EPL Hot 11: Van Persie, Ba Put in Three Each, Bale with a Double in Match Day 10
A wealth of goals scored in Match Day 10 in the English Premier League meant ample opportunities to make the highlight reel.
Robin van Persie did so three times for Arsenal, maintaining the top spot in the Hot 11. Demba Ba put in another hat trick as well, his second of the season.
A couple of Spurs sit high on the list with a comfortable 3-1 result.
New to the rankings are three goal scorers with brilliant finishes from outside the box.
Every Wednesday, 11 footballers in the Premier League will make up the EPL Hot 11, a fluctuating power ranking that highlights the top performers over the course of the entire season. Dependent on their match-day performances, players may move up or down the list each week.
Robin van Persie
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There is no other Premier League footballer hotter than Robin van Persie.
The Arsenal front man impressed yet again on Saturday, pouring in a hat trick in the Gunners' magnificent 5-3 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
With his three-goal effort, and seven in the last three league fixtures, the 28-year-old becomes the top scorer in the Premier League.
Van Persie's 36th-minute tap-in, courtesy of an unselfish Gervinho, equalized as the two clubs would trade goals throughout the match. After Chelsea drew level at three goals apiece in the 80th, the Dutchman scored two in the final minutes of the game, taking advantage of a John Terry slip to score easily in the 85th and belting another off the hand of Petr Cech just six minutes later.
An abysmal start to the season has seen the club bounce back into sixth place in the table, even in points with North London rivals Spurs, though the Gunners have played two games more.
Rafael van der Vaart
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Rafael van der Vaart continues to be a rock as a goal scorer for Tottenham, a club that has not lost since late August.
In a 3-1 win over QPR on Sunday, the Dutchman doubled Spurs' lead 33 minutes in after cleverly controlling a deflected shot from Ledley King. Van der Vaart would outsmart the keeper, putting his shot at the near post with his left foot instead of curling it around the net-minder.
For the 28-year-old, that makes six goals in five matches and at least a goal or an assist in seven straight games, all Tottenham wins except for the 5-1 defeat against Manchester City.
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With the help of Demba Ba's second hat trick this season, Newcastle remain just one of two unbeaten teams in the Premier League this season, creeping up to third in the table with 22 points, three points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea.
Ba would score first in the 12th minute, heading a Gabriel Obertan cross from the right side of the box.
The 26-year-old scored again 28 minutes later, poking in a pass from Leon Best from less than six meters in.
Stoke City's Jonathan Walters would make it a 2-1 deficit after Ba committed a foul in the Newcastle area, but he would have his hat trick on a penalty himself just six minutes after.
For Ba, that makes eight goals on the season, all within the last five league matches.
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The ever-promising Gareth Bale recorded his second and third goals for Spurs this season, doing so in special fashion.
The Welshman opened the game in the 20th minute, taking an Aaron Lennon lead pass before burying a left-footed shot past the keeper.
After QPR cut the lead to 2-1 in the 62nd, less than 10 minutes after, Bale paired up with Lennon again, this time at the top of the box and the left-footed playmaker curled a dazzling shot into the net.
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Steve Morison may very well have put in the goal of the weekend in Norwich's 3-3 draw with Blackburn.
From just outside the box in the 53rd minute, Morison slowly controlled a deflection before volleying his attempt off the underside of the crossbar, drawing the Canaries level after Junior Hoilett grabbed the lead with an astonishing goal himself.
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Since Juan Mata joined the ranks at Stamford Bridge, the young Spaniard has become a critical component in the offensive engine for Chelsea.
Counting his goal and assist in the Blues' stunning 5-3 loss to Arsenal, Mata has recorded a goal and four assists in his last five Premier League appearances.
The 23-year-old got Chelsea going in the 14th minute with a left-footed cross that found Frank Lampard in the middle of the box.
Down 2-3 in the 80th, Mata received the ball some 30 meters out. Two controlling touches later and the midfielder launched a spectacular strike that dipped around the keeper.
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The promising David "Junior" Hoilett demonstrated why he is so, with a brilliant right-footed effort from just outside the box just moments before the first half ended.
Hoilett dribbled across the face of the box from the left hand side before unleashing a splendid attempt that was well out of the reach of the keeper.
It was the 21-year-old's second goal of the season, but he may just have one of the best individual effort so far in the 2011 campaign.
With an exquisite goal that could match Hoilett's effort, Stiliyan Petrov launched his left-footed rocket that beat the Sunderland keeper in his top-right corner.
Leading up from a somewhat broken fast break in the 20th minute, Alan Hutton left a ball off for Petrov who only needed two touches before his blast from just outside the box. It simply was unstoppable and could not have been placed better.
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It may not have been the most impressive or cunning score of his 2011 campaign, but Edin Dzeko continues to net goals for Manchester City, which continued its unbeaten streak with a 3-1 handling of Wolverhampton.
Wolves' keeper Wayne Hennessey had been a brick wall for the club throughout the first half, but a lackadaisical clearance put a deflection off of Sergio Aguero and bounced right to Dzeko in front of an open net.
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For the second straight game, Stephane Sessegnon was responsible for securing points for Sunderland late in the match.
Last week, Sessegnon opened the scoring in the 82nd minute against Bolton, and the Black Cats would eventually go on to win 2-0. This weekend, with Sunderland facing a 2-1 deficit after allowing an 85th minute goal, Sessegnon would prove to be the late-game savior again.
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Much like Sessegnon for Sunderland, Grant Holt has provided the equalizing goal for Norwich in consecutive games for what would become two draws for the Canaries.
In last week's match against Liverpool, Holt would come into the game as a substitute and net the equalizer within five minutes.
On Saturday, Holt came in once again as a late substitute and drew the game even with another dramatic score, this time in a 90th minute penalty conversion.