Premier League Team of the Weekend – Apr 15-16

Manchester United blew the title race wide open with a masterclass against Chelsea at Old Trafford, but how many of Jose Mourinho’s battling Red Devils made it into our team of the weekend?

Lee Grant (Stoke City)
Has been a consistent performer for Stoke in the absence of long-term injury victim Jack Butland, and here he came to the fore again, diving low to palm away a vicious low shot from Grosicki to preserve the Potters’ lead with the score poised at 2-1. Hull boss Marco Silva will definitely not have Grant on his Xmas card list after that.

Jesus Navas (Manchester City)
Following in the footsteps of Victor Moses as a surprise winger-cum-wingback conversion. Navas defended well against the dangerous Nathan Redmond and got forward with purpose in a surprisingly competent display. His fierce shot was pushed away by Fraser Forster for the corner that led to the first goal. Even City fans were surprised.

Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)
Pep Guardiola and Man City have missed their captain fantastic this season. A settling influence at the back, the Citizen’s defence instantly looked more solid with Kompany in its ranks. Good in the air and efficient on the ground, he gives his fellow centre-back confidence. Even got forward to nod City into the lead from David Silva’s hanging corner, although Fraser Forster should probably have saved it!

Phil Jagielka (Everton)
Everton have been scoring goals for fun recently with 10 in their last three Premier League games, and Jagielka has bagged three of them. Equally important though is his contribution at the back where he continues to excel, reading the game well and forming an excellent partnership with Ashley Williams. The goals are a bonus

Marcos Rojo (Manchester United)
With Rojo coming up against Diego Costa, it’s a safe bet that many observers were expecting a red card – or two. Yes, it was heated. And yes, they lost their tempers on a couple of occasions, but for the most part it was fascinating to watch. Rojo, however, came out on top and played his part as he and Eric Bailly kept Costa quiet. As a result Chelsea failed to register a single shot on goal during an EPL game for the first time since 2007.

Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Approaching the kind of form he showed at the beginning of the season, De Bruyne was a constant threat to the Southampton back line with his measured passing and intelligent movement off the ball. Made City’s second goal with a penetrating run before squaring unselfishly to Leroy Sane before crossing for Aguero to nod in the third for his EPL-leading 13th assist this season.

Marc Albrighton (Leicester)
Albrighton has been in sparkling form recently, scoring and setting up goals for fun. Against Palace he did everything, tracking back and defending well while also getting forward to support the attack with a succession of quality balls into the box. Albrighton has been one of the keys behind the Foxes recent run of good results.

Mousa Dembele (Tottenham)
One of the most underrated midfielders in the Premier League, Dembele is a crucial part of Mauricio Pochettino’s team. Very hard to dispossess, Dembele rarely wastes a ball and constantly pushes Spurs forward. Against Bournemouth he was superb, dominating the center of the pitch. He had already had seen one effort saved before opening the scoring from a corner for what was amazingly his first goal of the season.

Ander Herrera (Manchester United)
A standout performance from the Spaniard, who reprised his role as Eden Hazard’s tormentor-in-chief as Jose Mourinho’s men shut Chelsea out of the game – only this time without the red card! Did a great man-to-man marking job on the Blue’s talisman, and even found time to set up the first goal for Rashford, capitalising on a handball that wasn’t given to produce a slide-rule pass. Scored with a deflected second-half strike to seal the deal and cap a fine display.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
It may have surprised many when Mourinho named Rashford as his main striker in place of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but full of confidence following his goal last week the young striker gave early warning his selection was fully justified. Had an early effort before opening the scoring in just the seventh minute and caused problems throughout the afternoon for Chelsea’s backline with his tireless running.

Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)
The diminutive wideman is either brilliant or anonymous – here he was at his best. Set up the opener for Marko Arnautovic with a threaded through ball and caused the Hull defence lots of problems with his clever play. Put the icing on the cake ten minutes from the end when he picked up the ball 30 yards out and arrowed an unstoppable shot into the top corner that left Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic absolutely helpless.

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