Here is our Premier League Team of the Week for Matchday 14 after an action-packed weekend of top-flight football.
Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez – Aston Villa
Aston Villa equalised late on to earn a point at Bournemouth this weekend, but Unai Emery’s side would have been out of the contest long before had it not been for Emi Martinez.
The World Cup winner made some crucial saves on the south coast, including one sprawling stop to deny Dominic Solanke from point-blank range. A great goalkeeper earns his team several points a season and Martinez made sure Villa got a result this weekend.
Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
After rescuing a result at Manchester City last weekend, Alexander-Arnold was Liverpool’s hero once again as the Reds edged a thriller with Fulham. The right-back’s brilliant free-kick crashed in off Bernd Leno for an own goal to open the scoring, before the 25-year-old moved into midfield with Liverpool chasing the game.
Scenes. 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/6fyCw9NzrX
— Trent Alexander-Arnold (@TrentAA) December 3, 2023
Trailing in the 87th minute, Wataru Endo equalised before Alexander-Arnold’s superb goal snatched the points second later. A big goal for the second week running.
Centre-back: Fabian Schar – Newcastle
Schar certainly enjoyed himself during Newcastle’s 1-0 win over Manchester United, with the Swiss centre-back roaming from his starting position in search of involvement.
Schar tried his luck on four occasions in search of a goal, revelling in the freedom he had to step forward into midfield and wander into the final third.
Solid defensively alongside Jamaal Lascelles, he won five duels and preserved his side’s clean sheet with a clearance from Sergio Reguilon’s effort.
Fabian Schar’s game by numbers vs. Manchester United:
84% pass accuracy
51/61 passes completed
6 long balls completed
5 duels won
1/1 dribbles completed
Great performance. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/QISnmdR4E0
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 2, 2023
Centre-back: Ben Mee – Brentford
Brentford remained patient to break down Luton. Just over a decade ago, these sides were facing off in the fourth tier, but Thomas Frank’s Brentford are now well established at this level and looked every inch a top-flight team.
After a frustrating first half, Ben Mee was involved in Brentford’s quick-fire double shortly after the break. The centre-back’s scuffed shot fell fortuitously for Neal Maupay to open the scoring, before Mee met Bryan Mbeumo’s corner to head home the second, via the aid of a deflection off Carlton Morris.
Left-back: Tino Livramento – Newcastle
Outstanding. Livramento is fast making a name at Newcastle and was all-action down the left flank against Manchester United.
The 21-year-old tormented Marcus Rashford, who had no answer to Livramento’s industry. Up and down all game, he was key to an impressive Newcastle performance at both ends.
— tino livramento (@tino_livramento) December 2, 2023
Livramento, and teammate Anthony Gordon, must be on Gareth Southgate’s radar.
Midfield: Christian Norgaard – Brentford
An underrated component of an often underrated side. Christian Norgaard was the hub of a comfortable Brentford win against Luton, running the game from an anchor role in midfield as the Bees claimed a 3-1 win at the Gtech Community Stadium.
The Dane – who is set to face England at next summer’s European Championship after this weekend’s group stage draw – led the game for touches (113), passes into the final third (34) clearances (6) and tackles (4), while no player covered more distance (12.2km).
Midfield: Ryan Christie – Bournemouth
Bournemouth drew with in-form Aston Villa in the battle of the Basque managers, with Ryan Christie exceptional for the Cherries. The former Celtic man was everywhere for his team, winning a staggering 11 ground duels and six tackles.
Christie completed seven of his eight attempted long passes in the contest, created two chances, and provided the assist for Antoine Semenyo’s opening goal after capitalising on a Diego Carlos mistake. A brilliant showing from the Scot.
Midfield: Martin Odegaard – Arsenal
When Martin Odegaard is on song, Arsenal are a fine watch. The Norwegian was back to his best this weekend, following his midweek goal against Lens with another in the North London side’s 2-1 win over Wolves.
Odegaard’s invention opened up Wolves throughout and he capped a fine, flowing team move to score one of the best Premier League goals of the weekend. Untouchable in pockets of space at times, the Arsenal captain is worth the admission at the Emirates.
Odegaard on point 🎯 pic.twitter.com/EhUWzUZId0
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 3, 2023
Forward: Luca Koleosho – Burnley
A real problem. Koleosho has been an impressive pick-up for Burnley, with the winger behind only Manchester City’s Jeremy Doku for successful take-ons in the Premier League this season.
The 19-year-old has been a headache for full-backs all season without tangible reward but scored his first Burnley goal as the Clarets thrashed Sheffield United 5-0 at Turf Moor.
Burnley have endured a miserable time of late, but this was a big win and Koleosho was at the heart of it. His pace and dribbling troubled the battered Blades and his goal was a deserved moment for Burnley’s bright spark.
Forward: Dejan Kulusevski – Tottenham
Another hard-running performance from the Spurs star, who excelled in a midfield role. The Swede has helped fill the void left by James Maddison’s absence and was superb as Spurs fought back to earn a draw at Manchester City.
Kulusevski set Son Heung-min racing away to open the scoring inside six minutes, before grabbing a dramatic equaliser late on to continue his fine record at the Etihad.
Dejan Kulusevski is the first player to score and assist in multiple Premier League games against Man City at the Etihad since Pep Guardiola took charge:
◉ 2022: ⚽🅰️
◉ 2023: ⚽🅰️
He assisted a 95th minute winner one year and scored a 90th minute equaliser the next. 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/ahqXaq2jJw
— Squawka (@Squawka) December 3, 2023
The 23-year-old rose above Nathan Ake to head home and rescue a result, becoming just the second Premier League player to score away at the reigning champions in three consecutive campaigns.
Forward: Gabriel Jesus – Arsenal
No goals, no assists, no matter. Those who judge Jesus solely on goals are doing a disservice to the forward’s all-round game, which brings out the best in his Arsenal teammates.
Rarely was that more evident than this weekend against Wolves, where the Brazilian led the line superbly and linked the game. He was involved in both goals, while his work-rate and intricate touches knitted together Arsenal attacks.
Mikel Arteta’s side have been much improved since his reintroduction to the side.