Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester Metropolis minimize Liverpool’s lead on the prime of the desk to 2 factors with a 3-1 win over Arsenal, whereas Manchester United’s nice kind below Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued with a 1-0 victory at Leicester.
Chelsea recovered from a midweek hammering at Bournemouth by placing 5 previous bottom club Huddersfield and Wolves cemented their top-seven spot within the desk with a completely deserved 3-1 win at Everton.
Cardiff Metropolis secured a much-needed 2-0 win over Bournemouth, Fulham’s hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a setback with a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace and Burnley scored a stoppage-time equaliser in opposition to Southampton.
However which gamers earned a spot in my crew?
Goalkeeper – Ben Foster (Watford)
What a season Ben Foster is having. The 35-year-old has made my crew of the week on quite a few events and I discover myself compelled to select him but once more after an excellent show in opposition to Brighton.
Jurgen Locadia have to be glad to see the again of him. Had it not been for Foster, the Dutch striker might need had a hat-trick. The very best save of the match was together with his ft. It is heartbreaking that the previous England keeper has made himself unavailable for worldwide obligation – he is in one of the best type of his profession.
Do you know? Because the begin of the 2016-17 season, solely Lukasz Fabianski (346) and Jordan Pickford (326) have made extra saves within the Premier League than Ben Foster (294).
Defenders – Willy Boly (Wolves), Fernandinho (Man Metropolis), Victor Lindelof (Man Utd), Sol Bamba (Cardiff)
Willy Boly: What a crew efficiency by Wolves. I’ve chosen Willy Boly as a result of he epitomised all the things about his crew’s efficiency. The block by Boly from Michael Keane’s shot within the closing minutes of the sport mentioned all of it.
The Frenchman threw himself on the ball to cease what may have offered Everton with a lifeline. My BBC colleague Jermaine Jenas mentioned on Match of the Day ‘he did not know what Everton are anymore’. Properly I do… confused.
Do you know? Willy Boly has made extra blocks than another Wolves participant within the Premier League this season (19).
Fernandinho: So regular service has been resumed. Manchester Metropolis’s win in opposition to Arsenal was about as comfy because it will get, taking into consideration the shock of dropping away to Newcastle – that defeat had raised doubts about Metropolis’s capacity to retain the Premier League title.
Nonetheless, I’ve mentioned it earlier than and I’ll say it once more, Metropolis will win nothing with out Fernandinho of their beginning line-up. The Brazil worldwide began within the again 4 however spent many of the recreation enjoying in entrance of a again three. Metropolis boss Pep Guardiola has to discover a place for this man in his crew, he is too very important to go away out.
Do you know? Manchester Metropolis have gained 19 of the 23 Premier League video games Fernandinho has performed on this season.
Victor Lindelof: There are a selection of gamers on this new Manchester United set-up who I do not recognise anymore.
Eric Bailly was a nervous wreck away in opposition to Brighton earlier within the season and Victor Lindelof wasn’t significantly better – however the pair appeared just like the very good former Italy defenders Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Nesta at their greatest in opposition to a really harmful Leicester crew. Lindelof specifically is enjoying with an authority I have not seen from him earlier than. What’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feeding these boys?!
Do you know? Victor Lindelof has made extra clearances (90) than another Manchester United participant within the Premier League this season.
Sol Bamba: This was an emotionally charged affair in mild of the tragic occasions surrounding the disappearance of Emiliano Sala. Cardiff Metropolis’s response was to placed on a present to carry the spirits of the whole metropolis – and so they did.
Sol Bamba was as impressed as anybody in a blue shirt in opposition to a harmful Bournemouth. Neil Warnock and his boys needs to be very happy with this victory over the Cherries throughout a really tough time for the membership.
Do you know? Solely James Tarkowski (36) and Ben Mee (31) have made extra blocks than Sol Bamba (26) amongst centre-backs within the Premier League this season.
Midfielders – Paul Pogba (Man Utd), Ilkay Gundogan (Man Metropolis), Son Heung-min (Spurs)
Paul Pogba: This wasn’t one of the best efficiency by Manchester United below Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but it surely did sign that they’ll win away from residence – and hold a clear sheet – having not carried out at their greatest. Happily United did have Paul Pogba at his commanding greatest.
The ball for Marcus Rashford to attain the one purpose of the sport was sensational, whereas the remainder of his recreation brought on Leicester all types of issues. I’ve given Pogba untold abuse since his arrival from Juventus however credit score the place credit score is due – for the reason that departure of Jose Mourinho the lad has been immense.
Do you know? Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first recreation in control of Manchester United on 22 December, Paul Pogba has had a hand in additional Premier League objectives than another participant (11 – six objectives, 5 assists).
