#6 Too Good: Anthony Nwakaeme
Trabzonspor played out to a 2-2 draw against fellow continental hopefuls Besiktas in what was a highly entertaining affair at Vodafone Park. The draw took both sides into the top four, and they’ll hope to stay there till the end of the season. Having failed to score since his brace against Galatasaray in September, Nwakaeme came up trumps for the visitors by ending his prolonged drought to send them into a 2-1 lead just after half-time. An own goal by the unfortunate Ogenyi Onazi saw them pegged back minutes later, but it wouldn’t have dampened the forward’s joy to break his extended duck.
#5 Too Bad: Leon Balogun
A valiant second-half performance from Brighton & Hove Albion wasn’t enough to see them peg Chelsea back in an eventual 2-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium. The Albion’s atrocious opening half culminated in Balogun’s huge error, which inadvertently helped the Blues extend their lead after half an hour. The centre-back’s mistake in the away side’s second proved to be the match-winner for the West Londoners, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Seagull recovers from his gaffe going forward.
#4 Too Good: Kenneth Omeruo
Leganes’ goalless draw at Celta Vigo on Friday night saw them extend their unbeaten run to six, and the centre-back played a part in yet another clean sheet for his side. Irrespective of the fact Celta had triple the amount of shots the Cucumber Growers did, with no less than eight efforts from inside the box, Omeruo and co. restricted the home side to only two efforts on target. There were several last-ditch tackles and unexpected blocks to protect Ivan Cueller in goal. Omeruo was also fairly successful in his duels, cleared the ball out of harm’s way several times, and made a couple of interceptions to show his impressive reading of the game on the day.
#3 Too Bad: Alex Iwobi
After over three months and 22 games, Arsenal’s unbeaten run came to a halt in a disappointing 3-2 defeat against Southampton at St. Mary’s Stadium. Having been off the pace for several gameweeks, Unai Emery kept faith in the attacking midfielder against the Saints, but he failed to justify his inclusion in the side. While it was a slight improvement on recent performances, Iwobi still lacked the x-factor required to have a significant contribution on proceedings. The 22-year old was rightly withdrawn by Emery no sooner than the clock hit 70, and he certainly wouldn’t have begrudged Emery’s decision.
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#2 Too Good: Paul Onuachu
Second-placed FC Midtjylland, who sit three points behind FC Kobenhavn, held their nerve in the title race with a professional performance to see off the threat of Horsens with a 3-1 success. Having played in Rilwan Hassan for the Wolves’ opening goal, Onuachu then sealed the defending champions’ win with a late goal in stoppage time to banish in-game jitters in the away end. The towering forward’s strike in the closing stages was his fourth in five league games, taking his tally for the season to 11. The frontman has already surpassed last season’s total by one and will fancy his chances of surpassing his 18-goal tally from two years ago as the Jutland-based club seek to retain the title.
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#1 Too Bad: Ola Aina
Torino couldn’t stop Juventus from continuing their extremely impressive start to the season as they fell 1-0 in the Turin derby. Aina failed to make good on Walter Mazzarri’s decision to retain him in the starting lineup with what was a sub-standard outing by the Chelsea loanee. The wingback’s passes were often excruciatingly inaccurate, while he seemed to be dispossessed with regularity. Equally, he lost a plethora of his individual battles and failed to complete a single dribble in what summed up a miserable outing for the young defender. Mazzarri withdrew him with five minutes remaining, and it was a surprise he left him on the pitch for so long.