea’s Serbian ace Matic had a slightly trickier time at Old Trafford as he was tasked with stopping former Stamford Bridge idol Juan Mata and Argentine wizard Angel Di Maria.
The former Benfica star held his side’s shape well, making three tackles and three effective clearances as the Red Devils applied late pressure before finding a last minute equaliser.
In spite of the Blues’ dropped points, Matic was superb defensively throughout and totalled ten ball recoveries while also committing ‘good’ and ‘necessary’ fouls to stop Di Maria, Mata et al. in their tracks.
In possession, however, Arsenal’s Flamini provided a passing master class as he made 63 accurate passes while maintaining a 95.5% success rate – the highest completion rate of any Premier League midfielder over the weekend.
Matic on the other hand posted an 84.1% success rate, accurately completing 37 passes which is below his and Chelsea’s average for the season.
Whereas Oscar won HITC’s London-based midfielder of the weekend honour the previous weekend, this time the award heads to North London.
Flamini may not reach those high standards he set in his first spell at the Emirates on a regular basis, but his fantastic work rate and experience this season will be vital in Arsenal’s bid to finish in the top four.