Each week we delve through the Premier League’s weekend action and compile our divisional Team of the Week from the fixtures’ finest performances.
Manchester City are the Premier League champions for a fifth time in six seasons, with Pep Guardiola’s side coronated this weekend after Arsenal lost at Nottingham Forest.
Elsewhere on the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season, Manchester United moved closer to Champions League qualification, Brentford beat Tottenham, and Everton left it late to snatch what could be a precious point at Wolves.
Here is The Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper: David Raya – Brentford
David Raya has been linked with a summer move to Tottenham and will no doubt have impressed his reported suitors this weekend.
The Spaniard had no chance with Harry Kane’s brilliant opener for Spurs, but did well to save from Son Heung-min soon after. Raya’s distribution and alertness off his line impressed during Brentford’s come-from-behind win, while he made two excellent late saves from Richarlison .
David Raya’s game by numbers vs. Tottenham:
25 passes completed
9 long balls completed
6 saves from close range
4 high claims
Some vital saves. 🧤 pic.twitter.com/9P0Dl8XyOo
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 20, 2023
It’s easy to see why the goalkeeper is expected to be in such high demand this summer.
Right-back: Serge Aurier – Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest have secured Premier League football for another season, with Steve Cooper’s side beating Arsenal 1-0 to end the Gunners’ title dreams.
Serge Aurier was excellent down the right-hand side for Forest as the Ivorian produced an all-action performance for the home side.
Aurier was strong defensively and rampant on occasion when venturing forward, offering Forest – who had just 18% of the possession – a useful outlet on the counter.
Centre-back: Yerry Mina – Everton
Yerry Mina was the unlikeliest of heroes for Everton as the defender’s late, late goal earned the struggling Toffees a 1-1 draw at Wolves.
The Colombia international has struggled for form and fitness this season, but might just have scored the most crucial goal of Everton’s campaign after bundling home a 99th minute equaliser at Molineux.
Yerry Mina equalized in the 𝟗𝟗𝐭𝐡 minute for 17th-place Everton 😱 pic.twitter.com/PhCgiEkAwA
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 20, 2023
It was the highlight of an impressive defensive performance from Mina who dominated his duels and relieved pressure with headed clearances. His goal has, crucially, left Everton’s fate in their own hands ahead of the final weekend.
Centre-back: Ben Mee – Brentford
Brentford came from behind to beat Tottenham 3-1 this weekend, with Ben Mee outstanding at the heart of the Bees’ defence.
Mee made a crucial last-ditch block from Son Heung-min to stop a certain goal and later made crucial interventions to frustrate both Dejan Kulusevski and Pedro Porro.
The 33-year-old has been a brilliant addition for Brentford this season, with his free transfer arrival from Burnley representing one of the best value deals of the Premier League campaign.
Some second half, that 😁 What a performance from this guy! 🐝 pic.twitter.com/BXQR4YT5Xk
— Ben Mee (@Ben6Mee) May 20, 2023
Left-back: Renan Lodi – Nottingham Forest
Renan Lodi was in tears at the full-time whistle after Nottingham Forest’s Premier League status was confirmed with a 1-0 win over Arsenal.
Forest soaked up pressure before threatening on the break and Lodi was outstanding in dealing with one of the Premier League’s toughest tests. The left-back shackled Bukayo Saka superbly, channelling the winger out of dangerous areas and restricting his influence.
The Forest fans will hope this was not goodbye from the Brazilian, whose future is uncertain as his loan at the City Ground reaches its conclusion.
Midfield: Douglas Luiz – Aston Villa
Douglas Luiz impressed as Aston Villa moved into the European positions with a 1-1 draw at Liverpool.
The Brazil international was dominant in midfield, leading his teammates for chances created (3) and tackles won (3), and providing the assist for Jacob Ramsey’s goal with a wonderful arced cross to the back post.
