Heading into Week 22 of the English Premier League, we were all talking about the mammoth matchup between Chelsea and Manchester United.
After play concluded in nine matches this weekend, we were still chatting about the same match, but one unexpected hero was being discussed as well.
Samuel Eto'o scored a hat trick for the Blues in their 3-1 victory and stole all the headlines, so it is only fitting that the Cameroon international leads off the week in standout stats.
Eto'o Solves Chelsea's Striker Crisis
No longer are we allowed to make jokes about the struggling strikers of Stamford Bridge.
With his hat trick against United, Eto'o doubled his goal total, which now stands at six.
By scoring three goals against the Red Devils, the Chelsea marksman became the fourth player in the EPL to score a hat trick versus Manchester United:
Samuel Eto'o is the 4th Premier League player to score a hat-trick vs Man Utd. The others? David Bentley, Dirk Kuyt and Romelu Lukaku.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 19, 2014
With his goals in the 17th, 45th and 49th minutes, Eto'o became the first player to score a hat trick against a United side that were reigning league champions:
Eto'o also scored the 25th hat trick by an African player in league history:
Manchester City did not slow down one bit on Saturday in their 4-2 home victory over Cardiff.
During the match at the fortress Etihad, the Citizens scored their 100th goal of the season, which made them the fastest side to reach the century mark in EPL history:
34 - Manchester City have hit 100 goals in all comps nine games faster than any other side in a single season in the PL era. Juggernaut.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2014
The win also extended City's unbeaten streak to 17 games, which is their longest since the 1976-77 season:
Man City is now unbeaten in 17 straight games in all competitions, the club's longest streak since 1976-77.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) January 18, 2014
Gerrard Loves to Score Against Villa
In Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at Anfield, Steven Gerrard converted a controversial penalty in the 53rd minute to equalize the match.
The goal was the 12th all-time against Villa for Gerrard, which is four more than he has against any other team:
By slotting the penalty past Villa keeper Brad Guzan, Gerrard kept up his strong conversion rate from the spot:
Steven Gerrard has made 27 of his last 31 club penalties. Good variety on his last 11: pic.twitter.com/BxDOjlDY0J— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) January 18, 2014
Koscielny Shines for the Gunners
It took Arsenal until the 57th minute to break loose from the goalless deadlock they were in with Fulham at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Despite not being able to score until the second half, the Gunners defense played a strong game.
The back four was anchored by Laurent Koscielny, who had a perfect day on the pitch, according to Squawka:
PASS MAP: Laurent Koscielny did not put a foot wrong today. 28/28 (100%) passes, 4/4 (100%), 1/1 (100%) headed duels. pic.twitter.com/p7yrz0Wrzw— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 18, 2014
The Pulis Effect is out in Full Force
When he was the manager of Stoke City, Tony Pulis did not lead his team to many entertaining victories.
Much of the same has happened since Pulis took over at Crystal Palace, who just so happened to defeat Stoke, 1-0, on Saturday.
The clean sheet held by the Eagles was the fourth since Pulis was named manager of the club, a number that is second only to Arsenal during that time span:
4 - Since Tony Pulis took over at Selhurst Park, only Arsenal (6) have kept more Premier League clean sheets than Crystal Palace (4). Tight.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2014
Sherwood's Spurs in Fine Form
Tottenham earned a 3-1 victory over Swansea City on Sunday, a win that saw them moved up into fifth place.
By taking down the Swans, Tim Sherwood's Spurs won their fifth away game in a row while also extending their unbeaten run in the league to six matches:
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