After a weekend packed with upsets, sackings and defensive horror shows it time for Adam Smith to pick his team of the week. Let’s see who impressed him this week …
Hugo Lloris: Rating 8/10 (Spurs 4-1 Liverpool)
Not called into action as much as Liverpool would have liked, but was excellent when needed. The Spurs captain produced a world-class save to deny Countinho, along with three other excellent saves in the second-half to keep his side’s three goal lead intact.
The Frenchman is in really good form at the moment, and had a really good week. He won three points for Spurs against Bournemouth last Saturday with a spectacular save, and produced heroics in Madrid on Tuesday. With Lloris keeping them out at one end and Harry Kane banging them in for fun at the other, Spurs are going to be hard to beat.
Shane Duffy: Rating 8/10 (West Ham 0-3 Brighton)
The Irishman showed his class at the heart of the Brighton defence on Friday night, as West Ham pushed to get back in the game. The Seagulls are hoping that Duffy can bring his form from last year and his international heroics with the Rep of Ireland, to the Premier League this season.
He never allowed Hernadez a sniff at goal and cleared a countless amount of crosses throughout the game. With Lewis Dunk as his partner, who was in my ‘Team of the Week’ last week, Brighton will keep alot of cleansheets this season, and this partnership may be enough to keep them up. As for West Ham, a defeat away to Crystal Palace next week could be the end for Bilic.
Kieran Trippier: Rating 8/10 (Spurs 4-1 Liverpool)
You can see why Spurs were so relaxed about selling Kyle Walker, Pochettino knew he had a ready-made replacement. Trippier provided another assist for Harry Kane and showed his defensive qualities, along with exploiting the space that Liverpool left when their full backs went forward.
An all-round brilliant performance. Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker together cost just under £10 million, and with Walker being sold for £50 million and Trippier as good as Walker, you can see why Spurs’ net spend since Pochettino joined the club is just over £20 million – making him a chairman’s dream manager.
Christopher Schindler: Rating 9/10 (Huddersfield 2-1 Man Utd)
It was spoken about on the PS Football Podcast a few weeks ago about giving fans who support a team in the bottom half a ‘day out’, where their team beat one of the ‘big boys’. The Hudderfield fans got their ‘day out’ on Saturday in front of a boisterous John Smith Stadium, and beat United for the first time since 1952.
Christopher Schindler produced a Man of the Match performance and won his intriguing battle with Romelu Lukaku. He had a no-nonsense approach and set the tone from the begining. As United piled on the pressure he put his body on the line with crucial blocks and cleared a number of dangerous crosses.
As for United, it seemed that their players struggled in the first 45 minutes to switch their mindset from a negative set-up, which they played against Liverpool and Benfica, to a more attacking one, and the last two results may cost them dearly with regards to the title race.
Riyad Mahrez: Rating 8/10 (Swansea 1-2 Leicester)
You have to feel sorry for Craig Shakespeare, who got sacked by Leicester City during the week. This is a game that Leicester were probably going to win anyway, and Riyhad Mahrez decided to finally show the kind of form he produced a couple of seasons ago when Leicester lifted the title, by putting in his best performance of his season so far.
You would have to think that if the Algerian had of put in a few more of these displays during the season, Shakespeare would still be in a job. Mahrez assisted both goals and was a constent threat throughout the game. He is still not back to his very best, but his dribbles, crosses and flicks are starting to come off and looks like he has his hunger back. However, lets see what his performances are like in January when Roma come calling again.
Aaron Mooy: Rating 9/10 (Huddersfield 2-1 Man Utd)
Anders Herrera’s comments after the full-time whistle summed up the game, Huddersfield just wanted it more and United were second best all across the park. Aaron Mooy’s performance showcased this desire throughout the game, and he opened the scoring in the first-half by winning the ball off Juan Mata in midfield, and following up on Tom Ince’s shot after originally laying it off to him.
It was a toss up between Christopher Schindler and Aaron Mooy for Man of the Match with both influential to Huddersfield’s famous win. £10 million was the fee for the 27 year old Aussie, and it looks like a good bit a business. He fits Huddersfield’s style of play perfectly.
Son : Rating 8/10 (Spurs 4-1 Liverpool)
Son has filled in well for Harry Kane over the past year when Kane was injured, but has struggled to get into the side since Spurs changed to a 3-5-2 formation. He was devastating on the counter-attack and scored Spurs second in the 12th minute, and could easily have had a first half hat-trick, having also hit the bar and fluffed an easy chance from close range
The South Korean international easily exposed Liverpool’s shocking defence and the Merysiders were lucky to only conceed four. You can feel the frustration now among the Liverpool fans, and for me, I think Liverpool should get Benitez back before another club gets his services over the next few weeks.
Mesut Ozil: Rating 8/10 (Everton 2-5 Arsenal)
Saw an interesting stat today, Mesut Ozil now has 198 club career assists, more than Zidane, Scholes and Bergkamp put together. Anyway, bet of the weekend was Arsenal to beat Everton and Koeman to be sacked, you would have got 3/1. Sanchez, Lacazette and Ozil all played together for the first time this season and the Gunners looked impressive.
It’s been a while since Ozil put in a performance like he did on Sunday. He chipped in with a goal, provided an assist for Lacazette, and created many chances for his team mates. The same week he appartently declared his interest in signing for Man Utd, he puts in a Man of the Match performance? Ozil will need to put in a similar performance against Spurs and Man City over the next few weeks to win the Arsenal fans back.
Leroy Sane: Rating 8/10 (Man City 3-0 Burnley)
Sane was a threat throughout the game and produced a neat finish for Man City’s third goal, and minutes before provided an assist for Otamendi’s goal and City’s second. The Man City steam train keeps rolling on and it’s hard to see anyone catching them, even though we are only nine games into the season.
The likes of Jesus and Sterling were rested on Saturday, and the strength of The Citizen’s squad showed as they could bring in the likes of Bernardo Silva, Augero and Sane. Sane is still competing against Sterling for a starting spot but Gaurdiola seems to favour the Englishman.
Harry Kane: Rating 9/10 (Spurs 4-1 Liverpool)
The lastest episode of ‘You got Kaned’ features Liverpool. However, if Kane played against Lovern and Mingolet every week he would probably score 50 goals this season. Kane scored two and assisted Son for his goal, and he simply ran Liverpool ragged.
The top strikers in Europe are brilliant finishers, but dont have the work-rate that Kane provides aswell. January can’t come soon enough for Liverpool, although putting all their eggs in one big Virgil Van Dyke basket I dont think is the answer to their problems. Lovern was substituted after 31 minutes as he literally couldn’t handle Spurs movement up front. Embarrassing.
Michy Batshuayi: Rating 8/10 (Chelsea 4-2 Watford)
Up until the 70th minute in this game I could of had two or three there players from Watford in my ‘Team of the Week’ until Batshuayi equalised for Chelsea. He might not be to the managers liking, but what he does get is goals. He has found himself mainly on the bench this season but has a goal ratio of a goal in every 64 minutes, and has the same amount of goals as Morata this season, despite having
played 300 minutes less. Batshuayi came off the bench again and scored two goals to help seal a must needed victory for Chelsea. The scoreline flattered Chelsea as Watford should have had the game dead and buried before the equaliser and Batshuayi’s first in the 70th minute.
Written by Adam Smith.
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