Manchester Metropolis moved high of the Premier League desk with wins over West Brom and Sheffield United this week, leapfrogging rivals Manchester United.
Liverpool reignited their title hopes with wins at Tottenham and West Ham, whereas Leeds United returned to successful methods with victories over Newcastle and Leicester.
Steve Bruce’s Newcastle did get pleasure from a shock win over Everton, nonetheless, and Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea reign started with a goalless draw in opposition to Wolves earlier than the Blues beat Burnley.
Take a look at my crew after which make your individual choices in the direction of the underside of the article.
Goalkeeper – Karl Darlow (Newcastle)
Karl Darlow: Boy, did Newcastle want this end result. The truth is I am unsure who wanted it extra, the gamers or the supervisor. Steve Bruce has been beneath immense stress these previous few video games however has saved his nerve. The identical is true of his gamers – particularly Karl Darlow, who made a wonderful intervention when it seemed like Yerry Mina was about to move house an exquisite cross from James Rodriguez adopted by a cracking save from Richarlison. This was a much-improved efficiency from their defeat at house in opposition to Leeds and a vital three factors. One hell of a lifeline for Steve Bruce as nicely, I ought to assume.
Do you know? Darlow made three saves in opposition to Everton; solely in opposition to Liverpool in December (4) has he made extra in a league recreation through which he saved a clear sheet this season.
Defenders – Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Ruben Dias (Manchester Metropolis), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Trent Alexander-Arnold: This week noticed Trent Alexander-Arnold again to his finest. He hasn’t been there for some time however in opposition to Spurs he seemed terrific. He wasn’t unhealthy in opposition to West Ham both. I needed to watch for 68 minutes to see Alexander-Arnold’s high quality in opposition to the Hammers however when it got here it was superb. His cross-field move to Xherdan Shaqiri was simply sensational. What then occurred was pure artwork. Shaqiri discovered Salah who produced probably the most fabulous two-touch end you’ll ever see.
Do you know? Because the begin of final season, Alexander-Arnold has been concerned in additional Premier League targets than every other defender within the competitors (21 – 5 targets, 16 assists).
Jordan Henderson: Captain Marvel is again within the aspect, albeit at centre-back, and Liverpool seemed way more snug with him in opposition to Spurs than they did with out him in opposition to Burnley. That Henderson seems so snug at centre-back and the opposition unable to reveal his restricted expertise in that place most likely says extra about the best way the trendy recreation has modified than the strikers he was up in opposition to. I am unable to think about Henderson wanting so snug in opposition to the likes of Andy Carroll or Peter Crouch. In the meantime, you write off Liverpool’s title probabilities off at your peril.
Do you know? In opposition to West Ham, Henderson gained 100% of his duels and gained possession 11 occasions – probably the most of any participant within the match.
Ruben Dias: Joao Cancelo was excellent for Metropolis in opposition to West Brom in midweek, though his purpose ought to have been dominated offside as soon as the flag was raised, one other reminder of simply how ridiculous the sport’s guidelines have develop into. He would have made my crew of the week had he performed in opposition to a cussed Sheffield United. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to select Ruben Dias after two masterful shows in opposition to West Brom and the Blades, who proved to be a way more tough opponent than the Baggies, and who seem to have discovered their innovative once more. Dias has introduced a way of calm authority to the Metropolis defence that has stopped leaking targets for the reason that Portugal worldwide’s arrival.
Do you know? Manchester Metropolis have shipped simply seven targets of their 18 Premier League video games through which Ruben Dias has featured.
Cesar Azpilicueta: Thomas Tuchel’s first recreation in cost in opposition to Wolves after the departure of Frank Lampard was a moderately cautious affair. Not so in opposition to Burnley. The Blues took the handbrake off in opposition to the Clarets, Cesar Azpilicueta specifically. The Chelsea captain performed his half in each fixtures however his purpose in opposition to Burnley was fairly excellent. Azpilicueta’s willpower to cowl the bottom with a purpose to obtain the move from Callum Hudson-Odoi was compelling. It additionally makes you query why Frank Lampard left the full-back out of the aspect for therefore lengthy.
Do you know? Azpilicueta scored his first Premier League purpose in 376 days since netting in opposition to Arsenal in January 2020. Chelsea have but to lose a Premier League recreation through which the Spaniard has scored (gained 5, drawn 4).
Midfielders – Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester Metropolis), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
Jack Grealish: I believed Aston Villa had been very unfortunate to not come away from Turf Moor with not less than a degree. Jack Grealish was excellent on the evening and put the ending touches to a well-worked purpose in opposition to a powerful Burnley, who’re combating for his or her lives. Nevertheless, Villa bought somewhat little bit of luck in opposition to Southampton who themselves would have gotten one thing out of the sport had VAR not interfered in issues when Danny Ings’ injury-time strike was dominated out as a result of his arm was offside. When did anybody ever rating a purpose with their arm from 12 yards out? Grealish was as soon as once more the distinction between the 2 groups however this time he took all of the factors house with him.
