Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley Livepic
After another weekend featuring some great individual performances, theScore puts together a best XI from the latest slate of Premier League fixtures.
GK – Kasper Schmeichel
Schmeichel continued his heroics from continental action against West Ham United, where he made four key saves. He thwarted Andy Carroll when the ball appeared to be behind him, and excellently denied a Robert Snodgrass free-kick in injury time. It was stuff his father Peter would be proud of.
RB – Craig Dawson
A fine servant to West Bromwich Albion arguably had his finest day for the club. Dawson, a former non-league player, reaped the rewards of Arsenal‘s woeful zonal marking on corners twice with towering headers.
CB – John Stones
Stones is slowly showing signs of the player that Pep Guardiola wants to hone at Manchester City. Previously error-strewn, the ex-Everton lad is now looking more at ease in possession, habitually picks the right pass, and made timely interceptions against Liverpool.
CB – Eric Bailly
Up for a squabble but also capable of a probing ball from deep, Bailly has been a hit in his debut season in England. True, he was on the park when an especially blunt Middlesbrough scored on Sunday, but he nipped in with three tackles, eight interceptions, and seven clearances in Manchester United‘s back three.
LB – Marcos Alonso
Alonso appeared to show more attacking impetus in the absence of Eden Hazard, regularly joining the forward surges down the left flank and notably cracking the woodwork with a sublime free-kick. He’s an unheralded hero of Chelsea‘s campaign.
RM – Manuel Lanzini
Many would associate Lanzini with curating chances behind the frontmen – a role which befits his No. 10 shirt – but his link-up play in West Ham’s 3-2 home loss to Leicester City was sublime. He was always available to receive the ball from the defence, and could turn his way out of trouble despite being in some tight spaces. It was a beautiful free-kick from the Argentinian too; now he just needs to find consistency to his game.
CM – Ross Barkley
Barkley‘s play from deep has improved, allowing him to show off the vision that endeared him to England fans when he emerged from the Everton setup. Barkley made a game-high three key passes against Hull City and, although it might not be the best move for him, he’s linked with a transfer to Chelsea.
CM – Mousa Dembele
One of the greatest midfielders in the league was at it again. Dembele performed three vital tackles and protected the defence superbly when Tottenham went off the boil against Southampton in the second stanza.
LM – Willian
Willian has been the harshest sacrifice in Antonio Conte’s designs, but when he stands in for Eden Hazard and Pedro, he often delivers. An audacious early free-kick at Lee Grant‘s near post began an outing of great creativity and penetration from the 28-year-old. He made three key passes and completed three dribbles at Stoke City.
FW – Romelu Lukaku
With 21 goals in 28 Premier League appearances, Lukaku is the top scorer and, with Harry Kane out injured, it looks like it’s his to lose. The Belgian seemed unburdened by potentially upsetting a few locals by saying his club’s “living in the past,” bagging a brace and superbly teeing up Enner Valencia on Saturday.
FW – Benik Afobe
Afobe had much to thank Joshua King for in his instrumental showing during Saturday’s 2-0 beating of Swansea City, but his involvement in a front two has Bournemouth firing again. He scored two – although one was harshly deemed an Alfie Mawson own goal after a heavy deflection.
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)
Published at Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:50:38 +0000