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Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 28

Each week we delve through the Premier League’s weekend action and compile our divisional Team of the Week from the fixtures’ finest performances.

Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the table to eight points after easing past Crystal Palace, while Aston Villa’s improvement under Unai Emery continued after beating Bournemouth.

There was late goals and drama down at the bottom, as Everton and Southampton struck stoppage-time equalisers in what is fast becoming the most exciting relegation battle for some time.

Following the weekend action, here is The Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week.

Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez – Aston Villa

On a goal-laden Premier League weekend, it was Emi Martinez who provided the most assured goalkeeping presence. Martinez’s distribution was excellent during Aston Villa’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth, as the World Cup winner spread accurate passes out to Villa’s full-back options.

The Argentine was commanding from set-pieces and made a fantastic stop from Philip Billing’s powerful free-kick, a palm over the crossbar that ensured another clean sheet.

It’s now three wins and three clean sheets from their last four games for in-form Villa, who are just four points adrift of the Premier League’s top six.

Right-back: Ben White – Arsenal

A fantastic performance from White who has had quite an excellent season at right-back for Arsenal. The defender was a brilliant outlet for his side throughout and was involved in each of the opening two goals, stepping inside to assist Bukayo Saka for the second with a perfectly waited pass.

White’s tactical intelligence has seen him thrive at full-back this season, equally comfortable charging forward on the overlap as he is stepping inside into midfield or creating a central back three when required.

This was arguably his best performance for Arsenal from an attacking sense, which coupled with containing Wilfried Zaha made this a stand-out showing from the 25-year-old.

Centre-back: Harry Souttar – Leicester

Harry Souttar has proven a fine addition at Leicester and the Foxes’ man-mountain was brilliant during the club’s 1-1 draw at Brentford. Souttar dominated in the air and was effective on the ground, winning a game-leading 10 duels and making a number of well timed challenges.

Time and time again the Australian got his head onto loose balls to relieve pressure and kept a tight grip on the in-form Ivan Toney. The 24-year-old made a huge eight headed clearances and has provided much-needed presence to the Leicester backline since his January arrival.

Brendan Rodgers’ side remain in the relegation dogfight, but a hard-fought point at Brentford ended the club’s run of four consecutive league defeats.

Centre-back: Tyrone Mings – Aston Villa

Tyrone Mings bounced back from his England snub with another impressive performance as Aston Villa beat Bournemouth this weekend.

The centre-back won each of his five duels in a commanding performance, one which contributed to a clean sheet and comfortable win for Unai Emery’s side. Mings bailed out his teammates on a number of occasions – including one crucial sliding challenge on Dominic Solanke – and was an important part of Villa’s build-up play from the back.

The 30-year-old missed a glorious chance to score a third for Villa, but atoned for that error with an assist for Emiliano Buendia. It’s four unbeaten for Villa, who move level on points with Chelsea.

Left-back: Alex Moreno – Aston Villa

Another positive performance from the left-back who has settled in well at Aston Villa since his arrival from Real Betis in January.

Technically good with intelligent use of the ball when in the final third, he provided an outlet for Unai Emery’s side during Villa’s win over Bournemouth. His speed helped deal with the pace of Dango Outtara and the Spaniard is fast becoming an important option for Villa in possession.

Encouraging for Emery, whose side now trail only Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United for Premier League points won since his appointment.

Midfield: Abdoulaye Doucoure – Everton

Worked hard in the Everton engine room as Sean Dyche’s side twice came from behind to earn a draw at Chelsea.

Doucoure’s work-rate unsettled the home side and he had a crucial role in bringing Everton back into the game, heading home the first from close range before providing the assist for Ellis Simms’ late equaliser.

Out of favour under Frank Lampard, the change in manager has brought the best from Doucoure whose box-to-box presence has been appreciated under Dyche.

Midfield: Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

Even in a side with no shortage of fine performers this season, Granit Xhaka has been a revelation. The Switzerland international was at his dynamic best during Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Crystal Palace, in a performance which saw the midfielder win duels, regain possession and score for the second successive fixture.

Xhaka’s well-taken goal was the latest highlight in what has been a remarkable transformation, a redemption arc from public enemy to darling of the Emirates.

It was a little over three years ago when Xhaka clashed with the home fans during a disappointing draw with Crystal Palace. Against the same opposition this weekend he thrived, as the industrious heartbeat of Mikel Arteta’s league leaders.

Midfield: Jacob Ramsey – Aston Villa

Jacob Ramsey produced one of his best performances of the campaign to date as Aston Villa continued their improvement under Unai Emery with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth.

The midfielder’s bursts forward caused continued problems for Cherries, who struggled to pick up his runs into the final third. After two sights of goal in the first half, Ramsey was rewarded for his work with Villa’s second as he skipped past Jack Stephens and slotted home a low finish.

Forward: Bukayo Saka – Arsenal

Electric, again, in what might just be a huge win for Arsenal.

The Gunners moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace at the Emirates, a win which saw Bukayo Saka run riot down the right.

Saka scored twice and created another to continue his wonderful individual campaign, becoming the first player in the division to reach 10+ goals and 10+ assists this season.

The 21-year-old is also the first Arsenal player to have reached 10+ on each metric since Alexis Sanchez in 2016/17 and the youngest to have ever done so for the club, eclipsing Cesc Fabregas’ record from 2009/10.

Forward: Theo Walcott – Southampton

Walcott led Southampton’s fightback as the Saints fought back to rescue a draw with Tottenham this weekend. The veteran was a lively presence as Spurs struggled to deal with his movement in behind, with Walcott bursting away to tee up Che Adams just seconds into the second half.

Walcott looked his side’s most dangerous threat and fired in Southampton’s second with his first goal for the club in almost two years, setting the foundation for James Ward-Prowse’s stoppage-time penalty to snatch a valuable point.

Forward: Alexander Isak – Newcastle

Alexander Isak was Newcastle’s match-winner as the Magpies continued their chase for Champions League football with a late win at Nottingham Forest.

The Sweden international took his total to six goals in seven league starts for Newcastle this season after scoring a brace to end Forest’s impressive unbeaten run at the City Ground. Isak improvised brilliantly to score the opener, before holding his nerve in stoppage-time to dispatch an emphatic penalty that leaves Newcastle’s top four hopes firmly in their own hands.

It was a complete centre-forward performance from the 23-year-old, who led the game for shots (5), touches in the opposition box (9), sprints (20) and ranked second for dribbles (5).

Of players to have scored at least five Premier League goals, only Erling Haaland can better Isak’s 103.7 minutes per goal average in the division this season.

Read – Five of the best Serie A strikers of the 90s

Read Also – The players with the most headed goals in a single Premier League season

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