Kurt Zouma was excellent in his starts against West Ham United and Arsenal, providing the opposition attackers little leeway whilst confidently stepping out with the ball when required. He even notched a goal in the former fixture, with a nicely-angled header.
Kenedy only played 15 minutes of Newcastle’s 2-0 loss to Arsenal.
Michy Batshuayi started Crystal Palace’s last three matches, of which they won two, but did not contribute to any of the three goals scored by his team. Michy registered only three shots total, none of which were on target, and with a total xG of 0.32.
Mason Mount made his much-awaited return from injury and starred in Derby County’s 6-1 win against the usually plucky Rotherham. Mount’s impact was palpable and it was easy to see what the youngster adds to the side - industry off the ball, the ability to create space for his teammates and of course, goals. Mount helped win a penalty, assisted Duane Holmes’ goal with a diving header and used his timely presence in the box to score one of his own.
He also started in the Rams’ enthralling 3-3 draw at Griffin Park, home of Brentford and was agonisingly denied a match-winning goal by the upright post.
Fikayo Tomori reigned supreme in the encounter against Rotherham and had more of a task on his hands when faced up against the talented attacking trio of Brentford’s Said Benrahma, Ollie Watkins and Neal Maupay. Yet, Tomori exemplified his ball-playing abilities by making confident strides out of defence and playing a peach of a through ball for Harry Wilson, who scored Derby’s third.
Reece James run in central midfield has continued, at this rate he’ll end the season with nearly 20 appearances in that position! Against Brentford, James almost scored an outrageous, first-time-volley effort from far out, only to be denied by a thoroughly-stretched Luke Daniels.
James made sure to find the back of the net against Bristol City. He turned past a hapless Jamie Paterson, progressed forward with the ball and unleashed an absolute rocket that goalkeeper Max O’Leary never had any chance of saving.
Jay Dasilva and Tomas Kalas started Bristol City’s last three games, the first two of which were difficult trips to Bramall Lane (Sheffield United) and the Riverside Stadium (Middlesbrough). The Robins did very well to pick up six points from the pair of fixtures, with Dasilva excellent in either game and assisting the winning goal against Middlesbrough via a pin-point corner delivery for Adam Webster.
Meanwhile, Kasey Palmer had 48 minutes across two substitute appearances in the same duration but made the most of his minutes, first assisting Andi Weimann’s equalising goal against Sheffield United and then scoring against Bristol City eight minutes after his introduction.
After a previous three scoreless appearances, Tammy Abraham added his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season against Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday respectively, from a cumulative xG of 1.47 and 5 shots, 3 of which found the target.
His goal against Blackburn was a simple tap-in following John McGinn’s superb pass to release Anwar El Ghazi. A header from Tyrone Mings sealed a 2-1 win for Villa in that one.
An early combination between George Boyd and Gary Hooper put Sheffield Wednesday up early on but Villa scored a remarkable two goals in injury time to clinch a 3-1 win. Albert Adomah put them in the lead after capitalising on a parry from Keiren Westwood and soon after, Abraham rubbed salt in the Owls’ wounds with a superb effort; Ahmed El Mohamady’s through-ball seemed to have been intercepted by Liam Palmer but Tammy showed great strength to wrestle the full-back off the ball, regain possession, swivel and shoot past a combination of Westwood and Tom Lees.
Trevoh Chalobah played 90 minutes in Ipswich’s 0-2 loss to Hull City and was brought on with 15 minutes to spare against Bolton, where the Tractor Boys won their first match since January.
Todd Kane had a couple of solid outings, starting in wins over Ipswich and Reading.
Michael Hector started for Sheffield Wednesday as usual, and had a hand in their goal against Aston Villa, pinging the ball up to George Boyd, who squared it for Gary Hooper to finish.