Ilkay Gundogan: The ball from Ilkay Gundogan that enabled Raheem Sterling to sq. for Sergio Ageuro’s second purpose was simply magnificent. How any participant has the authority to play a ball with such scant disregard for the opposition is simply mesmerising.
It was at that time I knew that Arsenal’s makes an attempt to get something out of the match have been futile. In the meantime, Arsenal’s defence is garbage and profitable the occasional match at residence is not going to enhance issues on the again. Their defence wants some critical surgical procedure.
Do you know? Ilkay Gundogan has already scored as many Premier League objectives this season (4 in 19 video games) as he did in the entire of final season (4 in 30 video games).
Son Heung-min: Thank goodness he is again! South Korea’s exploits within the Asian Cup took a flip for the more severe, throughout which period Spurs went out of the FA Cup. Son Heung-min’s return to the Tottenham line-up was like pouring petrol right into a Ferrari.
With out Son within the facet, Spurs appeared like they have been working out of fuel. Sure, his purpose in opposition to Newcastle was fortuitous and Martin Dubravka ought to dangle his head in disgrace. However Son is a category act and, lacking the injured Harry Kane, Spurs are misplaced with out him.
Learn extra about Spurs and trophies in The Crooks of the Matter beneath.
Do you know? Tottenham’s Son Heung-min has been immediately concerned in 14 objectives in his previous 10 appearances in all competitions for Spurs (9 objectives, 5 assists).
Forwards – Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Gonzalo Higuain (Chelsea), Sergio Aguero (Man Metropolis)
Eden Hazard: Maurizio Sarri insists he needs to see ‘his soccer’. Properly, if Chelsea’s show in opposition to Huddersfield is a sign of what he is speaking about, his crew are heading in the right direction.
Now Chelsea have put in a correct centre-forward in Gonzalo Higuain and allowed Eden Hazard to play his pure recreation (which roughly translated means he can do no matter he needs) the Blues look extra just like the crew we noticed at first of the season.
The difficulty for Sarri is, can he hold Hazard, 28, from transferring to Actual Madrid on the finish of the season? Sadly I believe not.
Do you know? Eden Hazard registered his 200th and 201st purpose involvements in his top-flight league profession (117 objectives, 84 assists), with 130 of these coming at Chelsea.
Gonzalo Higuain: Ultimately, Chelsea have a centre-forward who does not endure from stage fright when in entrance of purpose. Alvaro Morata appeared to panic in that scenario, however Gonzalo Higuain, who has lastly changed the now loaned-out Spaniard, demonstrated in opposition to Huddersfield why he has been rated as some of the achieved finishers on this planet.
His motion for his first purpose was magical. As Huddersfield defender Terence Kongolo was drawn in direction of the ball, Higuain moved away from it in anticipation of N’Golo Kante’s beautiful go. Recreation over.
Do you know? Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuain has scored 38 objectives in 37 league appearances below supervisor Maurizio Sarri.
Sergio Aguero: Bobby Reid and Cardiff followers have each proper to write down in and complain about my excluding of their two-goal hero and match-winner in opposition to Bournemouth from my crew of the week.
In my defence he was in it till Sergio Aguero scored his 10th Premier League hat-trick for Manchester Metropolis and his 219th purpose for the membership.
I do not know if it is any comfort however Reid has been omitted for Metropolis’s all-time document purpose scorer. Sorry Bobby.
Do you know? Solely Alan Shearer (11) has scored extra hat-tricks within the Premier League than Manchester Metropolis’s Sergio Aguero (10).
Now it is your flip
You’ve got seen my picks however who would you go for this week?
Decide your XI from our record and share with your pals.
Decide your XI from our record and share with your pals.
The Crooks of the matter
Successful trophies in soccer has by no means been straightforward. Ask these professionals who’ve gone a complete profession having by no means gained any. So you’ll be able to think about my dismay when Mauricio Pochettino urged that profitable cups, versus league titles, is sweet merely for sprucing one’s ego.
A bit of wealthy, particularly from somebody who has by no means gained one, do not you suppose? It is fairly like providing your buddy considered one of your favorite sweets solely to be informed he does not like them however has by no means tried one.
I’ve by no means gained a league title however I’ve gained three cups. Does it inflate my ego? In fact it does however that wasn’t the aim. The figuring out issue was profitable, which defines a crew and in some circumstances even immortalises them.
I can keep in mind Stoke Metropolis’s League Cup last in opposition to Chelsea in 1972 – and that was 47 years in the past. I can identify you the whole crew. It was, on the time, the best expertise of my life. That was my crew and people gamers my heroes.
What Spurs boss Pochettino fails to know is that profitable trophies isn’t just about gamers or managers however the membership and, most vital of all, the followers. In fact he hasn’t gained one so he would not know any of this however I’ve – and did so with the followers who now chant his identify each week. And its magical.