Another interesting weekend of English football before teams enter the arduous Champions League week. Lots of great performances and some surprises as well. We had Liverpool almost losing their winning streak. Everton had Manchester City on the ropes for a while before the Champions eventually broke the stalemate. No one came out victorious in the anticipated Manchester United vs Arsenal match. Leicester won their game 5-0 and has moved to no.3 on the table, hinting at a repeat of their Championship season (provided Liverpool loses a game). Great matches aplenty and they were all thanks to some terrific players putting up their best and here’s a look at the team of the week.
GK: Ederson (Manchester City)
Did he maintain a clean sheet? No. But the fact remains that clean sheets aren’t the only things that determine a goalkeepers excellence. Ederson saved Manchester City so many times with some brilliant reflexes, especially with thwarting those deadly Everton headers from corner kicks.The Brazilian made a total of 6 saves in the game and his inclusion in the squad proved to be crucial.
LB: Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United)
An intense performance from the 29 year old against Bournemouth. WIth the 2-2 game, West Ham is currently 5th in the Premier League. He covered a lot of ground helping with both attack and defence. Cresswell completed 2 tackles and had a passing accuracy of 84%. He also had the final goal of the game, tying up the score and winning that 1 point. Crucial goal from a crucial player.
CB: Virgil Van Dijk ( Liverpool)
Van Dijk’s defending proved to be absolutely essential for the Reds, who won their 7th PL game. He was all over the place, thwarting the attack, especially in the air. His defensive read was on high alert and he was able to keep a clean sheet. Aside from having a staggering 8 clearances and 1 interceptions, VVD managed a gargantuan 11 wins in the air. He proved why he’s one of the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or.
CB: Nathan Ake’ (Bournemouth)
Despite Bournemouth conceding 2 goals, Nathan Ake’ showcased a lot of sharpness. He made 3 clearances and 1 interceptions showing great reflexes and read. He showed some versatility with great offensive play as well. His presence in the air was great and it was the thing that led to Joshua King’s goal as well.
RB: Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City)
A Leicester City player was bound to make the list considering the now 3rd placed club managed a 5-0 thrashing against Newcastle over the weekend. Pereira was strong on both offense and defence completing 1 dribble and 4 tackles. He was strong in the air and his general read and stamina were at the peak level. There’s also the matter of his goal. A brilliant and precise shot from the penalty box and at the end of a fast run over a long distance: one of the best goals of the weekend; no wonder he made the team.
CDM: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
Wilfred Ndid was a sort of orchestrator for Leicester City’s impeccable display of attack against Newcastle this weekend. His read on both attack and defensive fronts were razor sharp. He completed 9 tackles, along with 5 interceptions. He even had a passing accuracy of 90% along with 1 key pass. There was of course his brilliant goal courtesy of a brilliant turn that fooled his mark and the goalkeeper in the process.
CM: Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tanguy Ndombele was in full throttle in Tottenham’s win against Southampton. He showed why Tottenham paid the bug bucks for him and like so many others on the list he was proficient in both attack and defense. He used his dribbling, strength and read to full effect in the match. Ndombele completed 1 key pass and also 1 dribble and 4 tackles. He was strong in the air and set the stage by scoring the inaugural goal of the match with a thumping shot off a pass from Son.
CM: Declan Rice ( West Ham United)
Declan Rice proved yet again why he is one of the most talked about players from teams outside the ones that placed in the top 6 last season. His read was brilliant both in attack and defence and he was quick on his feet and brilliantly reactive. Because of his great performance, he still deserves to be on this team as a holding mid despite being more of a DM. He managed a shot on target and also completed 2 dribbles 6 tackles. He kept a passing accuracy of 93% playing the role of the foundation of the team.
LW: Heung Min-Son ( Tottenham Hotspur)
Son has grown more assertive and confident as the games have gone by and he was already great to begin with. He was quick on his feet and his awareness has become even better enabling him to be better when it comes to reflexes. His physicality has improved as well as his sharpness and composure. No wonder that he was so potent in the Tottenham game and despite being pressured inside the penalty box by an onslaught of defenders, he played the ball to Tanguy Ndombele who bulleted the ball into the net. His quickwittedness and composure has made him a pick for this list.
RW: Riyad Mahrez ( Manchester City)
Riyad Mahrez did not play many matches last season despite the hype and this season, he’s proving that there was reason behind all the hype. Riyad Mahrez’s energy was incredible and he seemed to dribble past Everton’s players with relative easy thanks to his buttery smooth lane changes. Couple that with his clever passing and this is far from the last time he’s gonna make the Team of the Week. He completed 2 dribbles with 5 shots on target and gave Manchester City the game-winning lead with his free kick, putting the ball past Jordan Pickford and into the net.
CF: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
The 32- year old that lifted the Premier League with Leicester a few years ago is in sublime goalscoring form. He has scored 5 goals so far. His finishing has been tactile and almost methodical. He seems to have grown into an even sharper attacker than he was before and his positioning was on point as well, which is why he netted a brace in the 5-0 win against Newcastle, including a clinical finish in the first goal from the left. The angle was tight but so was his precision. He seems to be developing further into a sharpshooter of a forward and if this is a sign of further great performances to come, other teams will be shaking in their boots.