Douglas Luiz today against Liverpool:
3 chances created (most)
2 big chances created (most)
7 passes into final third
100% tackles won (3/3) (most)
4 ground duels won
100% aerial duels won
— Aston Villa Statto (@AVFCStatto) May 20, 2023
Luiz came close to leaving Villa last summer, but remained with the club and has been arguably their Player of the Season. There are strong foundations for Unai Emery to build upon for next season at Villa Park.
Midfield: Lucas Paqueta – West Ham
Lucas Paqueta has grown into the West Ham team this season and was the star man in the club’s 3-1 win over Leeds at the London Stadium.
The Brazilian is a wonderful footballer to watch at his best and went through his full repertoire of flicks, tricks and roulette spins away from trouble. His assist for Manuel Lanzini was brilliant as the midfielder kept control in a tight area by the byline.
Superb at times, he will be a key figure for this side next season, particularly if Declan Rice – as expected – moves on.
There’s nobody better… 🎶
— West Ham United (@WestHam) May 21, 2023
Midfield: Morgan Gibbs-White – Nottingham Forest
Always bright and key to Nottingham Forest’s game-plan as Steve Cooper’s side punished Arsenal on the counter-attack.
Gibbs-White was brilliant on the break and had a major role in the game’s decisive moment, as he capitalised on a loose pass to drive forward and set up Taiwo Awoniyi’s winner.
🏴 Morgan Gibbs-White has created 60+ chances (64) and has registered 50+ successful take-ons (51) for Nottingham Forest inside 35 starts in the Premier League. Forest have a star here. #NFFC #NFOARS pic.twitter.com/OwGVhFi1s1
— Mozo Football (@MozoFootball) May 20, 2023
The midfielder matched creative moments with boundless work-rate and has been the driving force behind Forest’s successful survival bid. Forest’s Player of the Season.
Forward: Bryan Mbuemo – Brentford
Bryan Mbuemo was the difference maker as Brentford beat Tottenham to move within one point of their London rivals.
The Bees were clinical on the counter-attack and it was Mbuemo who led the charge in the absence of the suspended Ivan Toney. Mbuemo brought Brentford level with a lovely equaliser five minutes into the second half, before bursting past Ben Davies to slide home a second.
Bryan Mbeumo strikes again 🔥
Brentford have turned the game on its head! pic.twitter.com/5jXB5bJo3J
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 20, 2023
The Cameroon international – whose nine Premier League goals are more than double the total he managed in 2021/22 (4) – then teed up Yoanne Wissa for the third in an outstanding attacking performance.
Forward: Aleksandar Mitrovic – Fulham
Aleksandar Mitrovic returned to the starting side for the first time since his eight-game suspension and justified his inclusion with both goals in Fulham’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
The Serbian slammed home from the spot to cancel out Odsonne Edouard’s opener for Palace, before powering home a brilliant header to move to 14 league goals for the campaign.
Arriving out of nowhere! 💥
Mitro’s 15th of the season. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/3eYMqaMP9q
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) May 20, 2023
Mitrovic missed a glorious chance in between those two goals, but produced a performance which demonstrated just how effective he can be as Fulham’s focal point. The Cottagers have missed the 28-year-old’s presence in his recent weeks.
Forward: Evan Ferguson – Brighton
Evan Ferguson scored twice as Brighton beat Southampton to secure European football for the first time in the club’s history.
The talented teenager was on target twice in the first half, firing a powerful low effort through goalkeeper Alex McCarthy before turning in Kaoru Mitoma’s cross to double the Seagulls’ advantage.
⚽️⚽️ Evan Ferguson (18 years 214 days) has scored his 5th & 6th PL goals – only 4 players have scored as many PL goals at a younger age
Alan Smith pic.twitter.com/1oEGs8epaC
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 21, 2023
The 18-year-old has had a breakthrough season at the Amex Stadium this term and underlined his status as one of the Premier League’s brightest prospects with a brace. It’s now six Premier League goals for the campaign.