Each week we delve through the Premier League action and compile our divisional Team of the Week.
Manchester United were handed a boost in their pursuit of Champions League football, as both Arsenal and Tottenham crashed to losses to open up the race for a top four finish.
Elsewhere a winter window signing inspired Newcastle to a late win over Leicester, whilst Brentford also snatched a stoppage-time winner to edge Watford ever closer to the Championship.
Here is The Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper: Fraser Forster – Southampton
Forster’s heroics helped Southampton to a 1-0 win over Arsenal, as the Saints bounced back from last weekend’s poor performance against Chelsea.
The goalkeeper made a string of saves to deny the North Londoners at St Mary’s, making stops from Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, before scrambling across goal to claw away Emile Smith Rowe’s effort.
"Thankfully we had Fraser!" 🧤@janbednarek_ praised Fraser Forster for his performance as #SaintsFC returned to winning ways:
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) April 16, 2022
After shipping six last weekend this was a much improved defensive display from Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, with Forster at the centre of it.
Right-back: Emil Krafth – Newcastle
A solid performance from the Sweden international as Newcastle beat Leicester at St James’ Park, with the right-back making a number of vital interceptions to frustrate the Foxes.
Krafth had his work cut out against Ademola Lookman, but did well in their duel and made a vital last-ditch recovery to toe the ball away from the winger and prevent a goal.
The 27-year-old made more ball recoveries (10) and more tackles (7) than any other player on the pitch, in what was arguably his best performance in a Newcastle shirt.
Centre-back: Joel Veltman – Brighton
Joel Veltman was at the centre of Brighton’s success at Spurs, as the Seagulls completed a back-to-back double in North London.
The Dutch defender barely put a foot wrong as he contained the threat of Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane, making a series of great blocks and interceptions to frustrate the in-form forwards.
An often overlooked component of Graham Potter’s side, his £900,000 arrival from Ajax was seriously shrewd business from Brighton.
Centre-back: Pontus Jansson – Brentford
It’s five wins from six for a Brentford team ending the season in fine form, with a stoppage-time winner from Pontus Jansson sealing a 2-1 success at Watford this weekend.
Jansson’s goal was the highlight of an impressive performance from the Bees captain, whose aggressive defending and physical approach was too much for Joao Pedro to handle.
❤️ @PJansson5 #BrentfordFC pic.twitter.com/EgiD2D0Bf6
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) April 17, 2022
After a brief flirtation with relegation Brentford have powered away from the Premier League’s bottom three and a top-half finish should be a real target on current form.
Left-back: Marc Cucurella – Brighton
Cucurella excelled up against the in-form Dejan Kulusevski as Brighton won 1-0 at Spurs, coming comfortably out on top in his battle against the Swedish winger.
The Spaniard was full of energy and drive down the left flank for Brighton, whilst his determined defending twice denied Harry Kane, first covering on the counter to stop the Spurs striker before a vital interception as the England captain prepared to pull the trigger.
Midfield: Yves Bissouma – Brighton
Bissouma was back to his best in Brighton’s win at Spurs this weekend, providing an assured presence as a screen the Seagull’s backline in North London.
Confident and composed in possession, his energy was too much for the Spurs midfield to handle as the 25-year-old produced the sort of performance that has been behind continued links to the Premier League’s leading sides.
Big win 🤩 thanks God 🙏🏾 #YB8 🦍 pic.twitter.com/Tn0p7OzV8w
— Yves Bissouma #YB8 (@Yves_Bissouma) April 17, 2022
Bissouma finished the clash with a pass accuracy rate of 90% and won seven duels in a display his manager described as ‘Champions League level’.
Midfield: Joelinton – Newcastle
Tenacious and industrious in his role as a box-to-box midfielder, the Brazilian’s work-rate, as ever, was commendable in Newcastle’s win over Leicester.
The 25-year-old’s end product remains erratic after late runs into the box and he wasted a couple of opportunities when well placed against the Foxes, but is difficult to see how Joelinton will not be a part of the Magpies’ midfield make-up in the coming seasons.
Joelinton led his teammates for chances created, final third passes and headed clearances against Leicester in an influential performance at both ends of the pitch.
He has been transformed since moving into a deeper role and should only improve with increased time in midfield.
Midfield: Bruno Guimaraes – Newcastle
Bruno Guimaraes has fast become a fans’ favourite at St James’ Park and scored his first home goals for the Magpies with a double to down Leicester this weekend.
The Brazilian had enjoyed a quiet opening to the game before bursting into life to prove his side’s match-winner, scrambling home an equaliser from close range after Ademola Lookman’s opener for the visitors.
Guimaraes won eight duels and four tackles in an all-action midfield performance, before popping up in the final seconds of stoppage-time to head home a dramatic winner.
Bruno Guimaraes’ game by numbers vs Leicester:
100% shot accuracy
80% pass accuracy
8 duels won
7 attempted take-ons
5 ball recoveries
4 tackles won
3 successful take-ons
1 chance created
Sensational signing. 🇧🇷⭐️ pic.twitter.com/kVMHOcHBTU
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 17, 2022
The marquee midfielder has enjoyed a promising start to his Premier League career and could turn out to be the signing that kick-starts Newcastle’s new era.
Forward: Leandro Trossard – Brighton
Brighton’s match-winner against Spurs after scoring at Arsenal last weekend, Trossard capped an impressive showing with a well-taken goal to seal the Seagulls’ North London double.
The Belgium international sold Eric Dier with a feint before finishing well past Hugo Lloris, a brilliant individual moment that secured three points for Graham Potter’s side.
Leandro Trossard bags for Brighton in the 90th minute! 😱
A lovely cut inside and finish!
That's a big blow to Tottenham's hopes of #UCL football… 😬 pic.twitter.com/xkggEnBUjF
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 16, 2022
It was the highlight of a performance in which Trossard worked hard at both ends of the pitch, including tracking back to block Son Heung-Min’s effort with the game goalless.
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United
Manchester United’s match-winner in a huge win for the Red Devils, who capitalised on defeats for Tottenham and Arsenal to move within three points of the top four.
Ronaldo scored his second hat-trick in three Premier League games – and 60th career treble – to earn his side a 3-2 win over Norwich, netting two clinical goals in the first half before a stunning free-kick to win the game after the Canaries pulled level.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the first Man United No. 7 to score 20 goals across all competitions since Cristiano Ronaldo did it in 2008-09 🤯🍷 pic.twitter.com/lpgn4hu6qk
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 17, 2022
It’s now 21 goals in all competitions for Ronaldo, who has risen to third in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot.
The 37-year-old might not be the long-term solution at Old Trafford, but his quality around goal once again masked the defensive deficiencies of his team and kept them alive in the Champions League chase.
Forward: Wout Weghorst – Burnley
More like it from the Burnley forward, who scored just his second Premier League goal to earn the Clarets a 1-1 draw at West Ham.
Weghorst has had a tough time since arriving in a £12m deal from Wolfsburg in January, fading after a fine start as Burnley have edged ever closer towards relegation.
Wout Weghorst is the first player to score for Burnley managed by someone else than Sean Dyche since Chris McCann scored against Bristol City in October 2012. 🦕 pic.twitter.com/beYgfoZNqK
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 17, 2022
His goal was the sort the club’s fans have expected since his arrival, as the towering target man rose highest in a crowed penalty area to head home from close range.
Burnley will hope that goal can help propel Weghorst – outscored by only Robert Lewandowski across his three-and-a-half seasons in the Bundesliga – on a run of goalscoring form that can lift the struggling side out of the bottom three.
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