Team of the Week: Wijnaldum surprises for the magpies as Manchester United and Manchester City players dominate the weekend

Team of the Week

This week’s premier league action saw Raheem Sterling’s hat-trick over shadowed by Georginio Wijnaldum putting four past Norwich, but Manchester United players dominate as the philosophy implementation seems to provide results.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)

David De Gea’s protracted move to Real Madrid over the summer never happened much to the relief of Manchester United but his display in the 3-0 win at Goodison Park will not end interest from the Spanish giants.

De Gea made one brilliant save with his foot to deny Romelu Lukaku and also kept out an in swinging Ross Barkley free-kick that almost crept in.

Right-back: Chris Smalling (Manchester United)

Chris Smalling has arguably been United’s most improved player since Louis van Gaal’s appointment in May 2014, and he was exceptional again on Saturday.

Smalling helped the Red Devils to their fifth clean sheet in the nine leagues matches they have played this season.

He also made an impact at the other end as he assisted Morgan Schneiderlin’s goal with his chest.

Centre back: Marcos Rojo (Manchester United)

Like defensive partner Smalling, Marcos Rojo was impenetrable at the back and also had a role in United being a nuisance in front of goal too.

It was Smalling who officially assisted Schneiderlin’s goal after just 18 minutes, but it was Rojo’s pass to Smalling that initially started the move.

Rojo also provided the cross from the left wing that set up Ander Herrera’s header that made it 2-0 four minutes later.

Left-back: Martin Olsson (Norwich City)

Norwich’s defending in their 6-2 loss at St James’ Park on Sunday left a lot to be desired to say the least, but Martin Olsson’s expert crossing gave the travelling Canaries some brief moments of joy.

Olsson first picked out Dieudonné Mbokani at the back post with a pinpoint delivery to make it 1-1 on the 20 minute mark and then repeated the feat for Nathan Redmond’s goal 11 minutes before half-time.

If only Olsson and his defensive colleagues were better in their own half, it might have ended happier for Alex Neil and his team.

Centre midfielder: Ander Herrera (Manchester United)

Ander Herrera has quickly become a fans’ favourite at Old Trafford rightly so when he puts in performances like he did this weekend.

Herrera headed in Rojo’s delivery after 22 minutes for his third league goal of the campaign – he has scored eight goals from 10 shots in all competitions in the current season.

Wayne Rooney’s landmark 187th goal in the Premier League, which took him to the joint second in the league’s history with Andy Cole, was teed up by Herrera too with a pass we typically associate with Spaniards.

Centre midfielder: Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United)

Newcastle United were perhaps surprisingly rampant against Norwich City, winning 6-2, where Moussa Sissoko pulled the strings in midfield.
Georginio Wijnaldum scored four goals on Tyneside whereas Sissoko managed a hat-trick – of assists.

A clever, dummied pass led to Wijanuldum’s first goal, a wonderful flighted cross landed on Wijanuldum’s head for 2-1 and an equally as nice lofted through ball teed up £13 million man Aleksandar Mitrovic for the Magpies’ fifth.

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Centre attacking midfielder: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

No surprises to see this man here. Raheem Sterling continued to prove his doubters wrong with a three-goal haul at home to AFC Bournemouth.

Sterling’s first goal was dubious however as he was offside when he stabbed home from close range after Wilfried Bony’s dogged assist.

Number two was of a lot more higher class though. Kevin De Bruyne’s pass was controlled by Sterling who magnificently dummied past Steve Cook and then Sylvain Distin and fired home his second before Charlie Daniels had time to block it with his determined slide tackle.

His hat-trick goal was fortunate to be his but they all count. Jesus Navas did well to run around Adam Federici, but he panicked, Federici recovered and Navas’ shot was saved. Sterling pounced on the rebound and was ruthless.

Centre attacking midfielder: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

He divides opinion, but at the moment there is no doubting that Mesut Ozil is performing brilliantly.

Arsenal beat newly-promoted Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road in the late kick-off on Saturday and Ozil had a hand in two of the Gunners’ three goals.

One of the assists came when Nathan Ake, on-loan from rivals Chelsea, seemed to have fouled the German international, and, if Sanchez did not score, a penalty would surely have been given.

Ozil did create a goal in his own right though when he cut back a Sanchez ball into the box which Oliver Giroud finished with consummate ease.

Centre attacking midfielder: Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United)

Just when you thought Sterling’s hat-trick was going to be the main talking point of the weekend, Georgino Wijnaldum goes and scores four.

It took him just 14 minutes to net for the first time, a cool finish past John Ruddy, and he had two 12 minutes later with an accurate header to put Newcastle back in front.

The match ball for Wijnaldum was secured when he turned in a Daryl Janmaat cross and he rounded up proceedings with a deflected effort five minutes before the end.

Striker: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

The Premier League’s surprising lead scorer was at it again as Jamie Vardy netted two more goals as Leicester drew at Southampton after being 2-0 down.

Vardy beat Kelvin Davis at his near post with a header from Nathan Dyer’s cross to get the Foxes back in the game and he rescued a point for Leicester in stoppage time for yet another comeback for Claudio Ranieri’s men.

Leicester have amassed seven points from losing positions this season and they can thank Vardy for a lot of that – he has 10 goals in his last 10 Premier League matches – nine of them coming this season.

Striker: Wilfried Bony (Manchester City)

Sterling’s hat-trick got everyone waxing lyrical, but Wilfried Bony’s two goals and one assist helped proceedings for Manchester City.

Goal number one for Bony was on the fortuitous side as Adam Federici dropped Bacary Sagna’s cross and the Ivorian forward then had the simple task of tapping in.

Bony doubled his tally when Navas found him in the box and Federici had no chance of keeping out the shot.

He composed Sterling’s opener too with a determined pass which the ex-Liverpool man poked home to get the ball rolling for the league leaders.

Read more from Benjamin Wills here.

Follow Ben at @BenjaminWillsSJ

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