Football

Manchester United dominate our Premier League Team of the Week

David De Gea rejoices

A couple of neat defensive shows from Manchester United allows four of their players to make entry into our Premier League Team of the Week. A Christian Eriksen special at Selhurst Park helps him and one of his teammates find a place in our best eleven for the round. West Ham United, AFC Bournemouth, Swansea City, Chelsea and Crystal Palace occupy one position each to complete the lineup.

 

Here's our best XI from gameweek 34 of the Premier League:

 

GOALKEEPER

David De Gea (Manchester United)

 

 

The Spaniard barely broke a sweat at Burnley but came to the rescue of the Red Devils on as many as 6 occasions, proving why he is regarded as the Premier League's best shot-stopper. The pair of cleansheets has now helped De Gea leapfrog Thibaut Courtois and move level with Hugo Lloris in the race for the Golden Glove.

 

DEFENDERS

Matteo Darmian (Manchester United)

Darmian played as a left-back in both games but the versatile defender delivered everything Jose must have asked from him as far as defending is concerned. While the Italian successfully dealt with the threat of George Boyd and his replacement Johann Berg Gudmundsson at Turf Moor, he stood like an unbreachable wall which Raheem Sterling and later on, Jesus Navas failed to break through at the Etihad. With combined statistics of 13 duels, 4 aerials and 2 tackles won, 8 clearances made and most importantly, 2 shutouts kept over the two matches, it was a display of some great dogged resistance from the defender.

 

James Collins (West Ham United)

The pick of the performances from the drab draw between West Ham and Everton was given by the 33-year-old whose late-season resurgence continued with a Man of the Match display. Collins won 8 duels, 3 tackles and 4 aerials, made 8 clearances and 5 interceptions to keep a toothless Everton attack at arm's length.

 

Eric Bailly (Manchester United)

The Ivorian was literally a 'one-man army' at Turf Moor who thwarted every Burnley attacking move single-handedly. Bailly won 4 duels and 2 tackles, made 7 clearances and 4 interceptions to help the Red Devils come through unscathed at the end of 90 minutes. And he delivered yet another defending masterclass on Thursday night against a quality City frontline winning 3 duels, making 3 interceptions and 4 clearances and enjoying a 100% success rate in winning tackles and aerials. In all, a sturdy performance by the 23-year-old.

 

 

Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur)

Danny Rose's comeback might be around the corner but Davies delivered yet another commendable shift against Crystal Palace to make a case for himself as a first-team regular. The Welshman diffused the threat of in-form Wilfried Zaha comfortably and was equally influential going further up the pitch. The left-back won 12 duels, 5 aerials and 4 tackles, made 5 clearances, completed each of his 2 attempted take-ons, even created 3 goalscoring chances and capped off a brilliant individual performance with a cleansheet.

 

MIDFIELDERS

 

Tom Carroll (Swansea City)

The January signing was dropped out of the eleven in Swansea's defeat to Watford but marked his return to the lineup by scoring his first goal for the club. A nervy win aided by an abject Stoke City performance saw Carroll provide a calming influence in the centre of the park for the hosts and it was his lucky-yet-sumptuous strike that ultimately decided the tie in Swansea's favour.

 

Marc Pugh (AFC Bournemouth)

Not a name we all are accustomed to seeing in the weekly XIs but the Bournemouth number 7 cut open the usually resolute Boro defence on the left wing with utmost ease. A classic one-two to tee up Joshua King and a delightful finish on the far post, Pugh completely bamboozled the visitors on his own. The winger also completed an impressive 5 of his 6 attempted take-ons.

 

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)

Eriksen's two assists in the FA Cup semis defeat to Chelsea might have all gone in vain but a sizzling finish past Wayne Hennessey from nearly 30-yards out surely didn't. The Dane came to the rescue of Spurs just when it looked like it could well be that night which all but ends their slim hopes of winning a first league title in 56 years. With his 8th league strike of the season not only did the 25-year-old scored Spurs' 100 goals across all competitions but also elevated the current campaign to the status of his most prolific with the North London club in terms of goals involved in — 20 (8G, 12A).

 

 

FORWARDS

 

Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Game time has been coming at a premium for Martial but with Ibrahimovic gone, the Frenchman has finally got a great opportunity to get into Mourinho's good books. And he indeed has done a huge favour to himself going by his performances in both matches this gameweek. A goal and an assist against the Clarets propelled Manchester United to a win at the dicey Turf Moor. Against City, it wasn't a glorious performance certainly by him from attacking perspective but he did complete 6 of his 8 attempted take-ons. Martial also put in a valiant defensive effort to aid Darmian's cause at the back. His complete dedication has not only earned him his managers' trust but also a place in our team of the week.

 

 

Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Costa finally brought a sequence of wretched displays to a halt with an all-around performance versus Southampton. The unruly forward caused havoc in the Saints backline with his movement and physicality throughout the match. A brace and an assist on the night helped him earn a Premier League milestone by scoring his 50th goal in the competition and also, brought Chelsea within a touching distance of reclaiming the lost crown.

 

Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)

It was a grand return to Anfield for Christian Benteke whose intimidating presence troubled the Reds and his poaching instincts were a genuine reminder of what the hosts were lacking on the day. Though the Belgian put up a subdued show at home against Spurs, his fine double was enough to clinch a place in our weekly starting eleven. 

 

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