It may seem strange that TV audiences have been treated to some of the year’s most on-fire players over the last two evenings given Manchester City’s miserable form.
Yet those who tuned in to watch Crystal Palace upset the odds in front of the Selhurst Park partisans and QPR’s combustible draw with Aston Villa a day later were rewarded with just that.
They may not have been earning the headlines, but a trio of talents in action across the brace of fixtures have been blazing a trail equal to those of the Premier League’s most-fawned over names since the turn of the year.
Meet the men in question…
The man whose goals fired Palace into the play-offs two seasons ago seemed to be on his way out of the club when shipped out on loan to Reading last September.
However, since recalled by Alan Pardew he has slowly won the new manager’s trust, with the goals flowing to the extent that he now boasts the division’s best per-90-minutes average, at 0.98 strikes per regulation match.
Yet his record from the turn of the year is better by a distance, with three goalless August outings not counted.
From January 1st onwards Murray has found the net once every 49 minutes, leaving even Harry Kane, who has notched an average of once very 73 minutes, in the shade.
Murray’s fellow scorer against the Citizens, the Croydon-born forward’s powers of creativity have gone in to interstellar overdrive since the turn of the year.
At the time of writing, only David Silva (40) and Eden Hazard (39) had played more key passes than the Palace man’s 32.
The former Blackpool forward has been playing like a man possessed since getting his break as a regular starter in the R’s first team under Chris Ramsey.
His manager’s faith has been rewarded with two goals, including a peach against Crystal Palace, but the 24-year-old’s assist count has really got tongues wagging.
Only Lionel Messi across Europe’s top-five leagues has assisted more goals in 2015, with Phillips joint-second alongside Kevin de Bruyne on seven set ups.
He scored once and laid on the other two strikes in QPR’s Villa Park draw.