FA Women’s Super League striker and Wales international Helen Ward picks her performing side of the week.Embed from Getty Images
GK – Nick Pope (Burnley)
The young goalkeeper was thrown in at the deep end last week when Tom Heaton withdrew through injury and he was required again at Anfield. The second half of this game saw an inevitable onslaught from Liverpool as they looked to seal three points but Nick Pope stood firm and produced a number of top-class saves to earn his side a valuable point.
RB – Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
What a goal! I don’t necessarily think the cross was intended for him but as he hit it on the half-volley it was past Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal before he could move. A terrific strike that topped off a very good performance from the winger-turned-full-back.
CB – Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle)
Another solid performance from the Toon’s club captain and the second game in a row that his goal has won the game for his team. He is effective in both boxes and has been key to the improved form of Rafa Benitez’ team as they have won three in a row.
CB – Federico Fernandez (Swansea City)
The Swans headed to Wembley with the odds stacked against them especially after Spurs seemingly broke the ‘curse’ of their temporary home with a terrific win over Dortmund in midweek. But the Welsh side had other ideas and although they rarely threatened Lloris’ goal, they held firm at the back and Fernandez was integral to keeping the clean sheet. He was immense at the heart of the defence and he will need to keep that form up if Swansea are to climb up the table.Embed from Getty Images
LB – Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City)
To be honest I could have put the City 1-11 as the TOTW this week as I witnessed the show at Vicarage Road this weekend. They were outstanding. I have gone with Mendy as his marauding runs from left-back caused all sorts of problems for Watford and I can fully understand why Pep Guardiola has spent so much money on him this summer.
CM – Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
Ramsey is often a scapegoat for Arsenal fans but he stood up to the task as he put in a MOTM performance at Stamford Bridge and helped his side earn a good point at the home of the champions. He dominated the midfield and put everything into his performance covering more ground than anyone else on the pitch.
CM – Mario Lemina (Southampton)
The summer signing from Italian giants Juventus put in an all-action display at the heart of the Saints midfield. He broke up play time after time and set his team on the attack as he dominated his opponents. On this display it’s easy to see why he played a part in the Champions League final in June.
CM – David Silva (Manchester City)
Mercurial. It’s the perfect word to describe him. Just a phenomenal player who is so at ease on the ball and he absolutely makes City tick. Most good things go through him as he glides around the pitch getting on the ball as much as possible. The ball just seems to find him which to some may be seen as luck but in truth it is the sign of a brilliant and intelligent footballer.
RW – Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth)
The former Liverpool man only came on as a sub in the 65th minute but his performance turned the game on its head with two fabulous assists for Andrew Surman and Jermain Defoe. He took the game to Brighton and looked like the player Eddie Howe had spent so much money on. This could be the kick-start his career on the south coast needed.Embed from Getty Images
LW – Matt Ritchie (Newcastle)
Another player who can claim two assists this weekend. I was surprised to see him leave Bournemouth two seasons ago but having lit up the Championship he is finding his feet again in the Premier League and, along with Lascelles, is a big reason as to why Newcastle have shown such good form. His left foot is a thing of beauty.
CF – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
There’s not a lot I need to say about this one. Simply, a goal scorer of the highest quality. His first and second goals were typical ‘poachers’ goals and a case of knowing exactly where to be in the penalty area to give yourself the best chance of scoring. His hat-trick goal showed all the class he has as he took on four or five Watford defenders before a deft finish with a subtle curl on the ball kissed the post and went in. As painful as it was to see as a Watford fan, it is hard not to admire his brilliance.
Follow Helen on Twitter at @helenwardie10