Best of the Weekend
Sky Sports casts an eye over the weekend's Premier League action and picks out some of the key highlights.
Last Updated: 09/02/14 6:08pm
Player of the Weekend
Jose Mourinho has been insisting all week that Chelsea are not title favourites, but with the ever-impressive Hazard in their ranks, they will be hard to dislodge in the closing stages of the season. The Belgian playmaker is thriving under Mourinho's tutelage and has scored 14 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions this season. He hogged Sunday's headlines after his sublime hat-trick saw off Newcastle 3-0 at Stamford Bridge, with Frank Lampard letting him take penalty duty so he could stroke home a killer third goal.
Performance of the Weekend
Liverpool were irresistible in Saturday's 5-1 dismantling of Arsenal at Anfield, where the Gunners found themselves 4-0 down after 20 minutes. There was so much to praise - the poise and finishing of two-goal Raheem Sterling, the determination and aerial ability of Martin Skrtel, the quality of the set pieces delivered by Steven Gerrard, the magnificent through-ball provided by Philippe Coutinho for the fourth goal slotted home by Daniel Sturridge, the incredible turn and shot from Luis Suarez that struck the post...it was a performance that will live long in the memory of any Reds fan.
Goal of the Weekend
Hazard was the hat-trick hero for Chelsea as they returned to the top of the table for the first time since September - and the second goal of his treble, in the 34th minute against Newcastle, was the pick of the bunch. Soon after Petr Cech had saved from Moussa Sissoko in a one-on-one situation, Chelsea broke quickly on the counter-attack. David Luiz found Willian, who spread the play wide left to Hazard. The Belgian jinked into the area and executed a classy one-two with Samuel Eto'o before finishing confidently across Tim Krul.
Save of the Weekend
The Tottenham goalkeeper was linked with a summer switch to Barcelona in the Sunday papers and certainly did his prospects no harm with an excellent first-half showing against Everton on Sunday. Leon Osman was frustrated on several occasions in the opening few minutes, none more so than when his left-footed strike on the volley was kept out by Lloris making a full-stretch save. That helped Spurs keep a clean sheet en route to a crucial 1-0 win.
Moment of the Weekend
Just a straightforward substitution you might say, but certainly not what you would expect from a free-scoring Manchester City side in one of the closest Premier League title races in history. Manuel Pellegrini's forwards were struggling to make an impression at Carrow Road (they managed just two shots on target across the 90 minutes) but to see the Chilean happily throw on a defender for a striker with around quarter of an hour still remaining was a surprise to the visiting fans. There was a lack of attacking options on the City bench (Edin Dzeko had already come on for Stevan Jovetic) but perhaps teenage schemer Marcos Lopes might have unlocked Norwich. Two points dropped, but it could have been worse - Anthony Pilkington almost nicked it.
Gaffe of the Weekend
Sunderland were in high spirits heading into Saturday's home game with Hull, having secured back-to-back Premier League wins over Stoke and Newcastle. Gus Poyet will have been hopeful of banking another three points - but those hopes were dashed within four minutes, when a shocking back pass from Phil Bardsley allowed Shane Long to bear down on the Sunderland goal, only to be felled by a terrible sliding foul by Brown. It was a no-brainer for the referee, and neither Poyet nor Brown complained when the red card was brandished.
Turning Point of the Weekend
West Brom are yet to taste victory under new boss Pepe Mel, and were staring down the barrel of defeat at half-time at Selhurst Park, where goals from debutants Tom Ince and Joe Ledley had given Crystal Palace a deserved 2-0 lead. Albion sub Thievy gave the visitors some momentum with a 46th-minute strike but as they were building up a head of steam, Ben Foster was adjudged to have fouled Marouane Chamakh, who dusted himself down to convert the resulting spot-kick and condemn Albion to a defeat that dropped them into the relegation zone.
Manager of the Weekend
After Swansea had stepped up their game in the second half to sweep away south Wales derby rivals Cardiff on Saturday night, Monk revealed how he had taken advice from three former Swans managers - Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and Kenny Jackett - in the build-up to his first assignment in the dug-out. The 34-year-old certainly demonstrated the value of listening (he spent most of the first half at the Liberty in conversation with assistants Alan Curtis and Pep Clotet) but he was also decisive when it mattered. Bringing on Pablo Hernandez in place of Marvin Emnes at the break quickly bore fruit, but there was also a steeliness and determination from Swansea that we have rarely seen of late. Monk must have focused the minds.