Chelsea won the 2014 English Premier League title under Jose Mourinho and the ‘Special One’ was named the Premier League manager of the season. But tides have turned and nothing seems to be going the Blues’s way this season. Chelsea’s home defeat by Liverpool has left the them just above the relegation zone.
Week 11 saw Manchester City still leading the way after a late win against Norwich, while Arsenal kept up the pressure with a ruthless victory at Swansea. Manchester United’s goal drought, however, was extended as they were held 0-0 away to Crystal Palace.
Leicester City once again maintained their status as the comeback kings of the Premier League, as they came from a goal down to end up 3-2 victors on an entertaining day at the Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion, who were probably hard done by after a couple of refereeing errors.
West Ham suffered its first loss away from home, as they were beaten convincingly by recently-promoted Watford at Vicarage Road, Odion Ighalo netting on both occasions.
Here’s a selection of the 11 standout performers this week. (Formation: 3-4-3)
Petr Cech (Arsenal): The Czech goalkeeper has been extremely dependable between the posts. He kept his fifth clean sheet of the season with three saves against Swansea City.
Stoke City keeper Jack Butland was another strong contender, having saved Stoke from a mauling on a number of occasions this season.
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal): Defenders are always delighted to get on the scoresheet and Koscielny was ecstatic when he managed it against Swansea. He has now scored in consecutive Premier League matches. He also helped Arsenal see out the match with a clean sheet to cap off a good defensive display.
Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City): Nicolas Otamendi is now bringing a little thunder to Manchester City’s defensive play, and he’s meshed superbly with captain Vincent Kompany. Not only did Otamendi and company keep Norwich at bay, he also scored a the winner off a bullet header.
Nathan Aké (Watford): One of several Chelsea players on loan this season, Ake has been carving a name for himself as a dependable full back who likes to venture forward. He helped Watford keep a clean sheet and also got an assist in their 2-0 home victory over West Ham.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal): Mesut Ozil seems to have become a regular on the Team of the Week. Commenting on Ozil’s fine run, Arsene Wenger said, “If you love to watch football, you love to watch Mesut Ozil.”
Against Swansea, Ozil inspired a second half onslaught by assisting two of the away team’s three goals.
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City): Mahrez’s brace carried his side to a 3-2 comeback victory against West Bromwich Albion. His’s seething pace down the right wing, coupled with his tendency to cut through the middle of opposition defence, has made Claudio Ranieri’s side look much more of an attacking prowess this season compared to last, when they were nearly relegated with nine games to play.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool): Football may be a team sport but it usually requires one individual to change the game. That individual in the Liverpool-Chelsea encounter was undoubtedly Liverpool’s 23-year-old Brazilian Philippe Coutinho. His two superb goals –- one of which spectacularly sent John Terry to the floor -– made all the difference on Saturday to consign Chelsea to a sixth Premier League defeat this season.
Gerard Deulofeu (Everton): The former Barcelona player shone brightly as the focal point of Everton’s midfield against Sunderland. He scored the opening goal of the game and went on to assist two goals as Everton claimed a big 6-2 home win.
Odion Ighalo (Watford): Jamie Vardy’s goal rush may be the biggest story in Premier League news right now, but Odion Ighalo is doing his best to keep up. Ighalo has been picking up steam in recent weeks and continued his prime form as he scored two goals for Watford against West Ham United.
Romelu Lukaku (Everton): The Toffees’ strike force was incredibly impressive on the weekend with Lukaku playing a pivotal role up front. The targetman was a part in four of Everton’s six goals. He scored one, assisted two and forced an own goal in Everton’s demolition of Sunderland.
Arouna Kone (Everton): Kone impressed heavily in Everton’s 6-2 win against Sunderland. The Ivorian struck up a wonderful combination with frontman Romelu Lukaku to score a hattrick and claim the match ball at the final whistle. He also assisted Deulofeu’s opening goal of the match.