After every spherical of Premier League fixtures, ESPN FC brings you its Crew of the Weekend. Our panel of consultants fastidiously selects 11 star performers together with a supervisor.
Do you agree or disagree? You’ll be able to have your say on these picked or missed within the feedback part on the foot of the article or on Twitter utilizing the hashtag #ESPNFCTOTW.
Goalkeeper: Tottenham normally achieve the plaudits for his or her swashbuckling assault, but it surely’s on the again the place reward is due this week, with third selection Paulo Gazzaniga excelling in Sunday’s 1-Zero win over Crystal Palace. Drafted in late on with Hugo Lloris after which Michel Vorm unavailable, Gazzaniga was excellent. A superb save at Zero-Zero denied Scott Dann within the first half, and the Spurs keeper made two additional sensible stops within the second half. An excellent debut for 25-year-old, and straight into our XI. “What a recreation — some wonderful saves to offer Spurs the platform to get the three factors,” Paul Mariner stated. Steve Nicol agrees, edging out Gab Marcotti’s number of Huddersfield keeper Jonas Lossl.
Proper-back: Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta have to be probably the most underrated gamers within the Premier League. The Spain worldwide was pivotal in Chelsea’s 1-Zero win over Manchester United, stern in defence and decisive in assault. His excellent cross led to the one aim of the sport and earned him a spot in our aspect. “As per traditional, he turned in one other nice efficiency in a giant recreation and what a cross for the winner,” Mariner stated, and similar to Gazzaniga, two gang up on one with Nicol making his selection there as nicely.
Centre-back: Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe claimed his aspect’s 1-Zero win at Newcastle may very well be a turning level of their season, and he has Steve Prepare dinner to thank for delivering it. Prepare dinner’s first aim since December 2016, a 90th-minute header previous Rob Elliot, earned a second successive away win. Prepare dinner has additionally turn out to be a very good luck attraction: Bournemouth have received the previous six matches he has scored in. And as soon as once more, it is a full home from our panel. Nicol was impressed by Prepare dinner’s prowess in assault, whereas Mariner added: “A clear sheet and he popped up with a significant aim — job achieved.” Marcotti makes it one other unanimous choice and stated: “He was on the coronary heart of every thing good Bournemouth did in that second half.”
Centre-back: Burnley have conceded a paltry 9 targets this season — a file bettered solely by the 2 Manchester golf equipment and Tottenham. Among the many the explanation why they’re so resolute is defender James Tarkowski. Earmarked as a possible wildcard within the England squad, he did not get Gareth Southgate’s name however can console himself with a spot in our group. Tarkowski was supreme on the again as Burnley eked out a 1-Zero win at Southampton, with Nicol and Mariner impressed with the 24-year-old’s commanding efficiency.
Left-back: It is time to give Alberto Moreno some love. So typically the goal of criticism, typically from his personal followers, the Liverpool left-back is having fun with a brand new lease of life. Moreno was stupendous at West Ham as Liverpool cruised to victory, powering down the left to supply an outlet for his teammates. Mariner went for Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen and Nicol wished Prepare dinner, Tarkowski and Azpilicueta in a again three, however we’ll aspect with Marcotti’s choose right here. “He not often will get a lot love, however on the entrance foot he reveals he might be succesful,” he stated.
Midfield: Manchester Metropolis’s superior assault has scored 52 targets in all competitions up to now this season — partially because of the superb safety they get additional again. Fernandinho has been excellent this time period and was wonderful as soon as once more as Pep Guardiola’s males ran out Three-1 winners in opposition to Arsenal. Nicol hailed the Brazilian’s physicality within the center as Metropolis racked up a ninth successive Premier League win and Mariner stated: “He displayed sensible passing and supplied nice safety in entrance of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi. Claimed an help and performed an excellent ball to launch Raheem Sterling who drew the foul for the penalty that made it 2-Zero.” Nicol picked him too and so did Marcotti, who stated: “He was in all places directly, disrupting Arsenal and having the keys to the assault. Let’s cease calling him underrated.”
Midfield: Loads of choices right here and never a lot settlement, with Nicol wanting N’Golo Kante and Marcotti going for Leicester’s Vicente Iborra. However we’re siding with Mariner, who chosen Cesc Fabregas. “Composure, guile and work fee — he ran the present,” Mariner stated and that is a reasonably truthful evaluation of the Spaniard’s efficiency. Fabregas was on the coronary heart of every thing within the center as United misplaced the midfield battle.
Ahead: It was like he had by no means been away. Sadio Mane was at his blistering greatest in Liverpool’s Four-1 demolition job on West Ham, creating two targets because the Reds’ attacking machine clicked into gear the the London Stadium. Led by Mane, there have been simply 13 seconds between West Ham’s nook and Liverpool’s opener; Mane motoring away earlier than laying the ball off for Mohamed Salah to slide dwelling.
Ahead: The mercurial Kevin De Bruyne has a compelling case to be thought to be one of the best participant within the Premier League proper now, and the Manchester Metropolis slicker confirmed why on Sunday, slamming in a luxurious opener as Metropolis noticed off Arsenal. De Bruyne is the artistic hub of Pep Guardiola’s group, and when he performs nicely, Metropolis are unstoppable. His nonchalant brilliance totally deserved his eight/10 score and Mariner stated: “He ran the present. One other masterclass.”
Ahead: The signing of the season up to now? Fairly presumably. Signed for what appears a cut price £35 million final summer season, Mohamed Salah now has 12 targets in all competitions for Liverpool — simply two fewer than final season’s prime scorer, Philippe Coutinho. Salah is loving life within the Premier League after an abrupt finish to his first crack at it throughout his quick spell at Chelsea, and a high-quality double in opposition to hapless West Ham secured his place in our group. “What a signing,” purrs Mariner. “His pace with the ball is scary.” Nicol agrees, and Marcotti added: “It is nearly too simple for him to punish sides on the break. Now he is acquired composure in his locker, too — he is devastating.”
Striker: Within the battle of the 2 massive summer season signings, there was just one winner. Alvaro Morata made the distinction, assembly Azpilicueta’s cross to energy a shocking header previous David De Gea. He was the Chelsea match winner whereas Romelu Lukaku toiled for Jose Mourinho’s males. “The distinction,” says Nicol and Mariner added: “The large recreation, the large stage and he delivered. A basic header received the match.” It ended Morata’s six-game aim drought and lifted Chelsea to 1 level behind Sunday’s overwhelmed opponents. Marcotti stated: “He battled in opposition to United’s three centre-backs, typically on his personal, and was rewarded with the winner, a stunning header.”
Supervisor: A nod to Sean Dyche, whose status is at its highest after masterminding Burnley’s rise to seventh within the desk, however our panel have gone for Antonio Conte. Sunday was an enormous match for the Italian, who continues to cope with tales and conjecture that recommend he could also be on borrowed time at Stamford Bridge. However he coaxed a giant efficiency out of his gamers and deserves to steer our XI. “It was a giant name to go away out David Luiz, but it surely labored because the Chelsea supervisor put the horror present in opposition to Roma behind him,” says Mariner. Nicol is in settlement and simply to spherical issues off, so is Marcotti, who stated: “Everybody was prescribing gloom and doom, and he made an enormous name in dropping Luiz. He was vindicated.”
Alex Shaw is Basic Editor at ESPN FC. He has written for nationwide newspapers the world over for over 12 years. Twitter: @AlexShawESPN.