Another set of gripping football matches took place as football fans inched ever so close to the half-way point of the season. Liverpool is still sky high having played one game less than almost everyone else. Meanwhile with Manchester City’s win over Leicester City, Pep Guardiola’s side retains hope of lifting the Trophy yet again. Manchester United’s spark in form was held back severely as a result of a 2-0 loss at the hands of Watford. Naturally another week of fine games brought along with it some fine performances. Without further ado, let’s see which of these performances makes the team of the week.
GK: Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United)
He was one of the central figures in Newcastle’s 1-0 win against a Zaha-and-Benteke-led Crystal Palace. He stood his ground firmly and made some key saves showcasing a great deal of athleticism and stopping power. All in all, he made 4 saves including some crucial parries.
LB: Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City)
Benjamin Mendy proved why there is so much buzz surrounding him despite the fact that he’s played very few matches. He was great in defence and exquisite in offence, making all the difficult moves to push his team forward and his passing and crossing were brilliant. He completed 2 dribbles, won 3 balls in the air, made 4 key passes and helped Riyad Mahrez score the first goal for Manchester City with an assist.
CB: Romain Saiss (Wolves)
Wolves had a dramatic game this week, being 1-0 down and drawing 1-1 for most of the match before eventually gaining the lead and subsequent win. Despite being on the receiving end of a goal, the wolves defenders were strong and Romain Saiss was the one that led the pack. You need someone who is impressive in the air and Romain Saiss was that man with 7 aerial battles one. He was also decent at tackling, winning the ball once.
CB: Fabian Schar ( Newcastle United)
As hinted at earlier, a large reason as to why Newcastle walked away with three points was the goalkeeping and defence and Fabian Schar was one of the people making sure the defence was running as optimally as possible. He was not only somewhat strong in the air, his tackling and sense of aggression was impressive. Schar had 1 aerial win and 4 completed tackle in the game along with 2 clearances and 3 interceptions. Integral performance from the Swiss Centre-Back.
RB: Adrian Mariappa (Watford)
Watford pulled a surprising victory over Manchester United this week in the hopes of slowly escaping from the very bottom of the PL table. Quite a few players shone in the game and one of them was certainly full-back Adrian Marappa. He was strong on both fronts and his passing was accurate. He managed 1 key pass and completed 4 tackles.
CM: Will Hughes (Watford)
Speaking of the players that “shone, Will Hughes was integral to Watford’s victory against Manchester United. His tackling and defence in general proved to be vital. He managed 6 tackles along with 2 clearances keeping Man United’s attack at bay.
CM: N’golo Kante’ (Chelsea)
With Chelsea’s clean sheet victory against city rivals, Tottenham, a few players from the London-based club were bound to make the list. N’golo Kante’ has been one of Chelsea’s most reliable players for a long time and he certainly didn’t disappoint here. His stamina was in peak form as was his adaptability. He was strong on both attack and defence with 3 dribbles and 1 tackle. He even made 1 key pass and 3 interceptions.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
He’s one of, if not the best player in the Premier League for a reason. Even when Manchester City was down, he looked like one of the strongest players on the pitch. He was constantly trying to orchestrate plays and give Manchester City an attacking edge. He had 2 dribbles and 5 tackles in the game with 2 shots on target. KDB also managed a mammoth tally of 7 key passes. He was also responsible for the 3rd Man City goal where he passed the ball the Gabriel Jesus who easily netted the ball. De Bruyne is on top of the assists chart having completed his 10th assist in the league.
LW: Willian (Chelsea)
The Brazillian attacker from Chelsea was simply phenomenal in the recent match making everyone forget that he is in his 30’s. His first goal was incredible with him dashing along the left having received the ball from a corner, after which he let out a thunderous strike that beat Gazzaniga with ease. He even converted a penalty later on being the one of two players who netted a brace this past weekend. He was impressive even outside of the goals with 3 completed dribbles and 5 key passes.
RW: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Riyad Mahrez, especially for the first half, looked unstoppable on the right wing. He was dribbling past rock solid and aggressive Leicester City defenders like they were stationary. He was just that quick and exquisite, pressuring the defence to a chaotic degree. His passing was exceptional as well. He managed 3 completed dribbles and 4 key passes. His passing was at 87% and considering that he plays in a rather vulnerable and guarded position that figure is all the more impressive. He also scored Manchester City’s equaliser and while it was the result of a deflection, his run and lane change from the right was a joy to behold.
ST: Danny Ings (Southampton)
The other player to score a brace this weekend was the former Liverpool man. His sense for scoring goals seems to have improved even further despite his team being in the 17th position. His first goal might’ve been rather easy but his positioning was thorough as was his timing. His second goal was very impressive showcasing how much of a quintessential striker he can be. A result of a fantastic turn followed by an adept finish. He shot the ball 3 times and all 3 were on target throughout the game. He simply is one of the best players in the teams stuck on the bottom half of the table and hopefully he can pull his team out of the relegation woes.