Nathan Ake made his 14th start for Watford, who inched past Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park. Palace's star performer in recent weeks, Wilfried Zaha, started the game facing off against Ake on the right but after an extremely quiet half, switched flanks and wreaked absolute havoc down Watford's right flank. As a result, a majority of Palace's attacks came down the opposite wing from Ake. However, when called upon, Ake ensured that there was minimal contribution to their attack from his side. Ake's (and Watford's well-oiled defensive unit as a whole) prowess at holding the defensive line was also brought to light yesterday, with Palace's attackers getting caught offside many a time.
Ake ended the game with 4 out of 5 successful tackles, 4 interceptions and 2 blocked crosses. He even had a chance to score when the game was at 1-1, bombing forward and pouncing upon a loose ball, which was fired straight at Wayne Hennessey.
Patrick Bamford was an unused substitute for Norwich City.
Victor Moses, still trying to reclaim his starting spot from Michail Antonio, was brought on in the 62nd minute for West Ham United and successfully helped them neutralise their two-goal deficit against Norwich. Moses played a crucial part in their first goal, scored by Dmitri Payet.
Earlier in the week, Moses was brought on for Joey O'Brien in the 83rd minute of the Hammers' FA Cup Replay match against Liverpool, which they won via an Angelo Ogbonna goal in the last minute of Extra Time.
Lucas Piazon and Michael Hector both started together for Reading for the first time in 2016, managing a goalless draw against third-placed Burnley. While Michael Hector impressed in his defensive midfield role, Piazon turned in yet another poor performance, despite playing in his favoured central attacking position.
Middlesbrough, instead of playing this weekend, faced a midweek test in Milton Keynes, against MK Dons. With first choice centerback Daniel Ayala out injured, Tomas Kalas started in the 1-1 draw. With a game in hand, Boro currently sit in second place, two points behind leaders Hull City.
Brentford had a Saturday to forget, crumbling to lose 4-0 against Sheffield Wednesday. After a run of starts, John Swift sat the game out entirely on the bench. Brentford are now 11 points away from the last play-off spot.
Alex Kiwomya was handed a 10-minute cameo in Fleetwood Town's goalless draw against Port Vale, while Mitchell Beeney was relegated to the bench with the return to action of Newport County's first choice goalkeeper, Joe Day.
Christian Atsu, who opened his account for Malaga last week, is injured again and missed their weekend fixture against Villarreal.
Charly Musonda Jr. started again for Real Betis, and scored his side's second goal in their 2-2 draw aganist Deportivo La Coruna, with a glancing header (!) from a Juan Manuel Vargas cross finding its way to the back of the net. He drifted out of the game a bit in the second half, but still ... hype!
Juventus continued their incredible winning streak (15 in-a-row now!) and toppled Napoli to claim 1st position with a 1-0 win in Turin. Juan Cuadrado played the whole game, and Nathaniel Chalobah was yet again, nothing more than a spectator from the bench.
Jeremie Boga, strangely, did not make the squad for Rennes' 1-0 win over Angers.
Mario Pasalic got to play the last ten minutes of AS Monaco's 2-1 loss to Sochaux in the Coupe de France on Wednesday.
With Dominic Solanke back in London nursing his Achilles' injury and Izzy Brown also out with a minor affliction, Lewis Baker was the only Chelsea loanee to start for Vitesse, who clinched a much-needed 3-0 win against the rather poor SC Heerenveen.
Nathan was brought on in the 72nd minute, while Danilo Pantic, who is still at Vitesse (there were rumours linking him with a move to Portugal on deadline day, followed by relegation to the U19 squad) and scored two goals with their Reserve/U19 side earlier in the week, was named in the matchday squad but didn't get any minutes.
Having started in Werder's 3-1 victory at Leverkusen in the DFB Pokal earlier in the week, Papiss Mbouba Mbwiwa Abu Fuongo Baba Mison Djilobodji continued on his path to establish himself as a Werder Bremen legend, scoring his side's equaliser against fellow strugglers Hoffenheim on Saturday. The game ended 1-1.
By the looks of it, the defender was his side's standout performer, also massively contributing in attack and coming close to adding to his goal tally in the game.
Papy made six attempts on goal, four of which were on target, evenly distributing them between either foot and his head. Musonda who?
Kenneth Omeruo started in Kasimpasa's 3-1 loss to Fenerbache.
Wallace injured himself in Gremio's 1-0 win against Cortiba and will be out for two to three weeks.