Do you know? Grealish has been instantly concerned in 15 league targets (six targets, 9 assists) in a single season for the primary time, eclipsing his tally of final season (14 – eight targets, six assists in 36 appearances) in simply 19 video games.
Ilkay Gundogan: Within the absence of Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan has taken over the mantle of operating the present. Manchester Metropolis are beginning to pile the stress on to title rivals Manchester United and Liverpool. They blew West Brom off the park with two brilliantly taken targets by Gundogan. His first was probably the most beautiful side-foot you’ll ever see and the second the smash-and-grab of the century. Romaine Sawyer was nonetheless gathering his ideas when Gundogan was placing the ball at the back of the online with West Brom 3-0 down at house and solely half-hour gone. Metropolis had been made to battle for each ball in opposition to Sheffield United however it did not cease them from stretching their lead on the high of the desk.
Do you know? Gundogan has scored seven Premier League targets this season – his finest ever scoring marketing campaign within the high 5 European leagues.
Marcos Alonso: It by no means ceases to amaze me that when a brand new supervisor is available in gamers who had been beforehand out of favour abruptly come into focus. Marcos Alonso has hardly featured for Chelsea this season however scored what can solely be described as an Alonso traditional. New supervisor Thomas Tuchel appears to have distributed with any notion of Alonso defending and bought the participant concentrating on utilizing his magical left foot to nice impact. No matter Tuchel’s cause for bringing gamers like Alonso again, it’s going to actually give the English gamers within the membership a actuality examine.
Do you know? Alonso scored his first Premier League purpose since February 2020 in opposition to Burnley.
Forwards – Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Patrick Bamford (Leeds), Callum Wilson (Newcastle)
Mohamed Salah: With Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino lacking for the sport at London Stadium, West Ham will need to have breathed a sigh of aid on condition that pair’s efficiency in opposition to Spurs in midweek. West Ham solely had Mohamed Salah to take care of – however the Egypt worldwide seemed within the temper, and so his targets proved. What I could not perceive is why West Ham had been so reluctant to place centre-back pairing Henderson and rookie Nathaniel Phillips beneath sustained stress. It was as if the Hammers appeared to pay for an excessive amount of respect to Liverpool’s repute and had been unable to make the most of the champions’ makeshift injury-ravaged crew.
Do you know? Mohamed Salah grew to become the primary participant to attain 20+ targets in all competitions in 4 consecutive seasons for Liverpool since Ian Rush did so six occasions operating from 1981-82 to 1986-87.
Patrick Bamford: It is solely the second time Patrick Bamford has made my crew of the week this season. The final time was his wonderful hat-trick in opposition to Aston Villa. Effectively his performances since then haven’t been scintillating however he was fairly spectacular away at Leicester. His purpose and two assists in opposition to the Foxes sealed a wonderful few days for Leeds, having crushed Newcastle earlier within the week. Lots was made from Bamford’s unselfishness in entrance of purpose for Jack Harrison to seal the factors in opposition to Leicester. What nonsense – it was the appropriate, and solely, factor to do.
Do you know? Bamford has been instantly concerned in 15 targets in his 20 Premier League appearances for Leeds United (11 targets, 4 assists) – solely Tony Yeboah (17) has had a hand in additional targets of their first 20 Premier League appearances for the membership.
Callum Wilson: When a striker scores two targets and his crew win away from house there’s not a lot to complain about. Nevertheless, I’ll guess a pound to a penny Callum Wilson shall be livid with himself that he didn’t full his hat-trick. Newcastle paralysed Everton and seemed like a aspect within the high half of the desk as a substitute of 1 hovering above the relegation zone. This victory would have been spectacular with out the added stress on supervisor Steve Bruce however contemplating what one other defeat for the Magpies may need meant this was one hell of a end result.
Do you know? Wilson has been concerned in 67% of Newcastle’s 21 Premier League targets this season, scoring 10 and helping 4.
The Crooks of the Matter
It could seem race hate on some social media platforms is now uncontrolled. As soon as once more, various Premier League gamers had been on the receiving finish of on-line racial abuse final week – and elevating questions on what the social media giants are going to do about it.
Manchester United gamers Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial had been racially abused on social media after Wednesday’s house defeat by Sheffield United, whereas West Brom say their midfielder Romaine Sawyers acquired an abhorrent message after their defeat in opposition to Manchester Metropolis. Extra lately it was Marcus Rashford who needed to endure by the hands of some moron who thinks they’ll get away with publishing such vile feedback. That is as a result of they’ll.
I watched, jaw dropping in disbelief, Twitter’s newest try to reassure black gamers when their spokesperson stated they might “proceed to play their half in curbing this unacceptable behaviour”. In the meantime Fb, who personal Instagram, stated they “had been dedicated to eradicating it”. Effectively, I am certain black gamers shall be on their knees with gratitude!
Is that basically the perfect these billion-dollar corporations can do? These racists who persist in peddling their hate on social media platforms ought to be mercilessly pursued by these corporations, reported to the authorities and, the place essential, imprisonment enforced for such appalling harassment Till these corporations are ready to make use of a few of their huge monetary useful resource to carry such motion about, sadly probably the most disagreeable factor of society will proceed to point out its ugly face.
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