Each week we delve through the Premier League action and compile our divisional Team of the Week.
It’s as you were at the top of the Premier League as Manchester City matched Liverpool’s 2-0 win as the title challengers remain separated by a point at the summit, with both having eight games left to play.
The result of the weekend came in West London as Chelsea suffered a shock defeat to local rivals Brentford, the Bees coming from behind to earn an impressive 4-1 win at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United put in a lacklustre showing to miss out on the chance to close the gap to the top four with a 1-1 draw against Leicester, while Everton’s relegation fears continued after suffering a 2-1 loss at West Ham.
Spurs ran out 5-1 winners against Newcastle, Wolves were the victors in a West Midlands derby with Aston Villa, while Leeds v Southampton and Brighton v Norwich ended with the spoils shared.
Without further ado, and as we do every Monday, The Football Faithful have compiled our Team of the Week in what is an attacking 4-2-4 formation.
Premier League Team of the Week
Goalkeeper: David Raya – Brentford
Brentford produced the result of the weekend as they beat Chelsea for the first time in over 80 years, and with the scores at 0-0, the Bees’ ‘keeper produced a superb save to deny Hakim Ziyech from opening the scoring in the first half.
The newly-capped Spain international could do nothing about Antonio Rudiger’s thunderous strike from distance, but finished the game with seven saves, including four from inside the box, as Brentford put in a committed display at Stamford Bridge.
Right-back: Joe Gomez – Liverpool
It’s been a frustrating period for Joe Gomez in recent seasons, the defender having fallen down the pecking order following a string of injuries and a relatively settled side ahead of him.
He was, however, handed his second Premier League start of the season as he deputised for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, and produced a number of crosses that the Liverpool number 66 would be proud of himself.
It was his whipped delivery from the right that created the game’s opening goal, with Diogo Jota darting into the box to meet the ball and nod it past Ben Foster,
A Liverpool right-back delivering an inch-perfect cross to produce a goal? Sounds familiar, but this time it's Joe Gomez 👊
Diogo Jota gets the opener against Watford at Anfield! pic.twitter.com/jF4Q0Zoufa
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 2, 2022
Aside from his delivery, Gomez was decent at the back too against a threatening Watford side, producing four tackles, one block, one interception, winning three of his five aerial duels and five of his 10 ground duels.
Centre back: Cristian Romero – Tottenham
The Argentine is really building his presence within the Spurs side, and he was once again solid at the back as they put Newcastle to the sword in the second half.
Spurs were by far the better side, but still needed to be solid at the back, with Romero finishing the game with some hugely impressive stats.
Cristian Romero’s game by numbers vs Newcastle:
100% take-ons completed
94% pass accuracy
77 passes completed
11 ball recoveries
8/10 ground duels won
7/7 tackles won
5 attempted long balls
3 successful long balls
Monstrous performance. 😳 pic.twitter.com/Kxg4bFJA4K
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 3, 2022
Centre back: Diego Llorente – Leeds
Leeds were the better of the two sides at Elland Road as they continue to creep away from danger since the arrival of Jesse Marsch, the West Yorkshire club now unbeaten in three and having slowed what was an avalanche in the goals against column.
Against the Saints, Diego Llorente was solid at the back, producing six tackles, two interceptions and an impressive eight clearances, while winning seven of his 10 ground duels and seven of his 12 aerial battles.
Left-back: Matt Doherty – Tottenham
Deployed as a left wing-back, the 30-year-old got forward on every available occasion, and netted his second Spurs goal with an instictive finish, capitalising on some poor Newcastle marking and a rare miss-kick from Heung Min Son in the box to steer the ball home at the back post.
The Irishman then turned creator after playing a give-and-go with Dejan Kulesevski before clipping the ball into the area to find the outstretched leg of fellow wing back Emerson Royal who registered his first goal for the club.
Midfield: Vitaly Janelt – Brentford
Not only did the German score twice in the 4-1 win over Chelsea, but his goals were also very well-taken finishes as part of an impressive performance from Brentford.
His first saw him lash the ball beyond Edouard Mendy into the top corner from the edge of the area following a prodded pass by Bryan Mbeumo.
