Former Manchester City man Adam Johnson scored a sensational winner against his old club to give Sunderland a 1-0 win over the reigning champions on Boxing Day. That followed the same scoreline against Southampton before Christmas, courtesy of a Steven Fletcher goal.
Fletcher is returning to the form which made him such an instant hit at the Stadium of Light at the beginning of the season. Fletcher has eight goals so far this season from 31 efforts at goal, averaging 3.88 shots per goal. Of the strikers to have scored five or more goals this season only Manchester United’s Chicarito Hendandez has done so more efficiently than Fletcher.
John O’Shea has been a key player for Sunderland this season, and is ranked second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for most interceptions made with 138
A more surprising statistic may be that O’Shea’s team mate Danny Rose has made more interceptions than any other midfielder in the league with 89
Gareth Bale was another winger in the headlines after the Boxing Day fixtures after a sensational hat trick helped dispatch Aston Villa 4-0, with Jermain Defoe also on the score sheet
Bale has now had 66 efforts at goal this season with 63.6% on target and averaging 7.33 shots per goal. Bale has also leapt up to second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for most crosses delivered with 67 so far this season. 13 of those came in the game against Villa, the most by a single player in a game this season.
Defoe, meanwhile, has enjoyed a similarly lethal season with 10 goals from 70 efforts at goal with 61.4% on target