Winners and losers from Premier League week 15 as Riyad Mahrez inspires Man City to victory

Abdullah Mulla - Writer 18:08 06/12/2018
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Riyad Mahrez

The festive fixture schedule is underway! Nothing brings more drama and excitement in the Premier League than midweek fixtures and this round of fixtures certainly did not disappoint.

Manchester City and Liverpool continued their winning streaks with victories over Watford and Burnley respectively.

Tottenham moved into third place by comfortably beating Southampton, with Chelsea dropping to fourth after falling to a disappointing defeat against Wolves.

Manchester United, Everton and Bournemouth are all level on 23 points, with the Red Devils playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw with fifth placed Arsenal.

Brighton and West Ham picked up their second successive league victories with wins over Crystal Palace and Cardiff whilst Southampton, Burnley and Fulham all occupy the relegation zone, only separated on goal difference.

With only a few days to prepare for these fixtures, who failed to impress and who stood out? Here are our winners and losers.

Winners:

Riyad Mahrez – Manchester City

Mahrez returned to the City starting line-up in place of Raheem Sterling and the Algerian thoroughly justified Pep Guardiola’s decision.

The skilful winger assisted City’s first and scored their second as the defending champions claimed a 2-1 victory over Watford.

The Hornets struggled to cope with the former Leicester City winger’s pace and with a performance like that, it’ll be hard for Guardiola to drop him to the bench.

Lucas Perez – West Ham United

Perez started the match against Cardiff on the bench, but by full-time, he was a Hammers hero.

The striker replaced the injured Marko Arnautovic and managed to get his name on the scoresheet twice to inspire Manuel Pellegrini’s side to victory at the London Stadium.

The former Arsenal forward’s performance should give the Hammers confidence that he can fill in appropriately for Arnautovic, who is ruled out until the end of the year.

Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane

Spurs had to bounce back from the north London derby defeat to Arsenal and Kane got them going in the best way possible.

His early finish relieved the nerves as Spurs went on to convincingly win 3-1, with Kane adding a brilliant assist to his goal.

With a big few matches coming up for Spurs, Kane has fit form at the perfect time.

Losers:

Shane Duffy – Brighton

Duffy let the emotion of the derby against Crystal Palace get the better of him as he received a straight red card inside 30 minutes.

The defender got into an altercation with Patrick Van Aanholt, before thrusting his head into the full-back, earning him a red card.

Luckily for the centre-back, his teammates played brilliantly to secure the victory for the Seagulls, who will be without him for the next three matches.

Joe Ralls – Cardiff City

The midfielder had an evening to forget after missing a penalty and picking up a yellow card for the struggling Bluebirds.

After wrestling the ball away from Victor Camarasa, Ralls knew he had to convert the spot kick, but it was easily saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

When you’re battling for relegation, opportunities like these simply can’t be missed.

Marcos Rojo – Manchester United

marcos-rojo

The Argentine made his return to the United starting line-up and showed plenty of passion, but ultimately, it was his error which costed the Red Devils.

Rojo’s sloppy pass in his own half saw Alexandre Lacazette pounce on the ball, before the defender’s desperate lunge resulted in the ball going into the back of his own net.

He was also cautioned by the referee, with many fans and pundits believing he was lucky to escape with only a yellow. Not a memorable return to the side for Rojo.

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