Premier League Team of the Week

Premier League MW10 TOTW: Man City dismantle Burnley again, Chelsea-Spurs stalemate and super sub Cavani saves Manchester United!

MW10 in the Premier League remained as wild and unpredictable as the previous nine. We had VAR controversy, dominant wins, top of the table clashes and late comebacks. Jozef Kostecki provides a roundup of the best eleven performers from this action packed week of the Premier League….

Premier League Matchweek 10 Results

27th November 2020 Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle United
28th November 2020 Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Liverpool
28th November 2020 Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
28th November 2020 Everton 0-1 Leeds United
28th November 2020 West Brom 1-0 Sheffield United
29th November 2020 Southampton 2-3 Manchester United
29th November 2020 Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham
29th November 2020 Arsenal 1-2 Wolverhampton
30th November 2020 Leicester City 1-2 Fulham
30th November 2020 West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa

Premier League Matchweek 10 Manager of the Week – Pep Guardiola

Christmas, Birthdays, Manchester City beating Burnley five nil at home. As every year passes these traditions seem guaranteed to continue till the end of time. Saturday’s destruction marked the third year in a row that this fixture has ended up with this result, and like the previous two, Guardiola’s tactics were spot on.

The ball got rolling and within minutes it was being picked out of the Burnley goal. This would be the theme of the game Burnley had no answer to any of Guardiola’s tactics and never looked for a second like they would offer any threat to the Citizens’ goal.

The way Guardiola got his team to dismantle the usually solid as a rock Burnley side is deserving of full commendation and plaudits, limiting the Clarets to one shot on target whilst peppering their goal with shots. The game was wrapped up by half-time with the Manchester team leading by three. It got no easier for Burnley and as is standard when they make the trip up to the blue side of Manchester; they were sent back on the short trip home thoroughly embarrassed.

Premier League Matchweek 10 Player of the Week Riyad Mahrez

Well, if Guardiola got his tactics spot on, Riyad Mahrez listened to them better than any other. The two-time Premier League winner was electric, lighting the pitch on fire with his flair and finishing. The right forward was the right man on the day, putting up one of the best individual performances of anyone during this Premier League season.

The Algerian international’s most obvious positive was his brilliant hat-trick. Two exceptional curled efforts from his favoured left foot provided the first two of City’s goals, before he rounded up the Manchester side’s scoring with a bullet header that practically left a hole in the net. His last Premier League hat-trick came for Leicester City away at Swansea City in 2015/16.

The way he took full control of the game was beyond impressive, and it is shocking that before this game he only had one goal in the Premier League from his previous six appearances. On top of this, it is also a little surprising Mahrez didn’t come out with an assist after making six key passes.


Goalkeeper: Illan Meslier (8.7 Player Rating)

Throughout the years we’ve seen so many sides get promoted and spend money poorly in an attempt to stay up, with the signing of Illan Meslier it is clear Leeds have made no such mistake. The young Frenchman had his best performance yet since signing for the Yorkshire club against Everton. Making a huge eight saves, with five from shots inside the box, it was an elite level showing for the keeper.

This is all made even more impressive when considering how he did this to keep a clean sheet against Premier League top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin and co.

Full Back: Reece James (7.6 Player Rating)

In a tough top of the table clash, it was defender Reece James who stood out as the star performer on the pitch. The defender offered both an attacking and defensive class to the team, and it’s easy to see why the young full-back is fast becoming a fan favourite at Chelsea.

When going forward he offered three key passes to provide the goal that would break the deadlock in this big game. While this never happened it is yet another clean sheet for Chelsea, the fifth of their Prem season the most of any club, something that James has had a large part in starting eight and appearing in nine of this season’s games, only missing one.

Centre Back: John Stones (7.7 Player Rating)

With over one-hundred million pounds being spent on new centre-back’s this summer by Manchester City, many presumed this would bring an end to John Stones time as a starting defender. However, if that is the case then nobody told John Stones, because what a performance he put in against Burnley.

They deployed the Englishman as a ball playing centre-half and excelled, having both the highest pass percentage and the most passes completed of anyone on the field. He also didn’t shirk his defensive duties, being a key part in City keeping a clean sheet.

Centre Back: Nathaniel Phillips (7.5 Player Rating)

For the second week in a row a Liverpool defender has made the TOTW, and this week it’s Nathaniel Phillips. It was far from a world class performance from the defending Premier League champions, with them far from their sparkling best but Phillips held up his end in the defence.

While the injury crisis that’s plaguing Liverpool may damage their title retention, Liverpool fan’s will take solace in the fact it has brought the emergence of Nathaniel Phillips to the first team after spending last season on loan at Stuttgart.

Full Back: Benjamin Mendy (7.7 Player Rating)

Benjamin Mendy was looking doomed to be surplus for requirements in the left-back role after Joao Cancelo seemed to make the position his own when he has appeared there. However, against Burnley, Mendy showed he wasn’t ready to let his role slip through his fingers and instead showed he still wants to be first choice left-back.

