Manchester United’s 1-2 victory over fierce rivals Liverpool dominated the weekend and put forward a new equation in the rat-race. Chelsea scraped to a narrow victory, while Manchester City and Arsenal put behind their Champions League exits with convincing wins.
Here we take a look at the consolidated EPL Team of the Gameweek 30 –
(3-4-1-2): Fabianski; Smalling, Williams, Alderweireld; David Silva, Ander Herrera, Fernando, Hazard; Mata; Kane, Giroud.
One of Premier League’s best goalkeepers this season, Łukasz Fabiański was crucial in shutting down an Aston Villa side desperate for points. The Polish International collected some dangerous crosses from Charles N’Zogbia; who also tested from speculative shots from outside the box, also denying the likes of Fabian Delph with some good saves. Managed a clean sheet for his side.
Chris Smalling makes it to our TOTW for the second gameweek running. The 25-year-old has been no short of revelation for Manchester United, and has had a complete change of fortunes since the red card he received in the Manchester derby. Got absorbed by Coutinho for Daniel Sturridge’s consolation, but put in a stellar performance otherwise.
The man who was pivotal behind Fabiański’s clean sheet, Swansea captain Ashley Williams put in a captain’s performance. The Wales centre-half alongside his partner Federico Fernández shut down the dangerous Christian Benteke and the cunning Gabriel Agbonlahor, making a critical interception off the latter.
Nine of Southampton’13 clean sheets have come when Toby Alderweireld has started, just going to show how indispensable the summer arrival from Atlético Madrid has become. The Saints continued for their push for a European place, with a Champions League berth looking increasingly difficult but not impossible. The Belgian kept in-form striker Danny Ings at bay, helping his side to another clean sheets; highest in the division.
Premier League’s ‘Silver Lining’ showed his touch of class against a depleted West Brom side. The Spaniard was his sides’ solitary creative outlet, and always looked dangerous in possession. Capped off the brilliant performance with a goal and a standing ovation from the home side.
Difficult choice between Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick, but going with the former. Gradually looking like the ideal midfielder Manchester United have been lacking and looking for. The former Real Zaragoza man didn’t put in a foot wrong in the all-important game against Liverpool, being always available for the pass, while making some crunching tackles and important interceptions. Justified why United paid a hefty sum for him when he split open the Liverpool defence with a killer ball to set-up Juan Mata’s opener.
Manchester City’s summer recruit Fernando has kept his compatriot and teammate Fernandinho out of the team of late, and his outing against West Brom on Saturday was itself evident why. The former FC Porto man was all over the pitch, demonstrating an all-round performance. Got on the scoresheet luckily when Olsson’s clearance landed kindly to him.
While Loic Remy’s goal somehow took Chelsea over the line, it was Eden Hazard who was the Blues’ real hero. The Belgian scored an eye-catching goal, running at the Tigers defence from Diego Costa’s flick, and unleashed an unstoppable left-footed pile-driver in the vicinity of as many as seven Hull players around him. Helped his side to defend by tracking back. Can see why he is Jose Mourinho’s favorite.
His best game in Manchester United colors, and arguably the best of his career, Juan Mata became Red Devils’ cult hero on Sunday with his superb brace against Liverpool. Was centre of whatever United did on Sunday, and absolutely outsmarted Liverpool’s midfield with his telepathic understanding with Ander Herrera on the right side. Made the most of two peach of assists from Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria with equally exquisite finishes. Finished off the first by slotting past Mignolet with his weaker right form a tight angle, and outrageously scored with a scissors kick after being served by a Di Maria lob.
‘Hurricane’ struck again, this time it was Leicester City who were the victims. Harry Kane celebrated his England call-up with an excellent treble, taking his league tally to 19 goals. The soon-to-be England striker was absolutely unplayable, toying with the Foxes defence, and while his side let in three, Kane at the other end made sure there were no upsets.
Again leading the line with authority, Olivier Giroud’s goals has Arsenal in the right direction. Opened the scoring with the aid of some luck when free kick headed by Danny Welbeck came off the Frenchman’s knee. Completed his brace with a thumping header to double his sides’ lead. The former Montpellier man held up the ball well too, distributing it intelligently.
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Image Courtesy: Mirror, Independent, ThePeoplesPerson, Squawka, Guardian.
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