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’s lead at the top of the Premier League was reduced to six points after the Gunners drew with Liverpool in a chaotic clash at Anfield, with Manchester City’s win at Southampton upping the pressure on the title-chasing north Londoners.
Elsewhere, Manchester United, Spurs and Newcastle all won to continue their Champions League push, while there was a big win for Crystal Palace who thrashed Leeds at Elland Road.
Here is The Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale – Arsenal
Arsenal appeared to be heading towards a statement win after racing into a two-goal lead at Liverpool, but the Gunners were forced to withstand strong pressure from the home side and required two brilliant saves from Aaron Ramsdale to leave Anfield with a point.
Ramsdale’s heroics saw the goalkeeper make stunning stops from Mohamed Salah and Ibrahima Konate in stoppage time, two saves which could have huge ramifications on the Premier League title race.
Aaron Ramsdale with two world-class saves in stoppage time to keep Arsenal in the game 🤯 pic.twitter.com/9YhZNov3Xn
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 9, 2023
Right-back: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Manchester United
Aaron Wan-Bissaka produced an encouraging performance as Manchester United continued their strong home record with a 2-0 win over Everton at Old Trafford.
The right-back was diligent defensively and gave little opportunity to Everton’s attacking options, while he linked well with his team mates further forward and got into promising attacking areas. He made five tackles, won five duels and made two key passes, in a performance which offers hope that the 25-year-old could salvage his career with the club under Erik ten Hag.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s game by numbers vs. Everton:
89% pass accuracy
5/7 ground duels won
5 ball recoveries
3/4 dribbles completed
2/2 tackles won
2 key passes
Another excellent performance. 🕸️ pic.twitter.com/6JgC8Aoe7s
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 8, 2023
Centre-back: Ibrahima Konate – Liverpool
Liverpool’s defensive issues have been well-documented this season, but Ibrahima Konate has been an exception when discussing the Reds’ underperforming backline. Konate has been a consistent performer for Liverpool this season and produced a colossal performance amid the chaos of the club’s draw with Arsenal.
The France international led his teammates for duels won (8), possession won (8), tackles (5) and interceptions (3), while a number of crunching challenges – including one excellently-timed tackle on Granit Xhaka – lifted the Anfield crowd as the momentum swung from end-to-end.
Ibrahima Konate’s game by numbers vs. Arsenal:
83% pass accuracy
5/7 ground duels won
5/6 tackles won
3/3 aerial duels won
So close to finding the winner. 🤏 pic.twitter.com/z6UlalPs56
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 9, 2023
A glorious missed chance late on will no doubt have frustrated, but the 23-year-old was excellent in his defensive duties.
Centre-back: Angelo Ogbonna – West Ham
Angelo Ogbonna was recalled to the West Ham side following the club’s defensive disaster against Newcastle in midweek and took his chance with a commanding performance at centre-back.
The Italian was good on the ground and even better in the air as he racked up a huge 12 clearances at Craven Cottage. Excellent in tandem with Kurt Zouma, the 34-year-old provided presence that has been lacking in the West Ham backline for much of this season.
Angelo Ogbonna made more clearances (12) than he attempted passes (10) in West Ham's 0-1 win against Fulham.
If in doubt… 😂 pic.twitter.com/8JiR9VM5Iz
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 8, 2023
Left-back: Toti Gomes – Wolves
Julen Lopetegui was keen to emphasise the importance of the team in Wolves’ win over Chelsea, but acknowledged that Toti Gomes was a standout performer. Gomes shone in an unfamiliar left-back role, as he shutdown the threat of Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic.
The 24-year-old is not a natural full-back, but brought dynamism, work-rate and fight to the role – potentially key attributes in Wolves’ battle to survive this season. Willing to put his body on the line and a fierce competitor in defensive duels, his performance was key to a hard-earned clean sheet at Molineux.
Stunning win this afternoon.
Your support was crucial, we'll keep fighting!
Happy easter everyone! pic.twitter.com/Lmtcqhy0tp
— Toti Gomes 💫 (@TotiGomes23) April 8, 2023
Midfield: Matheus Nunes – Wolves
The sort of performance Wolves have been waiting for from Matheus Nunes. The club’s record signing was outstanding as Julen Lopetegui’s side beat Chelsea at Molineux, with the midfielder’s direct running at defenders and willingness to get into dangerous areas causing problems all afternoon.
Nunes was industrious in his work as he won 10 duels and good in possession, while he ended his wait for a first Premier League goal with an outrageous effort to seal Wolves’ 1-0 win. It was a stunning strike from the Portugal international, one which left Kepa Arrizabalaga with no chance and saw Wolves edge away from the bottom three.
