Football

Crystal Palace trio dominate our Premier League Team of the Week

Crystal Palace's shock win over Chelsea means the Eagles' trio leads the way into our team of the week. 

It was a gameweek that had everything in it – 19 goals scored, 9 cleansheets kept, new records made and the usual drama on and off the turf. There was a big twist in the tale as far the race for the title and the battle to avoid the drop is concerned owing to a single outcome. Chelsea's shock defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace not only breathed a new lease of life into the title race but somewhat confirmed only one out of Swansea City, Hull City, Middlesbrough and Sunderland would be able to secure their status as a Premier League club come the end of the season.

 

So without wasting further time, we present to you our best XI for gameweek 30:

 

GOALKEEPER

Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace)

As much as Zaha and Benteke were responsible for landing the key blows leading to a shock Crystal Palace win over the Champions elect, Wayne Hennessey was an equally effective and formidable barrier between the sticks for the Eagles to keep Chelsea at bay. The Welsh international made a total of 10 saves that included a majority of match-winning interventions as Palace rearguard frustrated the dynamic Blues frontline to claim a huge scalp in their quest for survival.

 

 

DEFENDERS

Danny Simpson (Leicester City)

Mark Hughes must have prepared his men to curb the menace of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez but it was the 30-year-old who turned out to be the unlikeliest source of threat. Simpson provided the layoff leading to the opening goal and whipped in a perfectly levelled cross for Vardy's goal that sealed the deal for the Foxes. The right-back won 4 duels, 2 aerials and made 3 clearances over the course of the match.

 

Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur)

Dier came up with the moment of magic his side desperately needed just when they looked like running out of time and ideas. The versatile youngster was solid as a rock at the back for Spurs throughout the game, winning 8 duels, 6 aerials and making 10 clearances. And the 23-year-old was duly rewarded for his hard work as he made Burnley pay for a poor clearance by exquisitely curling a shot into the back of the net.

 

Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)

The German has been a pale shadow of himself ever since he returned to the fold at the turn of the year from a hamstring problem but his showing against City on Sunday will definitely help him restore some confidence and dignity back into his game. Mustafi instigated both comebacks Arsenal mounted after falling behind. While he headed the ball back into City's box leading to the equaliser from Theo Walcott, he timed his jump to perfection to power a header past an outstretched Willy Caballero and restore parity once again. The defender won 9 duels, 3 aerials and 3 tackles as he quashed the visitors' hope of restoring the lead time and time again during the second period.

 

 

Miguel Britos (Watford)

Britos hardly gave away Sunderland hitman Jermain Defoe any space to work his magic, winning a whopping 12 duels, 9 aerials and made 12 clearances as well. And the Uruguayan deservingly reaped the dividends of his hard work by scoring the eventual winner which, coincidentally, was the 31-year-old's first goal for the club.

 

Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion)

West Brom produced a display of dogged resistance to take a point home from Old Trafford and Jonny Evans, one of United's very own product, was at the heart of all of it. The Northern Irishman won 10 duels, 2 tackles and completed each of his 3 take-ons making sure his former side doesn't find a way through a well-marshalled Baggies backline. 

 

MIDFIELDERS

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)

The January signing has begun to come into his own ever since the sacking of Claudio Ranieri and Ndidi's solid display versus Stoke was a great advert of his raw yet potentially world-class talent. The Leicester number 25 for produced an absolute peach of a shot from 25-yards out to score his first goal for the Foxes and smoothly controlled the proceedings in the middle of the park as Leicester took another huge step in direction of assuring safety.

 

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Coming into the game on the back of an amazing solo goal against Russia during the international break, Zaha produced an all-around display that saw him dismantle Chelsea's defensive harmony. The dynamic winger fended off the pressure from Cesar Azpilicueta to produce a stunning solo effort and 91 seconds later, cleverly teed up Benteke for the match-winning goal. The fact that former Manchester United man completed each of his 5 take-ons pretty much sums the splendid outing he had at Stamford Bridge.

 

 

Kamil Grosicki (Hull City)

Hull's last league win prior to Saturday was down to the divine intervention from the bench in the form of Oumar Niasse and the trend carried on, this time involving another January recruit Kamil Grosicki. The Pole was the architect behind both goals for the Tigers. The first goal saw him set up marauding left-back Andrew Robertson with a perfectly-weighted touch into his path whereas Andrea Rannochia's winner five minutes from time was all about the 28-year-old whipping a great ball into the box via a corner kick as Marco Silva's men maintained their unbeaten record under him at the KCOM.

 

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)

Good form for Brazil in the recently concluded international break seems to have rubbed off on Coutinho who has hardly convinced since returning from an ankle problem in January. The Brazillian was back to producing his trademark tricks and flicks, bamboozling the Everton defence with his intricate movements, especially Matthew Pennington. The 24-year-old produced a stunning individual finish to restore the Reds' lead and smartly manoeuvred the ball into the path of Divock Origi for the eventual three-point clinching goal.

 

 

FORWARD

Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)

Benteke has been inconsistent with his goalscoring contribution all season but not only did he scored but came up with a rare assist too. The 26-year-old flicked the ball into the path of Zaha for the opener and combined with the Ivorian once more, this time to score himself as he dummied the initial effort before producing an audacious chip over his compatriot for what ultimately proved to be the winning goal. And the Belgian's physical presence also caused Chelsea serious problems throughout the game as he won a staggering 17 duels and 11 aerials.

 

 

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