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Premier League Team of The Week – Matchday 24

Our Premier League Team of the Week for Matchday 24, as we compile an XI of the finest performers from the weekend action.

Goalkeeper: Andre Onana – Manchester United

Andre Onana has had a tough start at Manchester United, it’s fair to say. The Cameroonian shot-stopper has made several high-profile errors at Old Trafford, with his shaky showings scrutinised intently.

Onana, however, has shown improvement of late. A clean sheet against West Ham was followed by arguably his best performance for the Red Devils to date at Aston Villa. In a must-win showdown, Onana made several strong stops to frustrate the hosts, providing the foundation for Scott McTominay to grab a late winner at Villa Park.

Right-back: Diogo Dalot – Manchester United

Forced into more defending than he would have liked in the opening exchanges at Aston Villa, which has not always been his strong suit. Dalot rose to the occasion, however, making a number of vital recovery challenges to frustrate the hosts.

Always an outlet down the right-hand side, he ventured forward to create the winner late on. His cross for Scott McTominay was superb, ensuring the midfielder only needed a decent connection to snatch three precious points at Villa Park.

Centre-back: Nathan Collins – Brentford

Nathan Collins was a casualty of Wolves’ need to balance the books in the summer, joining Brentford in a £23m deal after only one season at Molineux. The Republic of Ireland international was in fine form on his return to Wolves this weekend, helping Brentford to a clean sheet and an invaluable 2-0 win.

Collins made a joint-leading seven clearances and four interceptions and was influential in moving Brentford up the pitch. The 22-year-old made eight passes into the final third and three key passes, in a strong showing at his former side.

Centre-back: William Saliba – Arsenal

Arsenal’s title challenge faltered last season in the absence of William Saliba, with dropped points in draws with Liverpool and West Ham coming without the Frenchman in the side. This season, Saliba has been a standout performer in back-to-back wins over those two teams with the centre-back in fine form against the latter this weekend.

Saliba opened the scoring with a header and kept Jarrod Bowen quiet all game. Confidence personified, he completed 97% of his passes (73/75) in Arsenal’s record-breaking 6-0 win at the London Stadium.

Left-back: Antonee Robinson – Fulham

Antonee Robinson’s excellent season at Fulham continues. The left-back was all-action once again in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth, as he won 100% of his ground duels (4/4) and tackles (3/3), and made five interceptions and seven clearances.

Robinson has won possession more times in the defensive third than any other player in the Premier League this season, while his 58 interceptions are also a league-leading total. A key contributor at both ends of the pitch for the Cottagers.

Midfield: Declan Rice – Arsenal

West Ham fans know better than most how good Declan Rice is. When some questioned the £105m fee Arsenal paid for his services last summer, there were few of a West Ham persuasion claiming the Gunners had overspent.

Rice has had an immediate impact at Arsenal and returned to haunt his former team this weekend. A new role on set-pieces saw Rice create two goals as Mikel Arteta’s team ran riot in the first half, with dangerous deliveries turned in by William Saliba and Gabriel.

Rice’s impressive afternoon was capped in the second half by a stunning goal, as he swept in a wondrous effort from distance that gave Alphonse Areola no chance. A class act, the former Irons captain refused to celebrate at the London Stadium.

Midfield: Martin Odegaard – Arsenal

A performance full of creative quality from the Arsenal captain, with Odegaard the orchestrator of the club’s 6-0 win at West Ham. The Irons midfield could not get close to the Norwegian, who floated between opposition lines and made things happen for the Gunners.

He finished the game with two assists and could, and should, have had more as Arsenal inflicted West Ham’s joint-heaviest-ever defeat on home soil. According to data from Opta, Odegaard became the first Premier League player on record (since 2003/04) to complete 100+ passes (107), create 5+ chances (7), and assist multiple goals (2). Untouchable.

Midfield: Bruno Guimaraes – Newcastle

A magnificent midfield performance from the Newcastle midfielder, who scored twice to earn the Magpies a 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest. His first was a fantastic finish as he controlled a volley past Matz Sels with the outside of his boot, before scoring Newcastle’s winner after the break.

Guimaraes’s anticipation regained the ball in a dangerous area and he drove forward to bend a brilliant effort into the bottom corner. At the centre of Newcastle’s best moments all evening, in an outstanding individual performance from the Brazilian.

Forward: Bukayo Saka – Arsenal

An electric performance from the winger who brought up a goalscoring milestone in Arsenal’s humiliation of West Ham at the London Stadium. Saka reached 50 goals for the Gunners with a brace, winning and converting a penalty for his opener before cutting inside his marker to lash in a second.

Saka’s speed and intelligent runs posed problems for a West Ham team that defended dreadfully, as Arsenal sent out a statement in the title race. The 22-year-old has now scored 10 league goals in three consecutive campaigns and has reached 100 goal involvements in an Arsenal shirt.

Forward: Rodrigo Muniz – Fulham

Rodrigo Muniz has risen to the challenge of Armando Broja’s arrival at Fulham, finding his feet in the Premier League in recent games. After opening his account with a goal at Burnley last time out, Muniz was at the double in Fulham’s impressive 3-1 win over Bournemouth.

The 22-year-old was a handful all afternoon, battling well against Bournemouth’s centre-backs and running the channels with real vigour. He reacted quickest to turn in from Bobby Decordova-Reid’s centre, before scoring a second with an instinctive finish from Willian’s cross. The Brazilian’s Fulham future appeared uncertain last month, but he’s played his way into Marco Silva’s plans.

Forward: Erling Haaland – Manchester City

The difference in what was heading towards a frustrating afternoon for Manchester City. The champions did not register their first shot on target until the 71st minute when Haaland fired past Jordan Pickford to end Everton’s resistance.

The Norwegian’s fierce hit was his first goal since returning from a two-month lay-off and he added a second late on. Haaland’s pace and power were too much for Jarrad Branthwaite to handle before the 23-year-old kept his cool to roll a confident finish past Pickford.

He’s back.

Read – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

See more – Premier League Awards: Rice’s rocket, Hammers humbled

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