Ben Wills selects his standout XI from a thrilling weekend of Premier League action. Some world-class names are in the mix, joined by Nathan Ake and DeAndre Yedlin.
Goalkeeper: Adrian (West Ham United)
Adrian did concede two goals at Goodison Park, but West Ham United’s dramatic 3-2 win over Everton can largely be dedicated to the display of their Spanish stopper.
He made six saves in total, the most crucial no doubt being when he denied Romelu Lukaku from the penalty spot when Everton were 2-0 up. Had the spot-kick not been saved the Toffees would surely have gone on to win.
West Ham charged back with three late goals and Adrian kept out the home side a further five times as the Hammers kept their surprise Champions League charge alive.
Right-back: DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
Sunderland hearts were broken when a much-needed win against Southampton was taken away from them by a late Virgil van Dijk leveller, but at least DeAndre Yedlin’s performance gave the Black Cats something to smile about.
The American was dominant down Sunderland’s right-hand side, defending well and contributing to attacks going forward.
It is harsh on Yedlin that Sam Alladyce’s side failed to keep a clean-sheet; it would have been the club’s first since November.
Centre-back: Ashley Williams (Swansea City)
Ashley Williams is often touted with a move to a ‘bigger club’, which so far has failed to materialise – much to the joy of his fans, as the Welshman was pivotal again as Swansea overcame strugglers Norwich.
Williams was his usual commanding self at the heart of the Swansea back four to lift the Welsh club nine points away from the dreaded drop zone.
Saturday’s 1-0 win was Swansea’s first clean-sheet since mid-January when they beat Watford by the same score, also at the Liberty Stadium.
Left-back: Nathan Ake (Watford)
Riyad Mahrez’s goal kept Leicester clear at the top of the Premier League table, but the Foxes would have found it much easier at Vicarage Road had it not been for Watford’s Nathan Ake.
The Dutchman, on-loan from Chelsea, was assured in the left-back role all evening and kept Riyad Mahrez at bay for as long as humanly possible. The Algerian only managed a goal when he drifted into the centre, away from Ake.Embed from Getty Images
Centre midfielder: Giannelli Imbula (Stoke City)
Giannelli Imbula’s switch from Porto to Stoke was the biggest deal of the January deadline day. He has made steady progress for the Potters since and he controlled the midfield at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
Imbula hit more passes (61) than any other player on the pitch and 46 of them were in the opposition half, again more than any other player.
Centre midfielder: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City)
When teams are not at their best they call on their star players to drag them out of trouble and that exactly applies to Swansea City and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Sigurdsson scored the only goal of the game, a tidy shot into the bottom corner, to lift Swansea away from the bottom three with a big win against fellow relegation strugglers Norwich.
Newcastle and Sunderland also dropped points, so that win, and that goal, could be vital in the Swans’ season.
Centre midfielder: Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
The effort of Yaya Toure is sometimes called into question, but his ability is never in doubt. Sometimes it seems he can beat teams while playing at strolling pace… and that was the case against Aston Villa.
Manchester City took a while to get going against the club rooted to the bottom of the table, failing to score in the first-half, but once Toure broke the deadlock three minutes into the second period the Citizens never looked like dropping points.
Toure swept in from David Silva’s pass and Brad Guzan had no chance of keeping it out.
Attacking midfielder: Dimitri Payet (West Ham United)
West Ham’s 3-2 triumph over Everton was the most dramatic win of the weekend and their Player of the Year Dimitri Payet was, as always, instrumental in their success.
Slaven Bilic’s star man – who according to the song is better than Zidane – put in a delectable cross that Diafra Sakho headed in for 2-2, before he scored himself in the dying moments.
Payet seized on to a clever Sakho flick to finish past Joel Robles and win it for West Ham with his last-gasp strike.
Attacking midfielder: David Silva (Manchester City)
Silva has not been as instrumental for Manchester City as he would have liked this season and there are some worries he will not be part of Pep Guardiola’s plans.
But City’s easy-on-the-eye number ten contributed two assists this weekend, setting up Toure’s goal and Aguero’s second with some neat interplay that the Spaniard is renowned for.
His Saturday showing may well have changed Guardiola’s mind, as he knocked the ball around as well as anyone the ex-Barcelona boss has managed.
Striker: Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)
He is for many the best striker in the Premier League and Sergio Agüero again showed why at the weekend with a brace.
Aguero’s first was somewhat fortunate though, as the ball ricocheted off Brad Guzan and the Argentine before finding the back of the net.
Number two, however, was a stroke of genius, as he combined beautifully with Silva and volleyed in to make it 3-0 to City. He would have had a hat-trick too, had he not missed a second-half penalty.
Striker: Josh King (AFC Bournemouth)
Bournemouth may have spent nearly £20 million on strikers Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban in January, but it was Josh King they had to thank on Saturday after a crucial win away at Newcastle United.
The Cherries opened the scoring via a fortunate Steven Taylor own goal and the low cross that led to it came from King with 28 minutes on the clock.
King then had a goal of his own to celebrate after he turned past two Newcastle defenders and lashed in Bournemouth’s second past a despairing Rob Elliot.