STOP SCROLLING and watch Matheus Nunes' incredible strike from all angles 🤤 pic.twitter.com/v2KPLN4uIL
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 9, 2023
Midfield: Philip Billing – Bournemouth
Bournemouth came out on top in a relegation six-pointer at Leicester, as the Cherries won 1-0 to climb out of the Premier League’s relegation places.
Philip Billing continued his superb season to score the winning goal, as the midfielder latched on to James Maddison’s poor pass to slot past Daniel Iversen. It was a seventh league goal of the campaign for the Dane, who has revelled in his role marauding forward from midfield.
Billing has been brilliant operating off a lone forward, where his powerful running, awareness and composure in possession has carried Bournemouth up the pitch.
Seven goals from midfield for Philip Billing 🔥 pic.twitter.com/54j8ClNFhB
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) April 9, 2023
He was central to the counter-attacking game plan of Gary O’Neill’s side, who have won three of their last five game to breathe life into their survival bid. Expect bigger clubs to come circling for Billing this summer, regardless of whether Bournemouth beat the drop.
Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City
A fantastic performance from the Belgian, who was involved in almost all of Manchester City’s good work in the club’s 4-1 win at Southampton. De Bruyne set up City’s first two goals to move to a century of Premier League assists, before winning the penalty for the fourth goal at St Mary’s.
De Bruyne appears to have found form at just the right time for Pep Guardiola’s side, who are on a run of eight straight wins and chasing Premier League and Champions League success this season.
🅰️ Kevin De Bruyne has become the 5th player to make 100 @premierleague assists
162 Ryan Giggs
111 Cesc Fabregas
103 Wayne Rooney
102 Frank Lampard
100 KEVIN DE BRUYNE
De Bruyne becomes the fastest player to do so (237 apps), beating Fabregas (293 apps) pic.twitter.com/rntKVFe5bg
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 8, 2023
Right-wing: Michael Olise – Crystal Palace
Things are looking far rosier at Crystal Palace right now, after back-to-back wins under Roy Hodgson. The club’s new/old manager bounce continued with a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds, as the Eagles came from behind to thump their relegation rivals at Elland Road.
Michael Olise – superb in the win over Leicester last weekend – continued his excellent form with a hat-trick of assists, with Leeds unable to cope with the Frenchman.
Olise was involved in almost everything as Palace poured forward with threat in the second half and showcased his full range of purposeful dribbling and weight of pass.
Michael Olise’s game by numbers vs. Leeds:
10 ground duels won
7 ball recoveries
6 dribbles completed
6 key passes
4 crosses completed
3 big chances created
Masterclass. 🦅 pic.twitter.com/xQuaIkhzLj
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 9, 2023
He crossed for Jordan Ayew to head home the second, before rolling in Eberechi Eze as Palace took control. The winger became the first Crystal Palace player to assist three goals in a Premier League fixture after teeing up Odsonne Edouard.
Left-wing: Jack Grealish – Manchester City
Jack Grealish continued his brilliant recent form as Manchester City cruised to a 4-1 win at Southampton.
Grealish was direct with his dribbling and impressive in combinations, while he extended his recent record to six goal involvements in his last seven Premier League appearances with a goal and assist at St Mary’s.
He took his goal with a cool head, before providing the cross for Erling Haaland’s second goal. Grealish is beginning to produce the performances and output most expected from him in a City shirt.
8 wins a row, get in there boys!!! Now to get ready for a big game Tuesday 🙌🏻💙 pic.twitter.com/H2woJVxAl4
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) April 8, 2023
Forward: Erling Haaland – Manchester City
Erling Haaland is just inevitable.
The Norwegian was back in the side and back in the goals as Manchester City made it eight consecutive wins in all competitions at Southampton. Haaland was barely involved in times, but added two more goals – including an audacious acrobatic effort – to a record that is swelling with each performance.
WHAT. A. GOAL. 😲
Erling Haaland that is MAGIC! 👏 pic.twitter.com/Ub6aFLT0WC
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 8, 2023
It’s now 30 league goals for the season for Haaland and 44 in all competitions, the latter matching the single-season record for a Premier League player held by Ruud van Nistelrooy (2002/03) and Mohamed Salah (2017/18).
Salah’s record for a 38 game Premier League season (32) looks set to be the next one to fall, though Haaland’s immediate focus will be on a Champions League barnstormer with Bayern Munich in midweek.
Read – Five Liverpool stalwarts whose form has fallen off a cliff this season
Read Also – Eight talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend
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