Defending is an art, everyone says that in the world of football, however, these days you see a lot more rash tackles than proper ones, of course, people would also say that the game was different, say 20 years ago, but a good tackle does have its own merits and players do not know the ideal way to do that.
Tackling might be one effective way to stop a team from going on a rampage but intercepting the ball and setting up your team for a counter can be equally breath-taking. The Premier League is awash with fast players who love to break up attacks and we look at the top five interceptors from this week of action using stats from Squawka.com
The Arsenal defender was excellent against Watford and when he wasn’t bombing forward to link up with the attack, the Spaniard was busy interception the ball from the opposition. Monreal had an amazing eight interceptions in the game and not only did he lead the players in this stat this week, he also had seven clearances against Watford.
Not many would know the midfielder from Leicester, but Kante was one of their impressive players from yet another great performance over the weekend by the Foxes. They drew the game 2-2 and Kante featured heavily in the game with eight clearances, the same as Monreal but just one clearance.
Virgil van Dijk
The new signing this season from Southampton, the Dutch central defender might have had a poor Euro qualifying, but he is one of the best defenders in the league. Van Dijk was excellent for Southampton and not only had an amazing six interceptions, he backed it up with a couple of blocked shots and get this, fifteen clearances for the Saints.
Another Leicester City player who makes the list, Claudio Ranieri has certainly gotten the Foxes playing good football with a lot of commitment and Simpson was one of the better players for them with six interceptions, a blocked shot and six clearances this weekend.
Probably the man of the match from the Tottenham-Liverpool tie, Moussa was incredible in midfield as he was not only linking up with the Spurs’ attack but was adept at stopping Liverpool as well. The Belgian played the entire game and notched up six interceptions and three clearances for the team from London as they remain unbeaten for the eighth game in a row in the Premier League.
Special Mention: Idrissa Gueye
While we were looking at the top five players, West Ham’s Gueye just missed out on the list, although he had the same number of interceptions as Dembele, the Hammer did have one less clearance and just missed out.