The 12th round of the 2022/23 Premier League season was filled with drama again. There were some unexpected victories, come-back wins and emphatic individual performances to cherish. With the World Cup break drawing closer, teams were up for it to better their standings on the league table.
We look at the team of the round of eleven players that made this weekend a memorable one:
Goalkeeper: Illan Meslier (Leeds United)
It was the round for the goalkeepers in the Premier League as their shot prevention became the guard of winning for their teams. This weekend, five goalkeepers stood out from the rest to come to their side’s rescue. Everton’s Jordan Pickford with his six saves against Fulham, Crystal Palace’s Vincent Guiata helping to keep his side’s clean sheet, Robert Sanchez making important saves and incredible passing range to disrupt the opposition backline in 4-1 success over Chelsea while David de Gea stunning saves maintaining Manchester United’s four-game winning streak at Old Trafford this season. But the goalkeeper of the round certainly was Illan Meslier whose outstanding nine saves against Liverpool at Anfield not only secured Leed’s first win after eight Premier League games and first at this ground since 2001 but also ended the 29 games unbeaten run at home for the Reds. A colossal performance from the 22-year-old.
Defenders: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Ben Mee (Brentford), Pervis Estupinan (Brighton), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham)
Kieran Trippier put up another splendid performance for Newcastle and provided an assist for Callum Wilson to score his second of the evening in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa. The right-back created four chances including two big ones linking up superbly with Miguel Almiron on that flank. Ben Mee had quite a game to remember, first by scoring for Brentford in the 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanders and then managing to get inside Diego Costa’s head who was sent off for head-butting him for a classic ‘Diego Costa moment’ in the Premier League.
Chelsea will get nightmares of Pervis Estuipinan exposing their defense from the left with his runs beyond and whipping some teasing deliveries inside the box, one of them leading to Trevoh Chalobah’s own goal for Brighton’s third in the eventual 4-1 victory. He popped almost everywhere on the pitch making himself every time Brighton surged forward on transition. The Ecuadorian created four chances as a result and won all of his ground duels nullifying Chelsea’s attack from their right with Christian Pulisic and later Hakim Ziyech. Early in the game, his blistering shot from a corner was cleared off the line by Chelsea center-back Thiago Silva.
Tottenham’s Ryan Sessegnon also gets into the team with his strike in the 57th minute latching onto a defense-breaking pass from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, inspiring the comeback for his side from 2-0 down against Bournemouth to make it 3-2 at the very end of the match.
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Martin Odegaard (Arsenal), Christian Eriksen (Manchester United)
No Haaland no problem for Manchester City as their marksman from midfield, Kevin De Bruyne took responsibility on his shoulder to gather all three points for his club against a stubborn Leicester City team with a splendid free-kick in the 49th minute of the game. The Belgian also created four chances.
Arsenal returned to winning ways in emphatic style demolishing relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest 5-0 with Martin Odegaard becoming the orchestrator. The Norwegian proved again just how good he is, creating 5 chances and almost adding two goals to his sole strike in the 83rd minute making his fourth of the season. His deadly link-up with Gabriel Jesus gave no chance for Forest’s back four to settle down.
Christian Eriksen magical performances for Manchester United continued as the Red Devils thrived again having the Dane pulling up the strings in midfield and bringing the productivity the team lacks without him in the middle of the park. He delivered a mouth-watering cross for Marcus Rashford to score a bullet header for the 1-0 win against West Ham at Old Trafford running the show by creating three chances and playing three key passes in the game.
Forwards: Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (Newcastle), Kieffer Moore (Bournemouth)
Gabriel Jesus has not found the back of the net for Arsenal in the Premier League since the North London derby against Tottenham at the start of the month. He might not be a lethal goal-scorer but brings so much work rate only few forwards could replicate. Against Nottingham Forest, he was unable to defend as his movement around the box was hard to track with the Brazilian close control of the ball helping Arsenal drive forward. He got two assists as a reward rolling the ball inside the six-yard area for a simple tap-in for Reiss Nelson before taking his markers out of the game to free up Odegaard with his pass to complete the 5-0 routing.
With England manager Gareth Southgate in the stands, Callum Wilson staked a huge claim to be in the squad for the Three Lions in Qatar by netting a brace in the big win against Aston Villa. The first was a coolly taken penalty in the first half and the next was a header from a corner to the near post taking his tally to six goals in 11 Premier League games. The striker also released Miguel Almiron to score the fourth for Newcastle, his second assist this season. A string of phenomenon individual performances sure not to ignore.
Kieffer Moore add himself to the list after almost spearheading Bournemouth to a well-deserved win over Tottenham hotspurs only to be dashed by the opposition’s late comeback. Moore finished off an excellent counter-attacking move in the 22nd minute for the lead and then evaded everyone’s sight to score a towering header off the bar into the net in the second half from a cross by Dominic Solanke. The Welsh forward also played 6 passes into the final third. He made two blocks and completed all of his tackles, helping the defense as well.