LNTUP’s Team Of The Week Of Premier League
Here’s the best 11 after the latest fixtures of Premier League:
Preferred Formation: 3-5-2
Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovic, Bournemouth
The Cherries got a bargain when they signed Asmir Begovic for just £10 million this summer. It was a snip of a fee for one of the more underrated goalkeepers in England’s top flight.
Begovic didn’t get his chance at Chelsea, but he’s making the most of starting every week for Bournemouth. The 30-year-old stopper was outstanding during the 1-0 win over Newcastle.
Acting more like a brick wall, Begovic spoiled several Newcastle attacks at St. James’ Park. The Magpies couldn’t find a way past a ‘keeper who got his positioning, footwork and angles just right.
Begovic has brought a sense of authority and calm to what was a jittery defence last season. Now Bournemouth can rely on a firm last line.
Defender: Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea
Cesar Azpilicueta was the best defender in the Premier League last season. He’s still solid as a rock at the back, but the Spaniard has added a creative string to his bow this term.
The versatile defender lofted the cross for Morata’s winner against United. Creating goals for Chelsea’s center-forward has become a happy habit for Azpilicueta.
Chelsea boast a lot of star power, but the Blues would miss Azpilicueta more than most if he was unavailable for a prolonged period.
Defender: Ben Mee, Burnley
Burnley’s away form has been built on the ability to frustrate opponents. Such frustration is borne out of not being able to break down a resilient and resourceful defense.
The Clarets’ back four was in miserly form again en route to a 1-0 win in Southampton. There were many strong performances, but centre-back Ben Mee stood out.
Mee made several last-ditch blocks to deny the Saints scoring chances. He was also dominant in the air.
The key to his performance was how Mee denied space for Southampton’s chief attacking threats. Striker Manolo Gabbiadini and winger Nathan Redmond couldn’t escape Mee in the box.
Mee’s partnership with James Tarkowski is the main reason the Clarets are punching above their weight.
Defender: Lewis Dunk, Brighton
Brighton are another team earning surprising success on the bedrock of a tough defence. The Seagulls kept a clean sheet on their travels when they left Swansea with a 1-0 win.
It was a result owing a lot to Lewis Dunk and his ability to hold the line together at the back. He was physical, formidable and smart at the heart of Brighton’s back four.
Anticipation and instinct put Dunk into position to block a shot or cut out a through pass on several occasions. Swansea striker Tammy Abraham tried to bully the Brighton defence, but he couldn’t shake free from Dunk.
Midfielder: Eden Hazard, Chelsea
The oft-used commentators phrase “ran the show” applied perfectly to Eden Hazard against United. He spent close to 90 minutes effortlessly rotating from winger to central schemer.
Hazard ghosted between the lines to exploit pockets of space and dictate the flow of the game. The Belgium international’s touches, flicks and passes were precise, stylish and intelligently played.
Working central areas between the midfield and forward lines has become the signature of Hazard’s game on manager Antonio Conte’s watch. He’s gone from mercurial wing wizard to consistent and classy all-round No. 10.
Midfielder: David Silva, Manchester City
It doesn’t matter if Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini or Pep Guardiola are sat in the managerial dugout: David Silva remains the player who makes City tick.
He’s 31, but Silva can still force younger players into chasing shadows. Not many can keep pace with the pocket-edition playmaker’s intuitive movement and neat, one- and two-touch passing.
Silva roaming free was a problem Arsenal couldn’t solve at the Etihad Stadium. The game flowed through Silva, as he linked tidily and artfully with Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho.
It was Silva who assisted City’s third goal, albeit from an offside position, teeing up Gabriel Jesus to take the game away from the Gunners. Silva’s output of decisive passes is already on a par with last season.
The managers and players around him change, but Silva remains City’s king of the assist.
As long as Silva is running midfield, City will continue to be the outright pass-masters of the division.
Midfielder: Fernandinho, Manchester City
Silva makes City tick going forward, but it’s Fernandinho who ensures there is defensive resolve to match. The Brazilian is not only the anchor at the base of midfield, he is also the minder for City’s sometimes fragile back line.
What Fernandinho has done is progress his position. He is equal parts holding player, destroyer and deep-lying playmaker.
— Fernandinho (@fernandinho) November 5, 2017
Midfielder: Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea
It’s not enough to say United didn’t lay a glove on Fabregas at the Bridge. The Red Devils didn’t even wave one in his general direction.
Instead, it was Fabregas who imperiously strolled across the pitch, recycling possession in typically artful fashion. Fabregas was the passing and creative hub of a Chelsea team successfully tweaked tactically by Conte.
Like Hazard, Fabregas had a free role. He spent time alongside N’Golo Kante in the middle, time around Hazard and time drifting on and off the flanks.
United rarely knew where Fabregas was and he took the freedom of anonymity and ran with it. By the end, the 30-year-old had been the inspiration for all of Chelsea’s best moments going forward.
Fabregas in this sort of form knows no equal in the division as a creative midfield maestro. Conte has other options, notably Pedro and Willian, but it’s going to be hard to drop Fabregas.
.@cesc4official is Man of the Match:
6 chances created – joint-most of PL weekend
78 passes – most in match
94 touches – most in match pic.twitter.com/H36w8AT8T7
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 5, 2017
Midfielder: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
Two more goals continued Mohamed Salah’s stellar run since joining Liverpool this summer. The free-scoring Egypt winger has now netted seven times and provided two assists in the league.
Salah’s latest star turn inspired Liverpool to a 4-1 win away to West Ham. His pace and varied movement kept the Hammers stretched beyond breaking point the whole game.
Believe it or not, Salah can still be inconsistent as a finisher, as he’ll usually waste one gilt-edged chance a match. But the true quality of his game is summed up by the perceptive runs which routinely put him in positions to score.
Striker: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
Breaking records and punishing overwhelmed Premier League defences have become routine for Aguero. The Argentinian was at it again when he rolled in a penalty to put City two up against the Gunners.
Converting the spot-kick maintained Aguero’s prolific streak of fashioning goals, one way or the other.
Goals have never been in short supply for Aguero during his City career. But he has also steadily refined his game since manager Pep Guardiola took over last season.
Now Aguero is leading the line more effectively. He can play with his back to goal more often and link with City’s many, many supporting acts up front.
One of the best strikers in Europe is now even better.
Striker: Alvaro Morata, Chelsea
Morata hadn’t been better since returning from injury last week. Yet after struggling mightily against Watford and Roma, the Spaniard was back in the groove against United.
Playing like a traditional target man, Morata tirelessly worked the line for the Blues. He ran United’s defenders ragged and routinely won the aerial duels against Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly.
Morata’s headed knockdowns and quick flicks let Chelsea produce some nifty combinations of passes in the final third. But it wasn’t all about hold-up play for Morata.
His goal was a classic looping header good enough to leave David De Gea, arguably the best goalkeeper in the game, standing still.
— Álvaro Morata (@AlvaroMorata) November 5, 2017