EPL Hot 11: Van Persie, Helguson, Yakubu, Adebayor with Doubles in Match Day 12
Over three days of fixtures in the Premier League's 12th Match Day, four players recorded doubles.
Arsenal's Robin van Persie continued his scoring tear, QPR's Heidar Helguson put in a magnificent two-goal effort, Blackburn's Yakubu opened and closed his game with a couple of scores and Spurs' Emmanuel Adebayor should have had at least four, but had to settle for a double himself.
Steve Morison and Gareth Bale kept their spots in the EPL Hot 11 this week, as the ranking..
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
Where would Arsenal be without Robin van Persie?
The Gunners' captain continued his scoring form with another double, his fourth of the season, in a tenacious 2-1 win over Norwich City.
After Arsenal gave up a gift of a goal in the 17th, van Persie answered just 10 minutes later.
Theo Walcott's cross from the right-hand side found van Persie in the six-yard box, and a tap-in was all that was needed to bring the Gunners level.
In the 59th minute, the Dutchman scored again on a clever, right-footed chip over the keeper following a lovely through ball from Alex Song.
Van Persie has scored in six of Arsenal's last seven league fixtures, amassing 12 goals in that span.
On the season, the Gunners have scored 25 goals, and their captain has 13 of those.
Queens Park Rangers' Heidar Helguson makes his debut in the EPL Hot 11 this week with his two-goal effort in a 3-2 win over Stoke City.
After the Potters grabbed the lead in the eigth minute, QPR responded in the 22nd minute. Armand Traore lifted a swirling cross from the corner, finding Helguson, who headed home a wonderful goal in transition for the equalizer.
Holding a 2-1 lead, QPR would extend its advantage in the 54th minute when Joey Barton picked out Helguson following a corner. The Icelander would score from inside the six-yard box with a left-footed volley, which would prove to be the deciding goal.
Since Yakubu's move to Everton, it has been some time since the Nigerian has lived up to his expensive price tag.
Now with Blackburn, he is finally making some things happen.
In Rovers' 3-3 draw with Wigan, the 28-year-old striker dealt scoring blows on either end of the clock, picking up a double via second and 97th-minute goals.
For his 100th English League goal, just barely a minute after the start of the game, the Rovers' frontman executed an extremely clever chip shot over the keeper.
Then with time running extremely short, following the referee's point to the spot, Yakubu converted in the seventh minute of extra time to secure a single point for Blackburn.
Emmanuel Adebayor could well have scored four goals or more in Spurs' 2-0 win over Aston Villa, but he will have to live with just a double.
The lanky Togolese striker connected with a well-timed overhead kick from just outside the six-yard box in the 14th minute following a Rafael van der Vaart corner.
After a slew of chances that could have given Adebayor a hat trick, he finally was given a gift of a goal in the 40th minute. Gareth Bale lifted a cross from the left side before the ball settled just in between the goal and the 27-year-old, and the on-loan forward could not miss.
The double breaks Adebayor's six-game scoring drought.
Making his debut in the EPL Hot 11, Everton's Leighton Baines had his part in both of the Toffees' goals in their 2-1 thriller over Wolves Saturday at Goodison Park.
Just seven minutes after Wolves scored on a penalty, Baines' free kick in the 44th minute found Phil Jagielka, who headed the ball into the goal from just outside the six-yard box.
The game would remain even until Everton won a penalty of its own in the 82nd minute, sending the Toffees' fullback to the spot. Baines converted calmly with his left foot, ensuring Everton's second home win of the campaign.
Gareth Bale continues to demonstrate why he is one of the top left-footed playmakers in the Premier League with another dazzling performance in Tottenham's 2-0 win over Aston Villa Monday.
The Welshman got things started on a Rafael van der Vaart corner in the 14th minute. After the Dutchman's cross was headed out of the box, Bale promptly put it back in before Emmanuel Adebayor flipped around a brilliant overhead kick to open the scoring.
Then in the 40th minute, Bale received the ball on the left flank and toyed with the Villa defenders before delivering a curling cross that pinballed right in front of goal before Adebayor poked home his second of the night.
There may not be a more dangerous supporting threat than Bale. Let the transfer rumors heat up.
Three games, three goals for Norwich City's Steve Morison, whose 16th-minute freebie goal gave the Canaries a 1-0 advantage early on. Gunners' defender Per Mertesacker had a chance to clear the ball heading towards his own goal, but a tenacious Morison dispossessed him before finding the net.
Though it probably meant little for Morison, who saw his score amount to nothing just 10 minutes later when Arsenal equalized, the Welshman was the third Norwich player ever to score in three consecutive games.
In a matchup that pitted the only remaining unbeaten clubs in the Premier League, Manchester City got the better of Newcastle United in its 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.
Mario Balotelli opened the scoring in the 42nd minute after Yaya Toure won a penalty after Newcastle's Ryan Taylor handled the ball in the box.
The Italian, with the slightest of hesitations, coolly finished into the right corner.
The goal was Balotelli's first since scoring a double against Manchester United nearly a month ago, but in his last four starts, he has found the net five times.
Though his defensive praise may be lacking, many regard Glen Johnson as one of the top attacking fullbacks in the Premier League.
The England international provided the decisive goal in the Reds' 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a victory that brought Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal all level in the table at 22 points.
Just moments after Dirk Kuyt should have scored, Johnson took a brilliant Charlie Adam switch in the 87th minute towards the box from the right side before coolly and calmly collecting and finishing with his left past an out-of-position Petr Cech and a helpless John Terry.
Defenders do not often make it onto the EPL Hot 11, but then again they do not often play huge roles in the goal-scoring department.
But with Phil Jagielka making his debut in the rankings, that makes two of his kind this week.
In the 44th minute in Everton's 2-1 win over Wolves, Jagielka recorded a critical goal just before halftime to equalize before the break.
From a Leighton Baines free kick from near midfield, Jagielka connected with a pirouetting header from just outside of the six-yard box.
Nevermind that Jagielka's defensive presence has been superb this season, but for an Everton squad that has struggled early in games, to go into the break with a level score was crucial in the win.
Manchester City's Micah Richards is living up to his promising potential as one of England's brightest stars yet.
The City fullback has consistently put in impressive performances, providing no-nonsense-type defense while at the same time giving support to an offense that has become one of the best in Europe.
In the Blues' 3-1 win over Newcastle United Saturday, Richards all but secured the club's three points just minutes after City opened the scoring on Mario Balotelli's penalty kick.
Richards' diagonal run through the box got the attention of Sergio Aguero, who laid a ball that should have been cleared in the box. But the 23-year-old was gifted with a kind deflection that landed right at his feet before poking home a left-footed effort.