Manchester Metropolis closed the hole on the prime of the desk to 4 factors with a 2-1 win over leaders Liverpool in one of many video games of the season.
Bournemouth and Watford performed out an exhilarating Three-Three draw, whereas Marko Arnautovic scored twice in two minutes to salvage a 2-2 draw in opposition to Brighton.
However which gamers earned a spot in my staff of the week?
Goalkeeper – Angus Gunn (Southampton)
Your soccer staff have conceded 24 objectives within the final 10 video games and the supervisor decides to place you in aim away at Chelsea in your league debut?
It takes a courageous supervisor to make such a choice, however a goalkeeper with huge guts and dedication to return via the match with a clear sheet.
Angus Gunn’s decision-making was spot on and his save from Eden Hazard within the first half set him up for the rest of the match. A shameful dive by Marcos Alonso in the direction of the top of this match by the way in which.
Do you know? At 22 years 345 days outdated, Gunn grew to become the youngest Southampton goalkeeper to maintain a clear sheet within the Premier League since Paulo Gazzaniga in opposition to Cardiff Metropolis in December 2013 (21y 358d).
Defenders – Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones (each Man Utd), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
Antonio Valencia: How good is it to see Antonio Valencia again in a Manchester United aspect? Right here is one other participant I’ve little doubt is delighted to see the again of Jose Mourinho. The Ecuador worldwide performed the sport in opposition to Newcastle United as if he had by no means been away. United are taking part in like a staff that may win issues once more. If I have been Chelsea or Arsenal I might be very involved. Fourth spot now seems like a three-horse race and proper now my cash is on United.
Do you know? Valencia was making his first begin within the Premier League since September.
Phil Jones: This can be a participant who has discovered himself struggling to get into the Manchester United staff previous to the departure of Mourinho. Nonetheless, if Phil Jones retains making restoration tackles just like the one he made on Salomon Rondon within the early phases of the sport with Newcastle then, barring harm, the England worldwide might discover himself a everlasting fixture within the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer period. The sort out required a spotlight I’ve not seen in Jones for a while.
Do you know? Manchester United saved a Premier League clear sheet for the primary time this season with Jones within the beginning line-up, on the sixth try.
Andrew Robertson: It isn’t typically defenders on the dropping aspect make my staff of the week however often an exception has to made. Andrew Robertson is the exception and that’s as a result of he’s an distinctive participant. He will get higher with each recreation. He dealt with Raheem Sterling masterfully and nonetheless had the time and composure to ship essentially the most beautiful ball for Roberto Firmino to go residence and all in a white-hot ambiance. Make no mistake, this child is excellent.
Do you know? The Liverpool left-back made extra tackles and gained possession extra instances than any of his team-mates in opposition to Man Metropolis.
Midfielders – Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho (each Man Metropolis), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
Bernardo Silva: I do not suppose I’ve seen two gamers work more durable in midfield similtaneously Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho. They have been like perpetual movement, continuously fetching and carrying for his or her team-mates so as to do most injury to their opponent. It was an impressive recreation of soccer between Metropolis and Liverpool performed on the highest stage. I by no means actually thought Silva had this need in him. Boy was I incorrect.
Do you know? Bernardo Silva coated 13.7 kilometres (eight.5 miles) in opposition to Liverpool, essentially the most by any participant in a Premier League recreation this season.
Fernandinho: I stated final week on this column that Manchester Metropolis can’t win the title with out Fernandinho of their staff. If ever there was a efficiency that highlighted that assertion then his contribution in opposition to Liverpool have to be it. The Brazil worldwide was wonderful and he is likely one of the most selfless gamers I’ve ever seen. It is the stuff that makes gamers nice. Roy Keane had it, N’Golo Kante definitely has it and Fernandinho has it with out query.
Do you know? The Manchester Metropolis midfielder accomplished 34 passes within the opposition half, greater than every other participant on the pitch.
