After yet another fantastic weekend of top-flight action, it’s time to pick our Premier League team of the week.
Ederson – Rating: 9 (Man Utd 1-2 Man City)
Out of all the millions that Pep Guardiola has spent on players, mainly attackers, the Brazilian shot stopper could be his best signing to date. Ederson made four saves in the Manchester Derby on Sunday, including two brilliant close-range stops late on to deny the Reds from getting an undeserved point. Paul Pogba was a big loss for Man Utd, and the Reds struggled to create much and didn’t cause many problems for Ederson.
Pablo Zabaleta – Rating: 8 (West Ham 1-0 Chelsea)
Dealt with the runs of Marcos Alonso and Eden Hazard, and managed his side of the pitch well. He used all his experience and inspired the rest of his team-mates to a crucial win for the Hammers and David Moyes. West Ham’s first win in eight, but it doesn’t get any easier with the visit of Arsenal on Wednesday night. The midweek Champions League games seem to be having an impact on Chelsea’s form in the Premier League.
Nicolas Otamendi – Rating: 8 (Man Utd 1-2 Man City)
The Argentinian has scored more Premier League goals this season than any other defender. His four goals are twice as many as he has got in his two previous seasons combined, and he scored the winning goal in Man City’s last two games. This is the fourth time in a row that Man City have won 2-1, and surely their 11-point gap is too big of margin now for the teams behind them to close.
Winston Reid – Rating: 9 (West Ham 1-0 Chelsea)
Back in the team after missing two games from injury, Reid made an impressive 10 clearances against the Blues to secure a win and a clean sheet for the Hammers. Game by game David Moyes is making his West Ham team harder to beat, and they are looking more compact and organised. This was a coupon buster in the betting and are three bonus points for the Hammers in the race for survival.
Kevin De Bruyne – Rating: 9 (Man Utd 1-2 Man City)
Kevin de Bruyne controlled the midfield in the Manchester Derby, having more touches than any other player in the match (102). Man City, and especially the Belgian International, looked on another level to United. Rival fans have said that City have been lucky with their last-minute goals this season, but they have now beaten Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Man United comfortably, and have scored two goals or more in every game this season apart from the game against Everton when they went down to 10 men, and away at Stamford Bridge.
Riyad Mahrez – Rating: 8 (Newcastle 2-3 Leicester)
The Algerian has struggled over the last year, but he appears to be back to his best. Mahrez has already taken part in more goals (11) than he did in all of last season (10), notching up four goals and four assists in his last 10 matches. Mahrez is getting away with his dodgy haircut by putting in MOTM performances each week. Leicester are ticking along nicely under Claude Puel, and are an outside bet for a European spot.
Son Heung-min – Rating: 8 (Spurs 5-1 Stoke)
Son Heung-min both scored and assisted in Tottenham’s win on Saturday. The South Korean created six chances for his team-mates, more than any other top-flight player this weekend. With Deli Alli not firing on all cylinders, it is important for Spurs’ to have other player that can help out with goals, and not just relying on Harry Kane all of the time. The pressure is growing on Mark Hughes and their game at home to West Ham on Saturday could be a win or bust game for him.
David Silva – Rating: 9 (Man Utd 1-2 Man City)
Five of David Silva’s six Premier League goal involvements against Manchester United have come at Old Trafford, three goals and two assists, and the Spanish play-maker opened the scoring in City’s 2-1 win over their Manchester rivals. Everyone thinks that Kevin De Bruyne is a cert for player of the season, but David Silva’s consistent form over the season may see him win it yet, and the fact that he has never won it is criminal.
Steve Mounie – Rating: 8 (Huddersfield 2-0 Brighton)
The Huddersfield forward hadn’t scored since bursting on the scene on the opening day of the season when scoring two against Crystal Palace, but he deserved his couple of goals on Saturday. He was a constant thorn in the Seagulls’ side all afternoon and ran the channels well in what I believe will be a six-pointer come the end of the season. Brighton need to put an end to their bad run quickly; we have seen over the years and around this time of the year when games are coming thick and fast, that teams like Brighton can go on a bad run that can stretch over a couple months.
Harry Kane – Rating: 9 (Spurs 5-1 Stoke)
Harry Kane scored his 90th Premier League goal in just his 131st game – only Alan Shearer (113 games) did so quicker. The England striker looked tired or injured over the past few weeks but looked back to his best with two goals on Saturday, and probably should have went home with the match ball. Could possibly be rested for the visit of Brighton on Wednesday with Spurs up against Manchester City on Saturday. A good weekend for Spurs with Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd all dropping points.
Jermaine Defoe – Rating: 8 (Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth)
Jermain Defoe has scored 201 goals in league football, with 21 of them coming for Bournemouth over two spells. The England international has struggled since his move from Sunderland, but proved that class his permanent by taking both his goals superbly, and scoring arguably the goal of the season so far. That was Palace’s fourth draw in their last five games, and they need to start turning these performances into wins if they are to stay up.