Each week we use the Opta Player Ratings to review the top-performing players from each Premier League matchday. Here we analyse the top five players of the week from Matchday 12.
The Opta Player Ratings are something we introduced this summer. For a quick primer on how they’re calculated, you can check our explainer here.
In short, the Opta Player Ratings take into account over 100 different metrics to provide an accurate measure of performance for every player over a single match, specific period or whole season. Those metrics power six subcomponents for each player – categories like shooting, passing and defending. Then, those subcomponents are combined to calculate a total score (from 20-100) according to a player’s position in the match. These scores also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the top performers from Matchday 12 in the Premier League.
1. John McGinn – 97.2 (ASTON VILLA 3-1 Fulham)
John McGinn is perhaps not the most glamorous name you’ll find in this column this week, but the Scot has been quietly turning in impressive performances for Aston Villa this season.
His goal against Fulham at the weekend – a lovely strike from the edge of the box – was his fifth goal in all competitions this campaign. Combine that with three assists, and McGinn has now been involved in eight goals across 19 appearances in all competitions – his joint-most in a single campaign for Villa since their promotion to the Premier League in 2019.
McGinn caused Fulham all sorts of problems drifting infield from the right-hand side, finding space between the lines to progress Villa forwards. He attempted (9) and completed (7) more dribbles than any other player on the pitch, while only centre-back Pau Torres (232 metres) carried the ball a further distance than McGinn’s 170m.
The midfielder also gives Unai Emery exceptional off-the-ball industry. He won possession back six times (a joint-high for the home side) and competed in 22 total duels. The next highest figure for duels contested on either side was João Palhinha’s 12.
McGinn’s performance helped Villa to their 13th consecutive home win in the league, which is their longest such run in the top-flight since October 1983 (also a run of 13).
2. Dominic Solanke – 96.8 (BOURNEMOUTH 2-0 Newcastle)
Dominic Solanke grabbed both of Bournemouth’s goals as Andoni Iraola’s team pulled off a surprising, yet completely deserved, victory over Newcastle on Saturday.
The Cherries took 19 shots against Newcastle, amassing 2.46 expected goals in the process – their highest in a game this season – while restricting Newcastle to just 0.49 xG.
Solanke took four of those shots, and two of them proved decisive as the Englishman netted just his second brace in the Premier League.
It took his overall tally for the season to six strikes, as many as he registered in 33 appearances last season.
Bournemouth have been heavily reliant on Solanke for his contributions this season; he’s scored 55% of their Premier League goals (6/11), the highest share of any player in the competition.
3. Mohamed Salah – 96.1 (LIVERPOOL 3-0 Brentford)
Mohamed Salah is absurdly consistent. His two strikes against Brentford took him into double figures for the season already (10), a total he’s hit in every single one of his Premier League seasons at Liverpool. He once again leads Jürgen Klopp’s side for goals per 90 (0.86) and expected goals per 90 (0.78), and remains their absolute lynchpin from an attacking output point of view.
Salah has scored in 14 of his last 15 Premier League appearances at Anfield, tallying 17 goals in that run. He’s also become the first player in the club’s history to score in their opening six home matches of a league campaign.
4. Diogo Jota – 95.8 (LIVERPOOL 3-0 Brentford)
Diogo Jota also put in an exemplary display to help Liverpool brush aside Brentford.
His defence-splitting, slide-rule pass set up the opportunity for Kostas Tsimikas to cross for Salah’s second, before Jota capped the day off beautifully with a fizzing shot into the right side of the net.
Jota hasn’t seen a lot of minutes this season, but he’s been excellent when called upon. His four goals are tied for the second most for the Reds, and although he’s yet to register an assist, his chance creation numbers from open play are impressive. Only Salah (2.15) has created opportunities at a more frequent rate than Jota (1.69) on a per-90-minute basis.
5. Lucas Paquetá – 95.6 (WEST HAM 3-2 Nottingham Forest)
West Ham’s Lucas Paquetá rounds off our top five this week.
Paquetá pounced on an errant pass from Forest’s Nicolás Domínguez and fired home from the top of the box in just the third minute of the match. His opening strike came after just 2 minutes and 38 seconds, West Ham’s earliest in a Premier League game since Angelo Ogbonna scored after 1 minute and 49 seconds against Aston Villa in November 2020.
Paquetá was a hive of activity, popping up all across the pitch to get on the ball for the Hammers with only fellow midfielder James Ward-Prowse (91) making more touches than the Brazilian (81).
Paquetá also brings a fierce work rate to West Ham’s midfield, with the mercurial wide man winning possession back for David Moyes’ side 11 times, more than any other player on the pitch.
Top Performers by Game: Matchday 12
Here were the top-performing players across each game in MD 11:
Wolves 2-1 Tottenham: Mario Lemina, 91.8
Arsenal 3-1 Burnley: Leandro Trossard, 93.9
Crystal Palace 2-3 Everton: Jefferson Lerma, 91.7
Manchester United 1-0 Luton Town: Victor Lindelöf, 88.2
Bournemouth 2-0 Newcastle United: Dominic Solanke, 96.8
Aston Villa 3-1 Fulham: John McGinn, 97.2
Brighton 1-1 Sheffield United: Simon Adingra, 84.4
Liverpool 3-0 Brentford: Mohamed Salah, 96.1
West Ham United 3-2 Nottingham Forest: Lucas Paquetá, 95.6
Chelsea 4-4 Manchester City: Rodri, 94.8