FA Women’s Super League striker and Wales international Helen Ward picks her combined Premier League XI from the weekend’s action.
GK – Heurelho Gomes (Watford)
Having taken a whack in the face against Everton before the international break, Watford fans will have been pleased to see the likeable Brazilian back in the team against West Ham. He made crucial saves at crucial times including a terrific double save when Marko Arnautovic looked destined to score with a header and then followed up only to be thwarted again. He’s had his critics in the past but he certainly saves Watford more points than he costs them.
RB – Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
The Spaniard hasn’t enjoyed his best run of games this season but he certainly stepped up to the mark in the north London derby on Saturday. He was up and down the right flank throughout the game and was as effective at starting attacks for Arsenal as he was at stemming the Spurs tide. A good performance in a big game.
CB – Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)
The German’s return to fitness has come at a good time for Arsenal and he showed at both ends why he has been so missed. A wonderful header opened the scoring while some crucial blocks in his own box helped his team preserve a clean sheet and the three points.
CB – James Tarkowski (Burnley)
Burnley once again kept a clean sheet as they faced Swansea at the weekend and once again Tarkowski was key to that. He had huge boots to fill when Michael Keane left for Everton in the summer but he is proving to be a revelation for Sean Dyche. He even had the ball in the back of then net but the referee ruled it out.
LB – Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Another player who has had his critics but in recent weeks he has been a consistently good performer at left-back and it is clear to see why he was recalled into the England squad. Jose Mourinho clearly trusts him and his ability on the ball going forwards is added to the maturity and effort he puts into his defending. Another assured performance against Newcastle earns him a place in my team of the week.
CM – Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
It’s not often I give him praise but I have to say he was exceptional on Saturday. He was brilliant on the ball but what was more impressive was the way he tracked and defended. The whole team stood up to the test as a group but the three I have included stood out.
CM – Will Hughes (Watford)
Technically, Hughes played more towards the right-hand side against West Ham but he was given the license to drift inside which is why I have put him in the centre of the pitch. He has had to bide his time with Marco Silva this season but now he’s had his opportunity he’s impressed massively. You can see he is learning from the coach what is expected of him and the talent we all knew he had is now coming to the fore. An assured performance, a goal and an assist makes the temporary loss of Nathaniel Chalobah that little bit more bearable for the Hornets.
CM – Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
What a return to the team for Paul Pogba. If he can stay fit for the remainder of the season he will definitely aid United in their pursuit of the title. His touches, passes and decision making in the middle of the park were exceptional and he was back on the scoresheet after a late run into the box. The footwork and cross for Martial’s goal was also a thing of beauty.
FW – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
A strong challenge from Gareth Barry was all it took to get the Belgian firing on Saturday afternoon. He didn’t take well to Barry’s attempt at a tackle but responded in the perfect manner as he destroyed the West Brom back four. Two goals, an assist and a dominant display will have pleased blues boss Conte as well as the travelling fans.
FW – Mohammed Salah (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s summer signing has quickly established himself as a fan favourite and has taken to life on Merseyside like a duck to water. His eighth and ninth goals of the season take him to the top of the Premier League goal scoring charts. It’s not just his ability to hit the back of the net that is impressive, but the amount of chances he creates for himself and others along with his exceptional work rate. The timing and speed of his runs is something all forwards or wide players should look at.
FW – Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
A hat-trick in the Premier League isn’t easy to come by, let alone when you have suffered two serious knee injuries in relatively quick succession. Wilson’s quality in front of goal has clearly been missing from Bournemouth’s game this season and his hat-trick on Saturday only shows further how he has been missed. The three shots he had on target all ended up in the back of the net which shows how clinical he is.
Follow Helen on Twitter @helenwardie10