During gameweek 23 of the Premier League, we saw:
– Manchester City win the Premier League title.
– Liverpool lose the Premier League title.
– Chelsea show Frank Lampard was the problem after all, bringing further signs of life back into Timo Werner in the process.
– Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United confirm they are the three worst teams in the Premier League.
To celebrate those accomplishments, we’ve scoured and analysed every game played to come up with the outstanding team of the week. So grab a bourbon biscuit or two, snaffle a red hot cup of tea and enjoy…
Robert Sanchez (GK) – When Brighton decided to axe Mat Ryan in goal and replace him with Robert Sanchez, many people wondered if Graham Potter had lost his mind. In fact, he hadn’t – evidenced by another cracking display from the Spaniard at Burnley.
Luke Ayling (RB) – Leeds are bit like Marmite, aren’t they? You’re either completely in love with Marcelo Bielsa’s all-out attacking blitz or you think it’s complete and utter codswallop. Whatever the case may be, Luke Ayling suits the system perfectly – and was electric in the win over Wilf Zaha-less Palace.
Lewis Dunk (CB) – If you’re looking for an outside bet for England’s Euro 2020 squad, look no further than Lewis Dunk. I say outside because he’s absolutely not getting in, but it’s a good way to recognise his goal and overall good display at Turf Moor.
Tyrone Mings (CB) – One central defender who isn’t an outside bet and is becoming more and more of a sure thing is Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings. Some cracking last-gasp blocks and superb marshalling of Alexandre Lacazette ensure he gets into this week’s best XI.
Matt Targett (LB) – Complementing Mings on the left side of Villa’s back four is a man who once couldn’t get into Southampton’s team. Now though, he’d not only get in their team, he’d be one of the first guaranteed picks. Another cracking display of attacking intent and energy nails his place here.
*Honourable mentions: Liam Cooper, Jonny Evans
Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) – Everton looked dead and buried against Manchester United at Old Trafford, slipping two goals down by half-time. That all changed thanks to Abdoulaye Doucoure, whose goal and assist in the space of three minutes laid the foundations for the Toffees nabbing a late point.
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – Before December 15, Ilkay Gundogan hadn’t netted a Premier League goal during 2020/21. Since then, the German has netted nine – three more than any other player. On Sunday, he bagged another brace at *check notes* Anfield as City smashed Liverpool.
Miguel Almiron (AM) – Fair play to Miguel Almiron. Not only did he score twice against Southampton to earn Newcastle a 3-2 win, he defended for his life as the Magpies were reduced to nine-men and did so while playing in an actual swamp. Seriously, it was that wet in the north east.
*Honourable mentions: Joe Willock, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Raphinha (RW) – There are plenty of Premier League teams now looking the way of Elland Road, thinking: “bugger, we missed a good one there”. To be honest, good probably doesn’t cover Raphinha’s recent form – in truth, he’s been bloody brilliant. Plenty more to come, too.
Phil Foden (CF) – The football world has been crying out for Pep Guardiola to play Phil Foden more often. After Sunday’s mesmeric performance at Liverpool, that’s exactly what we’re likely to see in the blue half of Manchester. The fact Guardiola said after the final whistle that he can do more speaks volumes for just how good Foden is.
Raheem Sterling (LW) – Foden played in an unfamiliar false nine and front two role on Sunday, but Raheem Sterling was at his devastating best in his usual left wing berth. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defending has come under fire before, but he really had no chance against a red-hot Raz.
*Honourable mentions: Allan Saint-Maximin, Dominic Calvert-Lewin
For more from Toby Cudworth, follow him on Twitter!