Premier League Top 5: Midfield Influence

Yaya Toure of Manchester City celebrates one of his goals.

Yaya Toure of Manchester City celebrates one of his goals.

The middle of the pitch is where the action is, and Soccer365′s Charles Brody counts down the most crucial midfield showings this week…

#5 – Adam Johnson has officially settled in at Sunderland after making the scoresheet for the second match running. Again single-handedly earning points for his side, he brought Sunderland back from 2-0 down against Southampton, providing an assist and powering in an equalizer late on.

#4 – Yohan Cabaye’s double for Newcastle at West Ham is well worth mentioning, as he could be a vital player for both club and country in the coming months. The Frenchman looked totally confident as he controlled the ball in close quarters and calmly side-footed into the corner, and produced another brilliant dead-ball moment by curling a free-kick in past Adrian.

#3 – Mourinho showed Moyes what he’s missing in midfield. Eto’o stole the headlines with his poacher’s hat-trick, but the contrast between the performances in the middle was staggering. Chelsea’s David Luiz and Oscar were tireless workers, creative, and effective. Michael Carrick and Phil Jones, on the other hand, were both at fault for the opener after just 17 minutes. And at Stamford Bridge that is game, set, and match.

#2 – Santi Cazorla may have played in the shadows of Ozil and Ramsey for much of Arsenal’s season, but he shone brightest of all on Saturday with a virtuoso brace to give Arsenal the victory over Fulham. The first came from a beautiful tiki-taka move involving Giroud and Wilshere which Cazorla started himself and finished off emphatically. The second was a simple but deft touch and an unerring strike. Mind-boggling to think of the genius Arsene Wenger has in the locker room.

#1 – Yaya Toure is the most versatile midfielder in the Premier League, and showed it again in Manchester City’s win over Cardiff. Not only did the Ivorian set up goals by Aguero and Navas, but started and finished a beastly scoring move of his own. He won possession with a commanding challenge, ran half the length of the field, and still had the energy to play a slick one-two and produce a chillingly clinical finish. Practically guaranteed a place in this season’s best eleven.

Brody Predicts:
Manchester United 2 – 1 Cardiff, a vital win for Moyes.
Southampton 1 – 1 Arsenal, who are held by a similar style of football.
Liverpool 3 – 1 Everton, a spirited Merseyside derby hijacked by Suarez.
Tottenham 1 – 2 Manchester City, Aguero on target in a narrow away win.
How I did last time: 3 for 4. Did not anticipate Villa’s fight back at Liverpool

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