A double delight for Arsenal means three of its players find a place in our Premier League Team of the Week. London rivals Chelsea and West Ham follow the suite albeit with two players each alongside Manchester City. The remaining two spots sees a share of the spoils between Sunderland and Burnley.
With a seemingly ultra-defensive 5-4-1 set up, we present to you our Premier League team of the week for gameweek 36.
The former Chelsea man is the main reason why Arsenal surprisingly emerged unscathed from both their victories this gameweek. Cech made a couple of game-changing saves when the scoreline read 0-0 in both matches. At the Emirates, he denied Martial and Rooney while at St. Mary’s, it was the turn of Gabbiadini and Redmond to rue their misses. Had he not made those vital interventions, the Gunners won’t have stood any hopes of a top four finish right now.
There’s nothing more enjoyable than being a party-pooper and it was certainly the case last weekend at the KCOM as Sunderland landed a huge blow on Hull City’s survival hopes. Leading from the fore was Billy Jones whose timing for his first goal of the season must have left both Sunderland and Hull faithful’s aggrieved. The full-back won 3 duels, made 3 interceptions and 4 clearances and even created 2 goalscoring opportunities as the Black Cats completed a league double over the Tigers
Another party-poppers from the last gameweek were West Ham United who wrecked their London rivals’ title hopes with a valiant win. Although Fonte didn’t score, he made it sure neither did Spurs find the back of the net. The January signing from Southampton won 4 duels and 2 tackles, made 9 clearances and 3 interceptions as the Hammers kept their third straight shutout for the first time this season.
The 29-year-old produced an overwhelming display at the back against Crystal Palace. Otamendi won 6 duels and 3 aerials, made 11 clearances and 3 interceptions, completed passes with an impressive 93% success rate and capped off a brilliant display with his first goal of the season which, coincidentally, was a milestone strike for the Argentine community that has graced the Premier League over the years.
Monreal has been disappointing as a left-back for much of the current campaign but playing as a centre-back could be the way forward for the Spaniard. The 31-year-old did a decent job of Manchester United winning 3 duels and making 2 clearances. And versus Southampton, he stepped up the bar by winning 7 duels and 3 aerials and making 2 clearances and 5 interceptions.
The season keeps getting better for Alonso. With his strike against Middlesbrough, the former Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland man join teammate Gary Cahill and Gareth McCauley at the podium of most prolific goalscoring defenders this term. The 26-year-old left-back won 5 duels and 2 tackles, made 2 interceptions, completed 2 take-ons and even created 2 goalscoring opportunities in an all-round display.
Marcos Alonso has been involved in 9 Premier League goals this season:
3 assists pic.twitter.com/XqRZjAEbu8
— Chelsea News App (@CFCNewsApp) May 10, 2017
Last season, Eden Hazard brought down curtains on Spurs’ title hopes. This year, the honour was bestowed upon the Argentine playmaker. Lanzini completed a staggering 93% of his passes as well as 3 take-ons, created 4 chances and ended a six-game drought to score his 8th of the season. With the latest strike, the West Ham man has now 9 London derby goals to his name. Underrated.
9 goals in 14 London Derbies pic.twitter.com/eHMJdcgaKd
— West Ham News (@WHUFC_News) May 5, 2017
It has been a tumultuous first season for the Swiss but his performances in the recently concluded gameweek might well provide the watershed moment of his Arsenal career. Xhaka was astonishingly consistent against both United and Southampton. While it was his lucky-yet-sumptuous strike versus the Red Devils that propelled Arsenal to a win, his elan kept the Saints midfield in check in an otherwise uneventful game. The 24-year-old also completed a combined total of 136 passes over the two games with an awe-inspiring success rate of 94%.
‘Fabrepass’ produced a masterful performance against a hapless Middlesbrough. The midfield maestro attempted an impressive 114 passes and created a stunning 7 goalscoring chances of which one resulted in an assist. The Spaniard has now racked up 10 assists for the league campaign. And by setting up Nemanja Matic’s goal, the 30-year-old becomes the first player in Premier League era to register assists in double digits in 6 separate seasons. The feat sounds even more astounding considering the fact that Fabregas made just his 11th league start this term.
Cesc Fabregas has been directly involved in a goal once every 77.6 minutes in the league this season.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 9, 2017
KEVIN DE BRUYNE
After putting in some top performances in recent weeks, De Bruyne would be delighted to see that all his hard work culminated into something productive at last. The Belgian absolutely wrecked the Palace backline with his vision as he created 7 goalscoring chances of which two even resulted in assists. The 25-year-old also grabbed a chance to get his name registered on the scoresheet after going 11 league games without one. Now with a league-high 15 assists for the campaign, City’s creator-in-chief looks set to end the season on a high.
— WeAreMCFC™ (@WeAreMCFC) May 10, 2017
The Burnley forward’s brace not only helped his side earn a vital point but could well have ensured Premier League football remains at Turf Moor next season. Vokes annoyed the Baggies backline throughout the match with his movement and a fearless attitude when it came to contesting the duels with their brawny defenders. Despite starting 19 games, the Welshman is now Burnley’s second-highest goalscorer of the league campaign with 8 goals — next only to Andre Gray.
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 6, 2017