Matt Miazga and Lewis Baker started for Reading against Hull and Preston. The latter was a 2-1 win but versus Hull, the Royals failed to take advantage of a powerful, long-distance effort from Baker which gave them the lead and ended up as 3-1 losers. Baker had his best Reading match passing-wise against Hull, completing 95% of his 56 passes, of which 8 were long passes. He also completed more dribbles, won more duels and recovered the ball more than in his previous appearances whilst also keeping losses of possession to the opposition half.
Izzy Brown picked up a minor knock and despite recovering from it, failed to make the squad for Leeds’ last match.
Dujon Sterling started for Coventry City, who drew 2-2 against one of the best League One teams in Barnsley, before holding Bristol Rovers to a goalless stalemate.
Bradley Collins made five saves, the most he’s made since February, helping Burton Albion to a 3-1 win against Barnsley.
Jacob Maddox had a couple of substitute appearances for Cheltenham Town, who beat Crewe 1-3 and drew 1-1 against Exeter.
Nathan Baxter started for Yeovil, but there was nothing he could do about the one goal conceded in their 1-1 draw against Swindon Town. Josh Grant, meanwhile, started at right-back in the previous game, which was a 1-3 loss to Newport County.
Jack Wakely started for Basingstoke Town, who drew 3-3 to Tiverton Town.
Ethan Wady kept consecutive clean sheets for Tooting and Mitcham United FC; they defeated Molesey 2-0 and Uxbridge, 0-1.
Baba Rahman started both games for Reims, a 1-1 draw against Strasbourg and a 4-0 loss to Lille.
Victorien Angban put in a combative midfield shift for Metz, who beat Lorient 2-1.
Alvaro Morata scored his fourth Atletico Madrid goal with a strike from inside the area against Alaves. He then started against Girona, but had to be content with a place on the bench versus Barcelona, where he was introduced 13 minutes into the second half.
Kenneth Omeruo, presumably injured, hasn’t been involved for Leganes since the international break.
Josimar Quintero was a second half substitute for Lleida Esportiu against Ejea.
Christian Pulisic has been kept out of action for Borussia Dortmund by a thigh injury.
Lucas Piazon played 21 minutes in Sassuolo’s 4-1 thrashing of Chievo Verona. Here’s a fun fact - former Blue, Jeremie Boga, completed 9 dribbles in the same match.
Mario Pasalic started twice for Atalanta, against Inter Milan and Parma. He also played the latter half of their 4-1 win against Bologna. Pasalic added his third goal of the season with a well-taken finish inside the area against Parma and scoring the first of three goals.
Tiemoue Bakayoko played a full 270 minutes in AC Milan’s last three games and picked up an assist; Krzystof Piatek’s opener against Juventus came after Bakayoko won the ball from a lax Rodrigo Bentancur just in front of the penalty area.
Ola Aina has been out injured.
Jake Clarke-Salter played every minute as Vitesse went from one scoring draw to another, they drew 3-3 against both ADO Den Haag and PSV Eindhoven, and 2-2 against AZ Alkmaar. Eduardo started against ADO but was then left out of the XI with Remko Pasveer taking his place. Vitesse have fallen to 7th place but a top-5 finish is still within their sights, as they’re only three points behind 5th-placed Utrecht.
Fankaty Dabo wasn’t involved as Sparta Rotterdam thrashed Jong Utrecht 1-5 but he returned to the XI in their following two fixtures, which resulted in wins over MVV Maastricht and FC Den Bosch.
Danilo Pantic played 86 minutes as Partizan Beograd lost 3-2 to Vojvodina.
Despite getting taken off at half-time against Union St.-Gilloise, Kylian Hazard went on to start Cercle Brugge’s next two matches, a 3-3 draw against Zulte Waregem and a 2-3 win against Cercle Brugge.
Nathan made one, 68th-minute substitute appearance for Atletico Mineiro.
Victor Moses played 57 minutes in Fenerbahce’s 1-1 draw against Ankaragucu.
Jared Thompson started Warrenpoint’s cup tie against Ballinamallard United which was goalless in regular time but saw Thompson’s opponents prevail after penalties.