Here is our Premier League Team of the Week for Matchday 15 after the midweek schedule of top-flight football.
Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski – West Ham
David Moyes made a big call with the return of Lukasz Fabianski to the West Ham side, with the 38-year-old preferred to Alphonse Areola for the win at Tottenham. The Poland international’s distribution left much to be desired in the first half, but his experience was key to West Ham remaining in the game.
He made five saves, including four from inside the box, and while few of the efforts truly stretched the veteran, he added calming presence to the Hammers.
Right-back: Jack Hinshelwood – Brighton
A first senior goal, the boyhood Brighton fan earned his side a 2-1 win over Brentford. The versatile teenager started at right-back and made an impact at both ends, clearing a Brentford effort off the goal-line before popping up with the match-winner.
It was an impressive effort from Hinshelwood, who climbed above his marker to meet Pascal Gross’ cross and head home, generating the power needed to beat Mark Flekken. A solid showing from the 18-year-old, who looks ready for more opportunities in Roberto De Zerbi’s side.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) December 7, 2023
Centre-back: James Tarkowski – Everton
An unfortunate omission after the weekend win at Nottingham Forest, James Tarkowski was again impressive as Everton climbed out of the relegation places. The Toffees thrashed Newcastle 3-0 in a brilliant team performance from Sean Dyche’s side, who have shown real spirit since being handed their Premier League points deduction.
Tarkowski handed back the armband to the returning Seamus Coleman, but remained a leader for the Blues at the back. One thunderous challenge on Bruno Guimaraes earned a roar of approval from Goodison.
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool
Van Dijk opened the scoring for Liverpool at Sheffield United, as the Dutch defender volleyed home his first of the season to set the Reds on route to a 2-0 win.
The Liverpool captain was strong defensively, as he has been all season, to earn his side a clean sheet, including a superb intervention to deny Cameron Archer inside the area.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 7, 2023
Left-back: Pascal Gross – Brighton
Put Pascal Gross anywhere on the pitch, and he will deliver. The German was the catalyst for Brighton’s turnaround against Brentford, scoring the equaliser with a sweet left-footed strike from the edge of the area.
Gross turned from goalscorer to provider after the break, with his high cross headed home by Jack Hinshelwood for the winner.
Consistent, classy, and multi-dimensional. A fabulous footballer.
Midfield: Scott McTominay – Manchester United
Manchester United’s most reliable goal threat, who would have thought it?
The midfielder scored both goals as the Red Devils beat 2-1 Chelsea at Old Trafford, extending his record as the club’s leading scorer to six in all competitions.
McTominay’s best performances come when he is granted licence to roam forward from midfield, a role which brings the best from his energy and sharpness inside the area.
Scott McTominay’s goals have earn Manchester United 7 points in the Premier League this season, without them, Man Utd would be 13th in the competition.
McStriker. ⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/PznQflNPm2
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 6, 2023
The Scotland international reacted well to take his first brilliantly, and should have had another after being denied by Robert Sanchez’s double save. His second did arrive, however, as he headed home for the winner.
Midfield: John McGinn – Aston Villa
McGinn ran, and ran, and ran. Manchester City could not handle the Aston Villa captain who hassled the midfield of the champions with non-stop work-rate.
The Scotland international pressed John Stones, Rico Lewis and Bernardo Silva relentlessly, setting the tone for a Villa performance that saw Unai Emery’s side regain possession in the final third on 13 occasions.
1 – In their victory over Manchester City, John McGinn was the top-ranked Aston Villa player for:
Chances created from open play (4)
Completed dribbles (5/5)
Passes in the final third (18)
Duels won (14)
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 7, 2023
No team has ever been so successful in pressuring Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side, and McGinn was key to that.
Right-wing: Leon Bailey – Aston Villa
The match-winner as Unai Emery claimed a first ever win over Pep Guardiola. This was the sort of performance that Aston Villa fans will have hoped for when Bailey signed 18 months ago, with the Jamaican a live-wire of attacking threat. After an early sighter he scored the decisive goal against Manchester City, his deflected effort looping past Ederson for the only goal of the game.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 7, 2023
Bailey looks brighter, fitter, and sharper than we’ve seen him in a Villa shirt. After only glimpses of what he can do, Villa will hope his recent goalscoring form is the start of a consistent run.
Left-wing: Andreas Pereira – Fulham
Back to his best in a five-star Fulham performance. Pereira hit the post with a fantastic free-kick effort early on, before pulling the strings in a big win for Marco Silva side.
The midfielder set up Raul Jimenez’s goal with a sharp piece of play, before picking out the Mexican to score his second with a lofted pass into space.
Pereira’s vision and neat touches linked superbly with the impressive Tom Cairney, and the two combined for the fifth goal as the former recorded his third assist of the game. He’s not quite hit the standard of last season yet, but this was better from the Brazilian.
Forward: Gabriel Jesus – Arsenal
Gabriel Jesus is in real form right now and was central to Arsenal escaping from Luton with all three points. The Brazilian’s press contributed to the North London side’s opening goal at Kenilworth Road, before Jesus met Ben White’s floated delivery to head home the second.
Involved again with a lovely assist for the third, it was a fine centre-forward performance from Jesus, who battled Luton’s centre-backs all game. He’s a crucial outlet for this team.
White 🔗 Jesus
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 6, 2023
Forward: Raul Jimenez – Fulham
It’s been a tough start for Raul Jimenez at Fulham, but the forward has found his feet. After ending his goal drought against Aston Villa last month, the Mexican has been re-energised. Excellent against Liverpool at the weekend, he was superb as Fulham thrashed Nottingham Forest in midweek.
Jimenez scored his first of the evening with an emphatic finish into the top corner, before showing strength and subtly with an outstanding second. After collecting Andrea Pereira’s pass, Jimenez showed strength to shrug off Ola Aina, before rounding the goalkeeper and back-heeling the ball home. His confidence is back.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 7, 2023