Team of the Weekend + Best Goal: Chelsea & City Boys Dominate
With Chelsea winning at West Ham, Arsenal beating Southampton and Manchester City smashing six past Spurs; we pick the Team of the Weekend – do you agree?
We are up and running back in the Premier League; and this was a weekend of goals. From the late and dramatic, to the high numbering and clinical; the goals just flew in, as if the players were making up for lost (international break) time!
Arsenal managed to extend their lead at the top of the EPL to four points with a home win over Southampton, after Liverpool could only manage a hard fought 3-3 draw at Everton. Chelsea comfortably saw off West Ham, while the result of the weekend came at the Etihad, with City hitting Tottenham for 6!
Meanwhile, Man Utd surrendered three points on the road, as Cardiff grabbed a late, late equaliser to secure a 2-2 draw.
Here is the Football-Talk Team of the Weekend for Gameweek 12:
Simon Mignolet, Goalkeeper, Liverpool
Despite shipping three goals in the stunning Merseyside Derby on Saturday, Mignolet kept Liverpool in the game at times. With saves from Lukaku and Deulofeu, the Belgian further highlighted what a good signing he was in the summer after Pepe Reina’s departure.
Branislav Ivanovic, Defender, Chelsea
The Blues’ big Serb had some early issues with Stewart Downing in the first half of Chelsea’s 3-0 win on Saturday, but put in a good shift overall; aiding the attack and keeping calm at the back. A super defensive header under pressure from Mark Noble kept Chelsea’s rare clean sheet intact.
Gary Cahill, Defender, Chelsea
Alongside John Terry at the back, Cahill effortlessly quashed any and all forays from the Hammers’ toothless attack on Saturday. Had a headed effort cleared off the line before the hour mark; and further consolidated his place in the heart of the Chelsea defence.
Per Mertesacker, Defender, Arsenal
Fresh from his match-winning antics with Germany in the week, Arsenal’s defensive tank was at his towering best against Southampton on Saturday. Comfortably dealt with the limited Saints attack, and won his side the penalty that enabled Olivier Giroud to make it 2-0, and tie up the result.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Defender, Chelsea
Playing once more in Ashley Cole’s absence, ‘Azpi’ thrived in the unorthodox right back role against Chelsea’s London rivals. Made a crucial interception on Ravel Morrison in the first half, joined in attacks with vim, and defended consummately. He is making life a little uncomfortable for Cole, as the England man watches on from the bench.
Jesus Navas, Winger, Man City
The Spaniard is slowly integrating himself into the City fold, and had his best match yet against Spurs on Sunday. Helping himself to two goals, and setting up Aguero with a sumptuous cross; Navas tore up the right flank with effortless speed all match.
Yaya Toure, Midfielder, Man City
Man City’s Toure was at his destructive best on Sunday, as Tottenham fell to pieces right from the off. A wonderful piece of linkup play from the Ivorian gave Aguero his second goal of the day; the assist a reward for all of Toure’s industry and drive. Such a good player.
Frank Lampard, Midfielder, Chelsea
‘Super’ Frank Lampard was in a match-winning kind of mood against his former side on Saturday, ending his longest goalless stretch in a Chelsea shirt with a brace; his first a cracking penalty, followed up by a cool finish from the edge of the box.
It was the tenth straight game without a goal in the Premier League for the Chelsea stalwart, and he ended that with aplomb. Unlucky not to add to his tally with a number of decent attempts; the England man led by example throughout.
Oscar, Midfielder, Chelsea
Oscar is truly a joy to watch, and yet also quite capable of applying himself to the nitty-gritty of the English top flight. Showing off his gorgeous touch and vision throughout, the Brazilian was also one of the Blues’ most hard working players in tracking and defending from the front.
The 22-year-old bagged a great, long-range effort to take the game away from West Ham.
Alvaro Negredo, Striker, Man City
Despite Sergio Aguero being in red-hot form, and quite deserving of a spot in this week’s line-up; I have instead gone for his strike-partner, Negredo, who more than matched his Argentinian colleague, and is proving to be a key man for City.
Scored a great goal, hit a great scissor-kick which lead to the Sandro own-goal, and linked-up superbly with the rest of his team. City have a very impressive goal difference in the EPL, thanks to their 13 goals from the last two games. Negredo has been a big part of that due to his tireless running, and powerful holdup play.
Romelu Lukaku, Striker, Everton
With a little more flexibility afforded to me with my selections, Romelu Lukaku leads the line for Team of the Week newcomers, just as he did superbly for Everton in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Goodison Park.
Despite some suspect linkup play (still the reason why Mourinho doesn’t fancy him at present); Chelsea’s on-loan striker smashed in two goals to put Everton in with a shout of coming away victorious. Were it not for Sturridge’s late equaliser, and some great saves from Mignolet, it could have been much worse for Liverpool.
Player of the Weekend: Alvaro Negredo
Goal of the Weekend: Jesus Navas vs. Tottenham
What do you think? Agree with my selections? Let me know in the comments below…
/ 4 hours ago