Premier League Player of the Week: Martinez and Pope impress between the sticks as Maddison shines for Leicester
Who gets your vote this week?
After yet another weekend of drama in the Premier League, the top five are separated by just three points, with six points between top spot and ninth.
For the first time since February 2016, none of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City or Manchester United managed to win in the Premier League, with the Red’s closest title challengers Tottenham only able to pick up a point.
Elsewhere, Leicester and Southampton claimed resounding 3-0 wins to move up to third and fourth respectively, while a moment of madness from Granit Xhaka paved the way for Burnley to secure a famous 1-0 at the Emirates.
We’ve had a look over this weekend’s fixtures and chosen four contenders for our Premier League Player of the Week…
Aston Villa stole all three points in a match that looked certain to end goalless thanks to Anwar El Ghazi’s last gasp penalty, but they weren’t the only Villa heroics to applaud.
Summer signing Emiliano Martinez continues to impress between the sticks, with his performance against Wolves showing exactly why the Villans board sanctioned the £20m signing of Arsenal’s former number two.
Fantastic saves from attempts by Daniel Podence and Leander Dendoncker were the pick of Martinez’s seven stops, on his way to a fifth clean sheet of the season.
He joins Hugo Lloris, Alex McCarthy, Edouard Mendy and Ederson at the top of the charts in the race for this season’s Golden Glove award, while former club Arsenal have only managed three clean sheets.
It may have been Gylfi Sigurdsson’s first half penalty that secured all three points for Everton and put an end to Chelsea’s nine match unbeaten run in the league, but the Icelandic midfielder was far from the star of the show.
Toffee’s boss Carlo Ancelotti was full of praise for his defence after their 1-0 win, and for good reason, keeping out one of highest scoring attacks in the country.
And it was Michael Keane who was at the forefront of everything good about their defence. The former Burnley centre-back made a staggering 10 clearances against Chelsea, which was the highest of any player in the match.
As well as that, he won five of his six aerial challenges, nullifying the aerial presence of Olivier Giroud, as well as the set-piece threat from the likes of Chelsea’s centre back pairing of Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma.
At the seventh time of asking in the Premier League, Burnley finally managed to leave the Emirates with some points, having lost in each of their previous six attempts.
After what was a relatively quiet affair in the first half, Arsenal seemingly came out with all guns blazing in an attempt to break down the Burnley backline in the second half, finding holes in the back four, but failing to get past Nick Pope.
The England international managed six saves, including impressive stops from Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney, asserting the authority needed to dominate in the penalty area from crosses and set pieces.
It was a win which saw Burnley move out of the bottom three, now on nine points and up to 17th in the table, just four points behind Arsenal after their fourth successive home defeat in the Premier League.
We’ve rarely seen the best from James Maddison at Leicester this season, but when the opportunity arose against Brighton, he took it with both hands.
The former Norwich playmaker scored twice, bagging his first Premier League brace in Sunday’s match at the 78th time of asking.
His first strike may have been somewhat fortuitous, with a block kindly falling at his left foot just inside the area, before his strike went straight through the hands of Mat Ryan to nestle in the bottom corner.
But for everything that was lucky about his first, there’s absolutely nothing you can take away from his second. Picking the ball up on the edge of the area, he takes two stepovers before pushing the ball to his right.
Selling Dan Burn with a dummy, he shifts across to his left before bending a peach into the top left corner of the Brighton net, securing all three points in a 3-0 win and moving the Foxes up to third in the table.
Since we can only pick our top four players of the week, it’s only right we take a moment to give some honourable mentions, starting with Everton’s Allan.
While Keane was the standout star, Allan played a huge role in Everton’s win, breaking up Chelsea’s play in the midfield. Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita deserves a mention too, despite playing a part a Spurs’ goal, his save to stop a second for Tottenham was simply stunning.
Jamie Vardy impressed again for Leicester too, grabbing his 10th goal of the season and on another day, could have netted his 11th, while Fulham put in a complete team performance to claim a precious point against Liverpool.
But who will get your vote for this week’s Player of the Week? Let us know on our Twitter poll.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.