Luka Milivojevic: If a staff ever will get a penalty then you definately need Luka Milivojevic to take it. The Crystal Palace captain has been their ‘Deadeye Dick’ in relation to taking spot kicks. His penalty conversion in opposition to Wolves, who appear to expire of fuel after their spectacular win in opposition to Spurs, was emphatic. I see Roy Hodgson was making an attempt to lure Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke to Selhurst Park on mortgage. I might go for Tammy Abraham at Aston Villa – now there is a participant bursting to make the massive time.
Do you know? Milivojevic has scored 16 league objectives for Crystal Palace for the reason that starting of final season, 4 greater than anybody else.
Christian Eriksen: This was like taking sweet from a child. Thirty minutes into the sport and Cardiff have been on the ground. It was much less of a knockout blow by Spurs and extra like a sequence of blows that did Cardiff in. Christian Eriksen appeared to expire of steam in opposition to Wolves, however someway recovered in time to face the Bluebirds. Spurs have gotten to rid themselves of this Jekyll and Hyde persona. We have to know what staff is popping up each week.
Do you know? Eriksen has scored 19 objectives from outdoors the field within the Premier League – greater than any participant within the competitors since his debut in September 2013.
Forwards – Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane (each Man Metropolis)
Marcus Rashford: What a delight to observe Manchester United today. The shot from Marcus Rashford’s free-kick was too scorching for Martin Dubravka within the Newcastle aim and introduced itself properly to Romelu Lukaku to open his account. The aim Rashford truly scored was taken with the boldness we all know he poses and that Mourinho was about to destroy. Oh, how I’m wanting ahead to this lad creating underneath a caring supervisor.
Do you know? Rashford has been straight concerned in 10 objectives in his final 9 matches in all competitions.
Sergio Aguero: There can solely be a handful of strikers on the planet who might have scored a aim of such magnitude in an environment so intense as that which Sergio Aguero scored in opposition to Liverpool. His first contact was so unbelievable it rendered each Liverpool defender within the penalty space helpless and on the mercy of the Argentine. As for the end, effectively it was deadly and the start of the top for the Merseysiders. The Premier League title continues to be alive, of us.
Do you know? Aguero has had a direct hand in 25 objectives in his final 17 appearances at residence within the Premier League (20 objectives, 5 assists)
Leroy Sane: Simply after I was beginning to get annoyed with Leroy Sane he pops up and scores the winner within the greatest recreation of the season to date. There are occasions with this participant when it appears as if issues usually are not as vital as they need to be. But it surely’s at that second Sane turns into his most harmful. The best way the Germany worldwide took his aim in opposition to Liverpool confirmed huge composure and self-belief. Sane is a expertise all proper.
Do you know? Sane has been straight concerned in 26 objectives (9 objectives and 17 assists) in 25 league video games on the Etihad Stadium for the reason that starting of final season.
Now it is your flip
You’ve got seen my picks this week. However who would you go for?
Choose your XI from our checklist and share with your pals.
Choose your XI from our checklist and share with your pals.
The Crooks of the matter
It is about time this barbaric nonsense stopped. Even I settle for it might’t go on, it’s very incompatible with the trendy recreation.
The quantity of soccer over the festive interval was bordering on the insane. The place has all this ‘wall-to-wall’ soccer come from over the festive interval, anyway?
Thanks goodness the winter break comes into impact subsequent season, and never earlier than time.
Fairly other than the extraordinary calls for positioned on the gamers (horses get higher therapy) the opposite query that must be addressed is: what in regards to the followers?
By the point away supporters have purchased their match ticket, programme, a cool beverage and a scorching canine you possibly can be taking a look at £70 at some golf equipment. Occasions that by 4, in case you embody 22 December as a part of the festive interval, and also you begin to get the image.
Sure, I admit that I’ve argued earlier than that the perfect league on the planet should have its distinctive promoting level, however we should put high quality earlier than amount.
The truth is the gamers don’t need it, followers cannot afford it and tv audiences are beginning to rethink the value of their packages.