In a week which saw Liverpool and Manchester United play out an uninspiring 0-0 draw, Manchester City at their free-flowing best against a helpless Stoke, and Chelsea fall to a previously goalless Crystal Palace, there were plenty of matches for the neutrals to get their teeth into this Premier League weekend.
Having been dubbed the ‘Harry Kane team’ this week, it was inevitable that Kane wouldn’t score for Tottenham at the weekend. Fellow Premier League top scorer Romelu Lukaku was also without a goal this week which means that there is plenty of space for new entries in RealSport’s Premier League Team of the Week.
GK – David de Gea: Manchester United
With Manuel Neuer out, the Spaniard is the best goalkeeper in the world. His reflexes and reactions are extraordinary, and the basic errors which punctuated his early career are now a thing of the past. His save with his feet to deny Joel Matip in the first half gave an indication of his ability. De Gea has kept seven clean sheets so far this season, two more than any other keeper while his five saves this weekend were the most in the Premier League. If United are to go on and win the Premier League, De Gea will be one of the reasons why.
CB – Joe Gomez: Liverpool
Having joined Liverpool as a teenager under Brendan Rodgers, a horror injury saw Gomez almost become a forgotten man at Anfield. However, the former Charlton defender, capable of playing across the back line, has made his way back into the side with a series of impressive performances. Against United, the youngster was the picture of reliability: his three tackles and two interceptions helping a normally-chaotic Liverpool defence keep a clean sheet.
CB – Joel Matip: Liverpool
In the first half, the German centre back was Liverpool’s best defender. Ironically enough, he also proved to be their best attacker too with two shots on goal, one somehow kept out by the feet of David de Gea. At his favoured end of the pitch, Joel Matip recovered the ball an impressive ten times against United. In spite of his prowess at the back, signing a reliable defender to play alongside Matip in January is crucial for the Reds as they seek to finish in the top four.
CB – Phil Jones: Manchester United
Manchester United’s utility man, Phil Jones has been reborn this season, reaping the benefits of Jose Mourinho’s organised and disciplined set-up. The former Blackburn Rovers defender made more clearances (7) and interceptions (4) than any other United player at Anfield on Saturday lunchtime. Jones has worked his way back into the United and England first XI. Performances like this will only help to cement his place in both sides.
RM – Raheem Sterling: Manchester City
What a season Sterling is having. The former Liverpool star is far more intelligent and tactically intuitive than he is often given credit for. Comfortable in a number of different and positions, he is brilliant at going either side of his defender. Not only that, his end product is improving all the time too. Sterling has had a hand in eight goals in his last six Premier League games, scoring one and assisting two against Stoke on Saturday.
CM – Kevin De Bruyne: Manchester City
When was the last time De Bruyne wasn’t included in this list? The Belgian was unplayable on Saturday and is arguably the best playmaker in world football. No one is better than the former Chelsea man at playing the early ball through the lines and both of his sublime assists against Stoke City were undefendable.
CM – Fernandinho: Manchester City
Fernandinho is one of the least talked about players at Manchester City but is fundamental to the way the team play. He fulfils a vital role in Pep Guardiola’s setup, often dropping between the two centre backs to split them and offer an outlet. He is defensively solid and a good passer of the ball who nearly always makes the right decision as shown by his 91% pass accuracy at the weekend.
LM – Martin Olsson: Swansea City
Martin Olsson is an important player for Paul Clement. Often providing width on the left, he is able to get up and down the flank all game with his seemingly boundless energy. He was crucial in helping the Swans to their first home of the season with two interceptions and two clearances.
FWD – Wilfried Zaha: Crystal Palace
This weekend, the Eagles finally managed to score their first points of the season and it is no coincidence that it happened with Zaha’s return to the team from injury. He is Palace’s most important player and is capable of providing the magic to win any game. His skill and speed on the ball caused the Chelsea defence all sorts of problems and he took his goal with brilliant composure, bending it around a helpless Thibaut Courtois in goal.
FWD – Gabriel Jesus: Manchester City
The Brazilian striker is one of the best young players in world football and has been a revelation since his move to the Premier League last January. In 17 Premier League appearances he has netted a remarkable 13 times and is surely well on his way to breaking all sorts of goalscoring records. He is a wonderful finisher, capable of dropping deep to link play or find space in behind the defence.
FWD – Tammy Abraham: Swansea City
Scorer of both of Swansea’s goals in their home clash with Huddersfield, Tammy Abraham is key to Swansea’s survival this season. Nothing less than all three points would have done for the Welsh side and the Chelsea loanee came up with the goods. Despite having the fewest touches of all Swansea starters (22), Abraham’s double won the game for the Swans, highlighting his predatory instincts. His goals will be crucial for Swansea as they seek to avoid the drop.
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