While it wasn’t a particularly goal-filled day’s entertainment in the Premier League on Saturday, there were still some impressive individual performances of note, with the following top five all making an impact.
5) Jan Bednarek (Leicester 1-2 SOUTHAMPTON) - 8.08 rating
Already emerging as a favourite of new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, Bednarek displayed why with a defiant performance at the King Power Stadium as Saints hung on for all three points. The young Poland international ensured that his side went into the break two up with a clearance off the line in the first half and was key to preventing the hosts from finding an equaliser after teammate Yan Valery received his marching orders just before the interval. With 7 aerial duels won, 12 clearances and two tackles the 22-year-old certainly earned his man of the match award.
4) David Luiz (CHELSEA 2-1 Newcastle) - 8.22 rating
If this is to be Luiz’s last season at Chelsea, which seems increasingly likely, the Brazilian is aiming to go out with a bang and is proving to be an important player at both ends of late. The 31-year-old registered the assist for Pedro’s opener - his second in three games - with what was the first of six attempted through balls at the Bridge. That’s the most in a Premier League game this season, which is pretty remarkable coming from a centre-back, with Luiz completing 94 per cent of his passes in a hard fought victory.
3) Pedro (CHELSEA 2-1 Newcastle) - 8.29 rating
Just pipping Luiz to the man of the match award for the Blues, Pedro has been a frustrated onlooker of late but took his chance with a telling contribution against Newcastle. The Spaniard’s ninth minute goal - his seventh in the league this season - set Chelsea on course for victory and was the first of four shots, all of which tested visiting goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. His willing running with and without the ball helped the winger to the best rating of the game too, making two tackles and two interceptions as Rafa Benitez looked to spring an upset against his former employers.
.@_Pedro17_: MotM -- @ChelseaFC 2-1 Newcastle— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 12, 2019
Shots(OT) -- 4(4)
Goals -- 1
Aerial duels won -- 1
Dribbles -- 1
Tackles -- 2
Interceptions -- 2
Rating -- 8.29
For more match stats -- https://t.co/bmX93aYLGk pic.twitter.com/shbm2KH3NN
2) Declan Rice (WEST HAM 1-0 Arsenal) - 8.29 rating
Picking quite the occasion to score your first goal for the club at which Rice has progressed through the academy ranks, a match-winner against Arsenal will be one that the teenager never forgets. His strike following a Samir Nasri assist against his old club was enough to ensure all three points, with the 19-year-old playing an important role in keeping the Gunners out thereafter. With two tackles and three interceptions, Rice put in an excellent all round display to secure his man of the match rating.
1) Philip Billing (Cardiff 0-0 HUDDERSFIELD) - 8.30 rating
While it’s fair to say the goalless draw between two sides battling the drop won’t live long in the memory the match in Cardiff was further evidence that whether Huddersfield make a miraculous comeback or not, Billing’s future is in top-flight football. The 22-year-old has been David Wagner’s most consistent performer all season and his ability to stand up to the hosts aerial bombardment was clear to see, winning a massive 13 of 15 duels. With two tackles, two interceptions and four clearances he ensured the visitors stopped the rot in terms of defeats at the very least, whilst also attempting a shot, creating a chance and completing a dribble in pursuit of a rare three points.