Christian Eriksen pulled the Bees ahead, before Janelt’s second took the game away from Chelsea in what was a rapid 10 minute onslaught. Mbeumo laid the ball off to Ivan Toney, who in turn slipped a first time pass to find the run of Janelt, the 23-year-old producing a delicious chip to beat Mendy from a narrowing angle.
Yoane Wissa rounded off the scoring, but Janelt’s goals were crucial in what was the standout result of the weekend.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 2, 2022
Midfield: Christian Eriksen – Brentford
Eriksen’s return to action has been one of the stories of the season following the harrowing scenes that we all witnessed last summer.
Having spent six months on the sidelines, the Denmark international has taken to the field like a duck to water, putting in an influential performance in the middle of the park as Brentford upset the odds at Stamford Bridge.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 2, 2022
The former Spurs man had netted twice for his country during the international break, and showcased his years of experience as took advantage of some slack Chelsea defending to net his first goal for Brentford to make it 2-1.
The 30-year-old only signed a six month deal when he joined the club in January, and could represent an astute signing for many clubs higher up the division.
Right wing: Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
Having seen Liverpool move to the top of the Premier League following their 2-0 win in Saturday’s early kick off, Manchester City moved back in front less than three hours later after they beat Burnley by the same scoreline.
The Citizens got off to a rapid start, opening the scoring after just five minutes, with Raheem Sterling’s first-time touch inside finding Kevin de Bruyne who lashed home.
Sterling then set up City’s second just 20 minutes later, playing a quick give-and-go with Kevin de Bruyne down the right, before cutting the ball back excellently to pick out Ilkay Gundogan who stroked home to double his side’s advantage.
Forward: Bryan Mbeumo – Brentford
Unsurprisingly, there’s room in our side for yet another Brentford player in our lineup given the magnitude of both the result and performance at Stamford Bridge.
While Bryan Mbeumo didn’t get himself on the scoresheet, the Frenchman was a constant nuisance to the Chelsea backline and was a crucial part in three of the four goals.
As mentioned, he poked the ball across the box to find Vitaly Janelt in space for Brentford’s equaliser, before picking out Eriksen who sent them ahead.
Bryan Mbeumo's game by numbers vs Chelsea:
84% pass accuracy (16/19)
75% ground duels won (3/4)
29 total touches
4 chances created
An excellent performance from the Frenchman. 💪🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/UJRbrEs3k4
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 2, 2022
He was also involved in the buildup to Janelt’s second, in what was Mbuemo’s latest impressive and industrious showing in the Premier League.
An honourable mention must go to Mbeumo’s strike partner, Ivan Toney, who also produced an industrious performance alongside his teammate.
Forward: Harry Kane – Tottenham
Like Mbeumo, while he didn’t get on the scoresheet, Kane was once again a massively influential figure for Tottenham, and was absolutely everywhere for the North London side.
Kane has increasingly dropped deeped to dictate play in recent seasons, and against the Magpies, the England skipper displayed his full repetoire of passing ability to pick out the runs of his Spurs teammates.
He was at his creative best once again as Newcastle couldn’t handle Tottenham’s second-half display, with Kane registering an assist for Matt Doherty’s strike, as they moved ahead of Arsenal in the race for the top four, albeit with the Gunners having two games in hand.
Harry Kane's passing against Newcastle:
9 long passes
6 passes into final ⅓
4 passes into opp. box
3 chances created
2 Big Chances created
Pinging it about for fun. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/Bcaf0szCyn
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 3, 2022
Left wing: Heung Min Son – Tottenham
Full of his usual tireless running and industry, and continued his hot-streak as Spurs came from behind to beat Newcastle 5-1. Fabian Schar had given the the Magpies the lead, though it was shortlived as Son’s cross into the box from the left was guided home by the head of Ben Davies to level the scores just four minutes later.
Doherty made it two soon after the break before the South Korean netted one of his own, taking a touch inside the box before firing home following Dejan Kulusevski’s cross from the right following a swift break.
Should have added another to his tally after being once again picked out by Harry Kane, but dragged his shot narrowly wide.