Now that the final round of matches before Christmas has finished, who’s looking forward to the usual Boxing Day football extravaganza? That’s an event that football fans can always rely on for entertainment at this time of year, for instance, playing loto188, but in keeping with the festive spirit, Matchday 14 in the Premier League served up a football feast of its own.
From Manchester United’s blockbuster 6-2 victory over Leeds to Liverpool’s 7-0 thrashing of a sorry Crystal Palace side, this Matchweek was filled with all the unpredictability that has made this young season so entertaining.
In keeping with this trend, some of the standout performances of Matchweek 14 were given by somewhat unexpected names.
Stars in Premier League – Gameweek 14
Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)
It’s been an awful week for Tottenham Hotspur, who took another damaging dent to their ambitions with a meek 2-0 home defeat to Leicester City.
This really was a fantastic result for the Foxes, especially following their home defeat to Everton last time out, and their redemption was perhaps summed up no better than by captain Kasper Schmeichel.
After letting a weak effort from Richarlison slip through him the other night, the Denmark goalkeeper was back to his best against Spurs, making a brilliant reaction save from Son-Heung Min to deny the North London side a route back into the game.
It turned out to be vital, as Leicester climbed to second in the table.
Defender: Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
Chelsea also got back to winning ways after a difficult few games, claiming a hard-fought 3-0 win over London rivals West Ham on Monday night.
There were a number of nervy moments for the Blues before two late goals sealed the victory, and they have Thiago Silva to thank for steering them through the match. The ageless defender got Chelsea up and running with a bullet header early on in the game, and then went on to give a rock-solid performance at the heart of the defence to keep the Hammers at bay.
Silva already looks like the best free signing of the season, and has had a huge effect on Chelsea’s defence.
Midfielder: Scott McTominay (Manchester United)
Manchester United’s breakneck victory over old rivals Leeds was astonishing in a number of ways, not least for midfielder Scott McTominay.
A few observers were surprised to see his name in the starting line-up, and then presumably even more surprised when he scored twice inside the first three minutes, becoming the first player in Premier League history to do so.
It set the tone for one of the matches of the season so far, and McTominay continued his brilliant performance with a lovely assist for winger Dan James to score goal number five.
It’s been a strong run of form for United lately, with this McTominay-inspired performance putting them firmly inside the top four.
Forward: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Liverpool laid down a marker for their dominance at the top of the Premier League at the weekend by tearing Crystal Palace to shreds in a 7-0 win, the largest margin of victory in any game this season.
It also marked one of Roberto Firmino’s best performances for Liverpool in a long time. In and out of the goals last season, Brazil forward was on top form here, scoring twice and providing an assist for teammate Sadio Mane as Liverpool blew away their opposition.
It was a performance that reminded everybody just what Firmino is capable of, and Reds fans will be hoping that he can keep up this kind of scoring form with the games coming thick and fast.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
After a performance like that, there can only be one real winner of this week’s star manager award; Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Not only did his side tear Crystal Palace apart, but they also recorded their biggest league win in over 30 years, and with several key players out injured as well.
Now that Liverpool are firmly at the top, make no mistake; trying to topple them will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge for everyone else, all because of Klopp’s remarkable handling of what could’ve been a season ruined by a number of worrying injuries.