Saturday, 24 October 2015

Premier League Week Nine Top Eleven

The last weekend of Premier League fixtures saw new events, with new Liverpool and Sunderland managers Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce overseeing their side’s first games from the hot seat, with none securing a win. Wayne Rooney got his scoring boots on against former team to make his goals tally 187 equalling Andy Cole's record, Newcastle registered their first victory of the season with a 6-2 whitewash of Alex Neil’s Norwich City, with four goals coming from Georginio Wijnaldum and 3assists from Moussa Sissoko, the first set of 3 assists in a single match for him and the second player to do so in the club history after Andy Cole.
Also Wilfried Bony scored his first Premier League goal for City this season in a game which also witnessed youngster Raheem Sterling score his first City hat-trick in an emphatic 5-1 thrashing of newly promoted Bournemouth, he became only the 11th player to score a BPL hat-trick whilst aged under 21.
This set of fixtures saw many individuals who stood out for their respective teams, but who is good enough to make it into the team of the week this time around?

Formation: 3-5-2

Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet – Liverpool

The Belgian was impressive in Jurgen Klopp’s first game as Liverpool manager as he pulled some brilliant saves to deny Clinton N’Jie and Harry Kane to earn his side a clean sheet at White Hart Lane.

Defence: Hector Bellerin – Arsenal

The youngster has been an asset to Arsene Wenger all season, and last Saturday as he gave a wonderful performance against Watford. He's widely reported to be the fastest sprinter in the entire league; the Spaniard allowed this attribute of his do the talking at Vicarage Road, tirelessly running down the right flank and making the day for Watford’s left-back Nathan Ake one to forget. He also capped the brilliant performance with an assist for Aaron Ramsey to score Arsenal’s third goal.

Chris Smalling – Manchester United

Smalling gets better after each game as he's begin to gain the confidence of LVG. Against an Everton side which comprises Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkely, it was going to be a nightmare for him, but at the end of the game, there was clearly one winner, and it was that of solidity at the back. The 25-year-old did a splendid job to keep Lukaku at arm’s length through the course of the game. At the end of the game, Lukaku was only able to gather one shot on target. This shows how dependable Smalling has grown to be at United's defence.

Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham Hotspur

Against a Liverpool side whose season is not going quite well having just sacked their former coach and an injury to their dependable striker Sturridge, one would easily say that Vertonghen would have a ‘not too busy day’ at office, but reverse was the case as Liverpool pressurised the Tottenham defence with crosses left and right but his height helped to keep out any ball entering the Tottenham box from the wings. With 6 aerial duels won and 4 key tackles, the 28-year-old Belgian ensured that Liverpool’s lone striker and countryman Divock Origi was never going to threaten him one-on-one at any stage during the game.


Ander Herrera – Manchester United

Who would have tipped him to shine in his first start over a month, the Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera was keen to prove to Louis van Gaal that he was a serious contender for United’s first XI, and he did it in some style as his side avenged recent defeats to Everton by winning by 3 goals to nil at Goodison Park. He had a 93% pass success rate as he commanded the attacks from the centre of the pitch and also laid up an assist for Rooney to score the team's third goal.

Raheem Sterling – Manchester City

After some brilliant performance at the beginning of the season, he began to release his foot off the pedal as most times he was often substituted in games. The £49m recruit from Liverpool is finally finding his feet in the blue half of Manchester, and he showed signs of living up to that price tag with a hat-trick, albeit against lowly Bournemouth. Manuel Pellegrini spoke very highly of the 20-year-old in the post-match press conference and emphasized on the importance of the winger’s contribution in Manchester City’s bid to regain their Premier League title from Chelsea.

Mesut Ozil - Arsenal

He never stops to amaze me, just before the international break, Manchester United fans will not forget what he did to their team, even during the international break, he continued from there as the Turkish born German International would not just stop, Ozil against Watford, once again showed his terrific vision on the pitch with a master class display against Watford at Vicarage Road. His layoffs for Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud to score their respective goals proved why the 27-year-old is regarded as one of the best readers of the game.

Georginio Wijnaldum – Newcastle United

Getting their first win of the season in an 8 goal thriller and having Wijnaldum scoring four times against Norwich is definitely one reason why he should be on the list. He was a constant menace on the left flank for Newcastle, using his pace and agility to cut through the Canaries’ defence to mastermind the Magpies’ first victory of the season.

Manuel Lanzini – West Ham United

On loan from UAE club Al Jazira, without wasting time, has he quickly settled into his new club’s style of counter-attacking play under manager Slaven Bilic. He was on the neck of Crystal Palace defense throughout the game. Most importantly, he was influential in putting the result in West Ham’s favour in the late moments of the game, getting the first goal after  latching on to an Andy Carroll cut-back, and then laying off for Dimitri Payet to seal the points in injury-time. He won the Man of the Match.

Jamie Vardy – Leicester City

He never stops scoring, with 9goals in this season, he has been Leicester City goal poacher and last Saturday he helped his team to a comeback from 2-0 down to snatch a point at Southampton was another exquisite display of belief and confidence

Wilfried Bony – Manchester City

Bony arrived from Swansea in the summer with much expectations but he's often hit by injuries, but the absence of Sergio Aguero through injury, was a great opportunity for backup striker Bony to show Manuel Pellegrini that he was a more than capable replacement for the Argentine. He certainly didn’t disappoint, scoring twice and setting up another for Raheem Sterling to complete a thrashing of Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium.

Complied by Adekunle Adewale 

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