Team of the week
The sixth week of the Premier League season was full of draws and marginal wins. Patrick Bamford scored more goals for Leeds against Aston Villa than any other team managed to tally over the weekend. He takes centre stage in the line-up of the week but who else will make the cut? Amarachi Orie gives her top picks…
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
Edouard Mendy has had two clean sheets in two Premier League games for Chelsea. Granted, in the first match he did not have to make a single save – but this was far from the case against Manchester United. The Senegalese goalie blocked and parried the attempts of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata. While the game saw a controversial moment when Harry Maguire wrestled Cesar Azpilicueta to the ground in the penalty box without punishment, Mendy showcased great defending, following in the footsteps of Chelsea legend Petr Cech.
Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
Thiago Silva was a strong part of the Chelsea defence in their goalless draw with Manchester United and prevented Edinson Cavani from scoring. He will be the focus of many as the league’s top defender now that eyes are off Virgil van Dijk, who is out with injury.
Robin Koch (Leeds)
Like Silva, Robin Koch similarly played a big part in his team’s defence. In Leeds’s face-off with Aston Villa, he made the most ball recoveries (10) and the most interceptions (5) on the pitch. A solid defence combined with Bamford’s scoring streak meant the Villans couldn’t get a hold on the game.
Wesley Fofana (Leicester)
Wesley Fofana, 19, was vital in securing Leicester’s clean sheet against Arsenal. He confidently and repeatedly challenged the Gunners’ attackers, keeping the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at bay. The Frenchman will only become better with age.
Luke Ayling (Leeds)
Speaking of getting better with age, take Leeds’s Luke Ayling as an example. Apart from partnering well with Koch, he kept a clean sheet for Leeds by having a great sense of awareness and with a superb goal-line clearance when the keeper had already been beaten.
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Wilfried Zaha provided an assist and a goal for Crystal Palace in their 1-2 victory over Fulham. He celebrated his 63rd-minute goal in agony on the pitch, having slid into the goalpost while getting the ball across the line – a testament to how far he would go for his team.
Danny Ings (Southampton)
Danny Ings provided the two assists in Southampton’s 2-0 victory over Everton. He first came after nutmegging Michael Keane, allowing James Ward-Prowse to score, and marking a notable end to Everton’s unbeaten run. All teams have now lost a game this season.
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Phil Foden rescued a draw for Manchester City after coming on in the second half against West Ham. He changed their fortunes as he turned on a sixpence to net a 51st-minute equaliser and spurred the pride of the bygone champions.
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Harry Kane might be a striker but he turned provider and defender for Tottenham against Burnley. From heading clear off the line to making his eighth assist of the season, Kane could be found all over the pitch. The England star’s fruitful partnership with Son Heung-min proved that two heads are better than one, but he would be them both if he could.
Patrick Bamford (Leeds)
Bamford was the star player over the weekend, scoring a hat-trick for Leeds from his nine shots at goal. No number of defenders could prevent him from scoring. The second goal was the most punishing: a left-footed strike from outside the box made the English striker the first player to score against Emiliano Martinez from outside the penalty area this season.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
Jamie Vardy turned Leicester into a dynamic side against Arsenal after coming off the bench in the 60th minute. His winner takes his tally to five goals at the Emirates, remaining a hard itch to scratch for the Gunners.
Follow Amarachi on Twitter @iamarachii
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