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In Focus: The Premier League stars who shone brightest on Matchday 13
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Cian Cheesbrough

A Premier League weekend full of drama and entertainment saw 28 goals scored across nine games.

Southampton earned an impressive draw with leaders Arsenal, while there were big wins for Everton, Aston Villa and Leicester as Fulham claimed another victory to pile the pressure on Leeds.

It was certainly a weekend for redemption, with a host of previously criticised stars making the difference for their teams.

We pick out the stars who shone the brightest on Matchday 13 so far.

Alex Iwobi (Everton)

Everton were reborn as they ended a three-game winless streak by beating Crystal Palace 3-0.

In one of their best attacking displays under Frank Lampard, it was Alex Iwobi who stood out most out of a long list of candidates.

The Nigerian had a hand in all three goals at Goodison Park, teeing up Dominic Calvert-Lewin for his opener before his through ball set Everton on the attack for Anthony Gordon to tap home the second.

His role in the third was undoubtedly the pick of his involvements with his delightful backheel for Dwight McNeil’s finish a sign of the confidence the former Arsenal man is playing with in his new midfield role.

Alex Iwobi was at his creative best against Crystal Palace
Alex Iwobi was at his creative best against Crystal Palace

Leon Bailey (Aston Villa)

After a turbulent week for Aston Villa due to Steven Gerrard’s sacking, they got Villa Park rocking again with an excellent 4-0 win over Brentford.

A shift to a 4-2-3-1 formation by caretaker boss Aaron Danks allowed their forward players the freedom to enjoy themselves and no one did that more than Leon Bailey.

Switched to a wide left position, the Jamaican fired home in the second minute before teeing up Danny Ings moments later as Villa astonishingly went 3-0 up with barely a quarter of an hour on the clock.

His barnstorming run for Ollie Watkins’ effort after the break was also superb in a team display which reminded everyone of the quality the Villans possess.

Bailey, 25, said post-match: "For us, that shows we're a good team, we know what we're about and that's what we need to win games.

"Hopefully this can be the mentality moving forwards."

Mohamed Elyounoussi (Southampton)

Mohamed Elyounoussi thrived in an unfamiliar right wing-back role against Arsenal
Mohamed Elyounoussi thrived in an unfamiliar right wing-back role against Arsenal

Southampton’s contrast in form to table-topping Arsenal could hardly have been more stark before their clash but Mohamed Elyounoussi’s impact at both ends earned them a precious point.

The Norwegian was moved to a right wing-back role at half-time and showed all the qualities of a top defender with a crucial last-ditch block to prevent Gabriel Jesus from doubling the visitors’ lead.

He later drove forward in more typical style before perfectly timing his pass through to Stuart Armstrong who stroked home the equaliser.

On his unfamiliar role, the 28-year-old said: "I found myself in a strange position today as a wing-back — I’ve never played there before.

"Normally it’s the other way around where I’m being played through. Jesus had a couple meters in front of me but I managed to get a good block in the end.

"I think that is the first time in my career I’ve ever blocked a shot, defensively-wise, but I’m happy to contribute wherever I play."

Danny Ward (Leicester)

Leicester hit struggling Wolves for four to move out of the relegation zone but it was goalkeeper Danny Ward who deserved plenty of praise after the game.

The Foxes have won three of their last five, with improvement at the back a big reason for their turnaround — conceding only once in that period.

Welsh stopper Ward made five saves to keep the home side at bay at Molineux before his side scored with all four of their efforts on target.

The stopper has not been short of critics during a troubled start to the season but earning his fourth clean sheet in five games goes some way to silencing those doubts.

Danny Ward's goalkeeping heroics gave Leicester the platform to hit Wolves for four
Danny Ward's goalkeeping heroics gave Leicester the platform to hit Wolves for four

Willian (Fulham)

Not many predicted promoted side Fulham to be sitting seventh after 12 games of the season, nor would most have envisaged 34-year-old Willian playing a starring role in them doing so.

The Brazilian’s time in England looked up when he left Arsenal in 2021 but boss Marco Silva is reaping the rewards after taking a punt on him this summer.

He was in top form at Elland Road on Sunday, with his goal capping off a fine away performance by the West Londoners as they piled the pressure on Leeds boss Jesse Marsch.

While Aleksandr Mitrovic has grabbed plenty of the headlines this term, the likes of Willian are proving Silva’s outfit are far from a one-man team.


Premier LeagueEvertonAston VillaSouthamptonLeicester CityFulhamAlex IwobiLeon BaileyMohamed ElyounoussiDanny WardWillian
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