Manchester United v Chelsea, Sunday 16:00
– Robin van Persie scored on his return to the Emirates as he spared the newly crowned champions from defeat and earned them a 1-1 draw with Arsenal.
– The rumours continue to circulate about a possible summer move for Wayne Rooney, yet the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index suggests that Rooney has had a solid all-around season, despite Robin van Persie replacing him as Utd’s talisman. Rooney has made 123 attacking contributions this season, as well as a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 3.1 minutes this season, the best rate of any striker in the league to have passed the 50-pass mark.
– Another to have quietly impressed is Patrice Evra, the French international adding yet another fine season to his record. He currently sits third in the United squad for crosses delivered with 42 (behind Valencia and Van Persie). At 31 he is the second oldest full-back in the league to have found himself so high up the pitch so often and broken the 30-cross barrier, behind only Reading’s Nicky Shorey.
– Danny Welbeck has kicked on massively this season, showcasing his value to Sir Alex Ferguson with his ability to be deployed on the flank as well as through the middle. Utd fans will expect to see greater precision in front of goal next term though, with Welbeck currently only possessing a 56.3% shot accuracy rate in front of goal, despite managing to have an attempt on goal on average once every 42.2 minutes he’s been on the pitch.
– Goals from Oscar and Frank Lampard secured a 1-0 victory for Chelsea which boosted their hopes of automatic Champions League qualification come the end of the campaign.
– Chelsea fans will be desperate to see Lampard break the club’s scoring record before the end of the season if he departs in the summer as is currently expected. He is currently agonisingly close thanks to his exceptional accuracy in front of goal this season. He’s managed to get 63.5% of his 63 attempts this season on target, making that an on-target shot on average once every 44.3 minutes he’s played this term. That rate places Lampard 4th in the league amongst midfielders to have had more than 10 efforts on goal, not bad for a man supposedly being deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.
– David Luiz’s understanding of English football continues to grow with every game, the Brazilian’s influence now crucial to his Chelsea side. He’s made more interceptions than any other Blues player this season with 122, as well as averaging at a squad-best rate of a defensive contribution once every 13.1 minutes according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Despite his flying start to the season, Eden Hazard has hit the headlines less as the season has progressed and the physical demands of English football have taken their toll. However his own influence on the game has not diminished, Hazard currently sitting second only to Juan Mata as Chelsea’s main creative force. He’s made an attacking contribution (dribbles, crosses, shot on target or assist) on average once every 16.5 minutes, as well as joining an elite group of players to have made a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 3 minutes or less (current rate of 2.99 minutes).