The Premier League Team of the week – Week 28.
Although the final scoreline suggested that Liverpool registered a comfortable victory over Southampton, it was anything but, especially in the first-half. After falling behind to a Luis Suarez goal, the Saints rallied and created a host of opportunities, only to see their efforts thwarted by the brilliant Simon Mignolet. The Belgian stopper was solid in goal and he produced a world-class save to deny Jay Rodriguez from equalizing which arguably came in the most crucial moment of the match.
The England international put-in another typical energetic performance to help his side to a hard-fought victory over Wet Ham United. Baines provided a wonderful outlet on the Everton wings with his marauding runs and just when it looked the Toffees were about to be frustrated by the dogged Hammers, the 29-year old provided a telling contribution to allow Romelu Lukaku to score the winner late into the game with a fine cross down the left. Another complete performance from the defender.
While Michael Dawson may not be the quickest of centre-backs around, his defending qualities cannot be doubted. The Englishman was a rock at the back as Tottenham Hotspur saw off a resilient Cardiff City side last night. Cardiff gave Spurs a very rough ride and it was Dawson who provided a couple of vital interventions as well as some crucial headers to deny the Bluebirds from scoring. The 30-year old also nearly managed to score on a couple of occasions and manager Tim Sherwood must have been very pleased with his captain’s overall display.
The loss of Phil Jagielka was always going to be a big blow for Everton but young John Stones did a marvelous job in filling-in for the Everton skipper. Against an in-from West Ham United side who usually give opposition central defenders a very hard time, Stones put-in an impeccable display by not allowing the likes of Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll to bully him. On the basis of such a fine display, the teenager certainly has a huge role to play in the future of Everton.
It is a well known fact that the versatile Leandro Bacuna is not the best of defenders but there are very few who can match his attacking prowess when he makes those marauding runs down the right. The Dutchman provided a constant headache to the Norwich City backline in Aston Villa’s 4-1 victory over the Canaries and managed to grab 5th goal of the season, with a fine finish which any striker in the world would have been proud of.
If you had to point out the most important player who is leading Chelsea’s title charge, it would certainly have to be the wonderful Eden Hazard. The young Belgian just seems to be getting better every week and put in another virtuoso performance to help his side to an important victory over Fulham. Although, Andre Schurrle took all the plaudits for scoring a hat-trick, Hazard was the man running the show and provided the German international with two wonderful assists. The 23-year old has simply been magnificent this season and he never ceases to impress.
Although Newcastle United’s 4-1 victory over Hull City was overshadowed by Alan Pardew’s idiotic headbutt on David Meyler, one cannot take away from the fact that the Magpies probably put-in their best performance of the season and the man running the show was midfielder Moussa Sissoko. The energetic Frenchman displayed pace and power to score a wonderful brace on the break and handed the Magpies a fine victory.
After being in and out of the team in recent weeks, Steven N’Zonzi returned to the Stoke starting line-up in the victory over Arsenal and displayed how important he is to the Potters’ side. The Frenchman put in a totally dominant performance at the middle of the park, wonderfully minimizing the impact of the star-studded Arsenal midfield as Stoke ran out deserved winners to continue their brilliant record against the ‘big-boys’ at the Brittania Stadium.
After a slow start to life at Stamford Bridge, where he has had to bide his time on the sidelines, Andre Schurrle finally displayed why Chelsea shelled out so much money for him in the summer. The German international was ruthless in his side’s victory over Fulham and scored a fantastic hat-trick with three finishes of the highest quality. Maybe the Chelsea strikers should take note from Schurrle on how to finish off chances.
You just cannot keep Luis Suarez quiet. The Uruguayan superstar had been doing everything but score in the last few matches, yet people where questioning whether the striker was suffering due to a goal-drought. However, he put questions about a crisis in confidence to bed with a fine goal as well as a wonderful overall performance in his side’s 3-0 victory over Southampton. There was not much to choose between Liverpool and Southampton in the game and Suarez was the obvious difference between the two sides. Apart from his goal, his assist to Raheem Sterling and the way he bamboozled Jose Fonte to win a late penalty, was simply magnificent.
While Christian Benteke has not been able to reach the heights of last season, the Belgian striker reminded everyone of how good a player he is, with a quite sublime performance against Norwich City last night. The striker’s first strike against Norwich was a thing of beauty and will surely go down as a contender for goal of the season while his second was a typical powerful header which even the most imposing of defenders would have struggled to deal with. If the young man builds on his performance from now till the end of the season then Villa could well be on course for a top-ten finish.