Tim Howard – Everton have struggled this season, and Tim Howard has received a great deal of criticism for his inconsistent displays in goal. However the American was on top form this weekend as he made a number of crucial saves to keep a clean sheet against this season’s surprise in Southampton. Howard made a contender for save of the season to acrobatically deny Graziano Pelle. It was only Howard’s fifth clean sheet which is fewer than last season, but this weekend showed how the American still has enough quality to make game changing contributions.
Hector Bellerin – Arsenal blew Liverpool away at lunchtime on Saturday and young full back Bellerin was excellent throughout. The Arsenal defence restricted Liverpool to few chances, while the two full backs pushed up and helped in the attacking third. The youngster opened the scoring with a quality finish after turning inside onto his weaker foot. He showed maturity throughout and is really starting to emerge as a first team player at the Emirates.
Michael Duff – The Burnley defence were excellent against Tottenham and showed that organisation is more important than ability. Sean Dyche has ensured that his side works hard and that is one of the main reasons as to why they are still hopeful of gaining Premier League survival. Micheal Duff has been at Burnley for a number of years and has been reliable this season when in the starting eleven. The Burnley defence played a high line and restricted the space for the Spurs attackers. Duff played a huge part in the impressive display from the back four, especially when it came to organisation.
Phil Jagielka – The Everton defender showed his experience and class throughout Everton’s match against Southampton. He battled well with Pelle and came out on top a number of times. The English international made some crucial tackles and interceptions playing a big role in his side’s clean sheet. Moreover, Jagielka scored the winning goal with a scrappy finish after a set piece showing that he can influence the game in both boxes.
Neil Taylor – Swansea are surging up the table and are on course for their best season since they were promoted in 2011, which is an excellent achievement for Garry Monk in his first full season as a manager. Neil Taylor has been a regular for the side this season after the departure of Ben Davies and he has shown his consistency at left back. On Saturday he gave another solid defensive display keeping Gaston Ramirez and Robbie Brady relatively quiet for ninety minutes.
Jason Puncheon – Crystal Palace gave another superb performance to beat a top side in Manchester City. Their counter attacking style of play relying on the pace of Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie was a key feature to their success. Puncheon has been a consistent part of Crystal Palace’s side since their return to the top flight and he was excellent on Monday night. He doubled Palace’s lead with a wonderful free kick and showed his quality throughout with some great passing and creative play.
Ander Herrera – The Spaniard has had an up and down season since joining Manchester United. Some had compared Herrera and his lack of time on the pitch to Shinji Kagawa’s time at Old Trafford with many concerned that the Spaniard’s career would follow a similar path. However, Herrera has turned a corner with some match winning performances and has played a huge role in their improvement in recent weeks. At the weekend, he once again made a match winning contribution as he scored twice against Aston Villa showing the attacking side to his game.
Lee Cattermole – Lee Cattermole comes alive in big matches like the Tyne Wear derby and he showed his quality once again on Sunday as Sunderland clinched their fifth successive victory over Newcastle. The Englishman dominated the midfield and kept Moussa Sissoko quiet for the entire match. He made some excellent tackles to keep his side on the front foot and showed his battling style of play throughout. His leadership ensured that his side remained cool in the closing stages.
Matty James – The Leicester midfielder was a key reason why they returned to winning ways against West Ham. He has been a mainstay in their side as they have climbed into the Premier League and has upped his game to compete well in the top flight. The former Manchester United trainee battled well and his passing was very impressive. His midfield play in combination with Esteban Cambiasso was the reason Leicester got the win to keep their survival hopes alive.
Alexis Sanchez – The Chilean was once again a class act as Liverpool came to the Emirates. Since signing from Barcelona, Sanchez has scored 14 goals and assisted 8 times. On Saturday, he scored a very good goal from outside the area with an assured finish. Moreover, he got an assist and highlighted the quality he possesses in the final third. Liverpool fans would have looked on with envy as Sanchez would have been the closest thing to a like for like replacement for Luis Suarez last summer.
Charlie Austin – The QPR striker has been a breath of fresh air this season alongside fellow English forwards in Danny Ings and Harry Kane. His achievements have been somewhat overlooked due to the form of the other two strikers mentioned. On Saturday, QPR managed to get a crucial victory over West Brom to ensure they go into the final few weeks of the season with a fighting chance of staying in the top flight. Austin was the best player on the pitch as he managed to get a goal and assists and ensure that he continued to enhance his reputation with an excellent first season in the Premier League.