Everton's McCarthy and Liverpool's Lucas Leiva top PL chart this weekend in key area

Everton Goodison 3

James McCarthy and Lucas Leiva were heavily involved in the Merseyside derby.

Everton’s James McCarthy and Liverpool star Lucas Leiva topped the Premier League charts at the weekend as the midfielders who recorded the most tackles.

The duo were heavily involved as the Toffees hosted the Reds in the first Merseyside derby of the season, the game finishing 1-1 with Danny Ings’ opener cancelled out by Romelu Lukaku.

The Merseyside derby is a fixture renowned for its aggression and tough tackling, with no surprises that the encounter between two boasts the most red cards since the Premier League began.

On Sunday, nobody received an early bath but the fixture was competitive nonetheless as neither side wished to hand the initiative to their fierce rivals.

  PositionTeamWon TacklesMins Played
Lucas Leiva MF Liverpool 6 79
James McCarthy MF Everton 6 90

As per the table provided by Opta, McCarthy and Leiva’s six tackles each topped the charts for most recorded in the Premier League over the weekend.

Most predicted a high-scoring affair between the two rivals, yet the outcome can largely be put down to both teams’ midfield protecting their back four well and restricting the number of shots on goal.

McCarthy isn’t normally seen as Everton’s shield in midfield, and his tally of six tackles against Liverpool is more than double his average for the season - a stat which will delight boss Roberto Martinez.

Leiva, on the other hand, is predominantly a defensive midfielder though as not always a regular, his display was a timely reminder of exactly what he has to offer the team.

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