Allowing himself freedom to roam forward, Mendy was determined to get his team in goal-scoring scenarios, attempting a series of long balls and crosses. Whilst these did not end up leading anywhere, Mendy picked up a goal. Lurking into the box with acres of space, Mendy volleyed home like a natural when getting onto the end of a Kevin De Bruyne assist.

This goal would put the game out of sight for City, leaving it three-nil at half time.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez (9.8 Player Rating)

With Sergio Aguero missing from the matchday squad and Raheem Sterling on the bench, many would have pinned Gabriel Jesus to be the big scorer for Manchester City against Burnley. Instead. it was 2016 African Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez who came out in full force.

Bagging himself a hat-trick in under seventy minutes, it was a complete performance for the Algerian international. There was much talk over the summer on if the signing of Ferran Torres would affect Mahrez’s game time, but having started seven Premier League games already this season and having games like this it doesn’t look like Mahrez will be on the bench anytime soon.

A player of pure class and skill, Manchester City fans will hope Mahrez will keep this up and rectify the club’s poor start to the season, after finding themselves in eleventh after ten games.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse (8.5 Player Rating)

Whilst when the full-time whistle was blown Southampton did not come away with the result they wanted, that does nothing to take away from the exceptional performance from Ward-Prowse. A regularly featured member in the TOTW, Ward-Prowse once again largely finds himself featuring on account of his elite level set piece ability.

One lesson all Premier League clubs need to learn is you never give a free-kick away against Southampton, because if you do, the English Pirlo will step up and strike home. Contributing both a goal and an assist through his set-pieces, he now sits just one goal and one assist away from his totals from last season.

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne (8.3 Player Rating)

The definition of a classic KDB performance, Saturday’s showing against Burnley, was straight out of the top draw. The linchpin in Manchester City’s midfield the Belgian star was world-class, picking apart the Burnley team with his expert passes. Once again his vision was elite and as a result he got his just reward picking up not one, but two assists.

While Mahrez’s hat-trick may be the one who steals all the headlines (and rightly so) it was almost as a good a showing from De Bruyne. Placing himself on five assists for this season, he is on his way to another big season this year.

Forward: Joelinton (8.7 Player Rating)

It has been a real up and down story for Joelinton since signing for Newcastle, however Friday night was definitely an up. Contributing his first Premier League goal and assist of the season, Joelinton was the difference maker in a tight away fixture against Crystal Palace.

Whilst he left it late to make his impact, it was his decisive defensive splitting pass that set Callum Wilson through to put it in between Guaita’s legs and into the net. He shortly followed this with a goal of his own after a generous deflection put it beyond the Spanish shot-stopper.  This goal however was something the striker deserved after never letting his head drop, taking seven shots throughout the game.

Forward: Edinson Cavani (9.2 Player Rating)

El Matador, El Matascore. Edinson Cavani has arrived in the Premier League and arrived in style. When he came onto the pitch from the bench at half-time he had some task ahead of him. His new team sat two goals down to a Southampton after an admittedly poor first half from the Red Devils.

Well, after the next forty-five minutes the tables were turned and Manchester United had secured a club record eighth Premier League away win. In black and white, the reason for this was Edinson Cavani. Firstly, he started the comeback train off from the station with a cross into Bruno Fernandes feet, before getting onto a deflected Bruno shot to tie up the game. It then became clear if anyone was going to get a winner for either side it would be Cavani, and as the clock ran down, he did just that.

In the dying embers of the game, deep into Fergie time (Ole time?), he placed a pinpoint header past Alex McCarthy securing a triumphant comeback.

Forward: Jack Grealish (8.9 Player Rating)

Captain Jack was once again in full force against West Ham on the last game of this Premier League game week. An absolute wizard with the ball at his feet the Aston Villa captain was on fire against the Hammers. It really felt more like a game from last season where it was up to Grealish to put his team on his back.

As a result of that, all the positives they showed came through him, making all eight of his dribble attempts and providing five key passes he was the star of the show. The peak of his performance was his incredible strike from outside of the box to tie up the game. While it proved to be in vain as the Hammers took the win, if the rest of the Aston Villa squad matched Grealish’s performance that would not have been the case.

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Honourable Mentions for Premier League TOTW 10

Matheus Pereira: It was a great showing from the Baggies central attacking midfielder. In a game that is essentially the first part of a relegation six pointer, it was Pereira that was the standout performer as his side picked up the win.

Scott Parker: Beating Leicester is no easy feat for any side in the Premier League, but Scott Parker got his Fulham side to do just that. Deserving of their three points, this win takes the London side out of the relegation zone.

Jarrod Bowen: While picking up a goal and an assist in a two-one win would normally be enough to see yourself into the TOTW, Bowen narrowly misses out. Still a very impressive showing yet again from the West Ham winger.

Sam Johnstone: In a West Brom side that has really struggled, the consistency of Sam Johnstone has been crucial in their survival fight. Saturday was no different as the former Manchester United shot-stopper was excellent yet again. As his side picked up their first win of the season, it was Johnstone’s excellence that ensured they left with a clean sheet.

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