Team of the Week: Manchester City and Everton stars shine, Crystal Palace run riot

Crystal Palace and Sunderland dominate the Team of the Week following two effective performances, while City, Spurs and Everton stars helped their sides continue their charges for a Top 4 position.

Goalkeeper: Costel Pantilimon (Sunderland)

Sam Allardyce has, as expected, improved Sunderland’s back line since his arrival at the Stadium of Light, and goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon was superb as the last line of defence this weekend.

The Romanian made four saves in total, and it was fitting perhaps that his best one – the one that denied Jonathan Walters – occurred during the one minute’s applause for ex-Sunderland stopper Marton Fulop, who recently passed away after a battle with cancer.

Right-back: DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)

DeAndre Yedlin has a lot to prove if he wants to get into the Tottenham first 11, but the right-back, on loan at Sunderland, put in a good shift against Stoke on Saturday.

He helped the relegation strugglers to their third clean sheet of the season, and also played a part in youth graduate Duncan Watmore’s second Sunderland goal with a long throw-in to set the youngster on his way to a marvellous goal.

Centre back: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)

Tottenham Hotspur’s 0-0 draw with London rivals Chelsea on Sunday lunchtime will not go down as a thriller, but Toby Alderweireld put in an accomplished performance at the heart of Spurs’ defence.

Alderweireld made 15 clearances – more than any other player at White Hart Lane – and he regained possession five times as he and the rest of the Tottenham team remain in the hunt for fourth place.

Left-back: Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland)

Patrick van Aanholt showed himself worthy of the initials ‘PvA’ during Sunderland’s 2-0 win over Stoke City, as he was like glue at the back for the Black Cats.

Sunderland earned back-to-back clean sheets for the first time since May, and van Aanholt was useful up the other end too, as he rifled in a free-kick to put Sam Allardyce’s men in front.

Right midfield: Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace)

‘Revenge’ is always the word of the day when Alan Pardew faces old club Newcastle, and while he insists there is no bad blood between him and the club, Pardew must have cracked a smile as his Crystal Palace side tore the Magpies apart.

Yannick Bolasie was, as ever, one of the main threats for the super Eagles, as he notched two goals, taking his tally to four for the season.

His first gave Palace a 2-1 lead after they had initially gone behind with a close-range finish, and he netted his second when he tapped in Damien Delaney’s headed flick-on from a Yohan Cabaye free-kick.

Centre midfield: James McArthur (Crystal Palace)

Much like his colleague Bolasie, James McArthur netted a brace in Palace’s 5-1 blitzing of Steve McClaren’s Newcastle.

McArthur equalised for the home side when his shot deflected in off defender Paul Dummett, and scored his team’s final goal of the game too after a move which he started.

Chancel Mbemba was dispossessed by the Scotland international, and Bolasie broke away, and though his pass to Patrick Bamford did not come off, McArthur pounced and prodded the ball between Rob Elliot’s legs.

Centre midfield: Ross Barkley (Everton)

Ross Barkley’s run of form is showing no signs of slowing down, and while Roy Hodgson was watching Jamie Vardy break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s consecutive goal-scoring record, his midfield protégé definitely deserves some attention.

Ramiro Funes Mori was on the end of a Barkley corner in the first half, and the 21-year-old scored what initially looked to be a late winner in the 95th minute.

Barkley squeezed a shot under Bournemouth’s third choice goalkeeper Ryan Allsop, sparking a mini pitch invasion, but celebrations turned out to be in vain.

Left midfield: Junior Stanislas (AFC Bournemouth)

Every point counts when you are in a relegation scrap, and Bournemouth’s 3-3 draw with Everton at the weekend must feel like a win thanks to its dramatic finale.

The Cherries scored three goals in the last 10 – well, 18 – minutes with stoppages, with Junior Stanislas scoring two of them in a thrilling sharing of the points.

Stanislas latched on to Josh King’s pull-back to make it 2-2 with six minutes left, and headed in a last-gasp leveller to snatch a point for Eddie Howe’s spirited side.

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Centre attacking midfield: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

When you sign for a club for £55 million, you had better be good. Luckily, Kevin de Bruyne is really good. Manchester City swept aside Southampton 3-1 at the Etihad this weekend, and De Bruyne had a hand in every goal.

De Bruyne tapped in Raheem Sterling’s squared pass for 1-0, then turned provider for the remainder of the match, getting two assists to his name.

A low corner from the pricey Belgian picked out fellow summer signing Fabian Delph for his first goal in a City shirt, albeit via a deflection, and Aleks Kolarov was also fed by De Bruyne for his goal.

Striker: Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace)

Connor Wickham is not a man teams typically go for if they are after a goal, but his hold up play was brilliant for his new side Palace, who he joined in the summer.

Wickham laid the ball off to McArthur for his first of two goals at Selhurst Park, and played a key role in the goal that put the east Londoners in the lead too.

He cut it across goal, and thanks to some hesitant Newcastle defending, Bolasie was there to blast it in the back of the net.

Striker: Troy Deeney (Watford)

Aston Villa’s woes continued on Saturday as they remain winless so far this season, but Watford’s season goes from strength to strength, and captain Troy Deeney has found his goal scoring touch again.

Deeney, being a devout Birmingham fan, fulfilled a life-long dream by scoring in front of Villa’s famous Holte End, and would have revelled in the abuse following his goal, as Watford won 3-2 in the Midlands.

He had earlier teed up strike partner Odion Ighalo to put the Hornets 1-0 up, and put another sting into Villa’s season, but the moment he will savour is his second-half header, as Watford trekked back down to Hertfordshire with all three points.

Read more from Benjamin Wills here.

Follow Ben at @BenjaminWillsSJ

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