Team of the Week: Leicester’s defence keeps up title dreams, Harry Kane helps Tottenham to easy win and Saido Mane puts Liverpool to the sword

Benjamin Wills picks the top eleven performers in an exciting weekend of Premier League action.

Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)

Leicester City’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace was one of the more end-to-end fixtures of the weekend, and if it wasn’t for Kasper Schmeichel, the Foxes would have stumbled during their pursuit to win a historic first Premier League title.

Schmeichel, son of Manchester United legend Peter, was called into action four times over the course of the game, and he saved all that came at him, keeping his fourth clean sheet in five games.

Right-back: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)

After Arsenal’s capitulations in the league, the FA Cup, and the Champions League over the past few weeks, many thought Everton might get something from their Saturday lunchtime meeting with Arsenal, but to no avail.

Hector Bellerin was one of the stand-out performers for the visitors as Arsenal kept their first league clean sheet since February 7.

Bellerin also provided the assist for fellow youth academy graduate Alex Iwobi’s first Premier League goal for the Gunners.

Centre back: Ashley Williams (Swansea City)

Swansea’s 1-0 win over doomed Aston Villa was not pretty but it was certainly needed, as the Welsh club all but confirmed their status as a Premier League side next season.

Ashley Williams was, as ever, the team’s most dominant performer, as the away side rarely threatened the Swans’ goal.

It is mainly due to their captain that they seemed to have survived the drop after a dip in results earlier on in the year.

Centre back: Wes Morgan (Leicester City)

Most of the plaudits for Leicester’s magnificent season have gone to Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, but in reality, the success of the club has been mainly down to their defence.

Their 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday was their 13th win by a one-goal margin this season.

Wes Morgan was the Man of the Match at Selhurst Park, and was typically sturdy at the back, demonstrating the immense improvement his game has seen over the past year.

Left-back: Christian Fuchs (Leicester City)

One of the more understated members of the Leicester squad this season has been Christian Fuchs, who signed on a free transfer from Schalke 04 last summer.

Fuchs has been a reliable 7/10 player all campaign, doing what he has needed to do to keep Leicester ticking, and he was very much the same at Crystal Palace, keeping their right winger at bay for the 90 minutes.

Right midfielder: Jon Walters (Stoke City)

Stoke have attracted some global names to the Britannia over the past few seasons such as Xherdan Shaqiri and Bojan; however, Jon Walters can still be the man they call on when they need the goals.

Walters broke the deadlock after 18 minutes when he turned in Phil Bardsley’s right-wing cross, and then the Irishman turned provider for Stoke’s second, which turned out to be the winner.

Joselu was set up by Walters to put the Potters 2-0 up before Watford scored a late consolation.

Centre midfielder: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)

For the first time in recent history, Chelsea’s season is practically over before the end of March, and for large periods, the Blues played like it. Cesc Fabregas had other ideas.

Chelsea were trailing heading into the break, but the Spaniard dispatched a free-kick to put life back into the west Londoners.

They failed to build on this, though, and fell behind again, but Fabregas dragged them level once more in the closing stages when he netted a penalty.

Centre midfielder: Francis Coquelin (Arsenal)

In recent matches where Arsenal have struggled, Francis Coquelin has not dominated the midfield like he has since breaking into the first-team, although that all changed at Goodison Park.

The 24-year-old Frenchman made more interceptions (12) in this match than any other player in any other match so far this season.

Left midfielder: Sadio Mane (Southampton)

For much of the afternoon, it seemed Southampton were going to lose at home to Liverpool, especially when Sadio Mane missed his penalty, but the Senegalese international redeemed himself to drag the Saints to victory.

Mane got his side back into the contest with just over 25 minutes to go via a neat turn and shot past Simon Mignolet.

After starting the comeback, he then finished it, sending the home support into delirium with the shock late winner on the 86-minute mark.

Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

Tottenham Hotspur were expected to come away with three points from their home game against Bournemouth to keep the heat on Leicester, and they did just that thanks to Harry Kane’s brace.

Kane put Spurs in front inside the first minute when he turned in Kyle Walker’s low cross, and it wasn’t long before he had goal number two.

The England forward burst clear of the Cherries’ defence before slotting past Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc to end the match as a contest after just 16 minutes.

Christian Eriksen’s goal, and Tottenham’s third, came about when the Dane tapped in from Kane’s saved shot.

Striker: Graziano Pelle (Southampton)

Mane was the man to score the vital goals for Southampton in their dramatic meeting with Liverpool at St. Mary’s, and Graziano Pelle played his part too.

Pelle assisted both of Mane’s goals with simple passes and got on the score sheet himself to make it 2-2 with seven minutes remaining.

The Italian stallion’s strike was the best from the Saints as his rasping effort from the edge of the box gave Mignolet no chance in the Liverpool goal.

Read more from Benjamin Wills here.

Follow Ben at @_BenWills

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: