Andrew Ryan is back with his team of the week.
As part of his weekly column with Campus.ie, Andrew Ryan has named his Premier League Team of the Week for Gameweek 9.
GK – Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur FC)
Spurs were extremely dominant in their win over Liverpool. While possession statistics implies that the game was very competitive, the reality was far from that. Spurs were ruthless going forward, punishing a dreadfully weak Liverpool defence.
However, while Tottenham were well worth their 4-1 win, this did not stop Hugo Lloris from putting in his 2nd impressive performance in a week. He was commanding within the 18-yard box, kept hold off anything that came up against him, and pulled off a phenomenal save from Philippe Coutinho with the game at 4-1.
This performance follows his sensational display against Real Madrid in the Champions League during the week and further demonstrates just how talented a goalkeeper he is.
CB – Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)
It can’t be understated just how much Shane Duffy has improved over the past 12-18 months. He was pivotal at the back in Brighton’s promotion to the Premier League last season, and has become a leader in the back line of Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland national team. He has carried this improvement into the current Premier League campaign, and was exceptional against West Ham United in Brighton’s 3-0 win at the London Stadium.
The Irishman made 11 clearances, 3 blocks of goalbound efforts, and won 3 aerial duels. Combine these with his other defensive stats from this season so far, and Duffy has made an accumulative 95 blocks, clearances and interceptions, stats which are 2nd only to Burnlye’s James Tarkowski. It’s the sort of form that will have Duffy in high demand come next summer.
CB – Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield Town FC)
This spot could be reserved for any of the Huddersfield defenders. Schindler, Smith and Lowe were all terrific, but Jorgensen was on another level. Alongside the aforementioned Schindler, Jorgensen stifled Manchester United on the rare occasions that José Mourinho’s side threatened to breach the Huddersfield rear guard. His performance was typified by his outstanding last-ditch block from Chris Smalling in the Huddersfield 18-yard box with United threatening an equaliser.
Committed, brave and aggressive; Mathias Jorgensen epitomised everything good about Huddersfield Town against Manchester United.
CB – Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)
I couldn’t possibly include Shane Duffy without giving due credit to his partner at the back. Dunk and Duffy have formed one of the most impressive centre-half partnerships in the Premier League this season. As I have mentioned, Duffy is 2nd in the Premier League when it comes to blocks, interceptions and clearances with 95. Lewis Dunk is just behind him on 75.
Those sort of statistics and the standard of performances that Dunk and Duffy are putting in will be key when it comes to Brighton avoiding relegation this season.
RWB – Tommy Smith (Huddersfield Town FC)
Tommy Smith set the tone for Huddersfield Town very early on in their game on Saturday. His ferocious tackle on Anthony Martial unsettled the Frenchman to such an extent that he could not recover enough to cause Smith any problems himself.
This is very much what Huddersfield did to Manchester United on Saturday. The Red Devils were unable to maintain any sort of rhythm against the superior Terriers. Any time José Mourinho’s side attempted to make a push on Huddersfield’s goal, Smith and his teammates stifled them at every turn.
Couple this with the contributions of a certain other Terrier’s stalwart and you have a Huddersfield team that was dominant over Manchester United all over the pitch.
CM – Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town FC)
It felt destined that the difference maker at the John Smith’s stadium would be former Manchester City midfielder Aaron Mooy.
The 27-year-old Australian ran the show on Saturday in the middle of the park. Not only did he make more passes and crosses than any other player on the pitch, but he also ran 12.04km, more than anybody else, and chipped in with a well-taken goal to give Huddersfield the lead in their 2-1 win.
It was as close a perfect midfield performance as one could hope for from Mooy, who rightly earned man-of-the-match for his efforts.
CM – Mezut Ozil (Arsenal FC)
Sunday’s 5-2 win over Everton marked the 1st time that Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez and Mezut Ozil started together for Arsenal this season which, after watching the trio end Ronald Koeman’s managerial stint at Everton, begs the question as to why it took this long.
Mezut Ozil, in particular was in dazzling form at Goodison Park for the Gunners. He displayed the sort of class and quality that has been missing far too often during his time at Arsenal. His link up play with Sanchez and Lacazette was incisive, quick and fluid and set the tone for a ruthless Arsenal performance.
In total, Ozil created 8 chances against Everton, more than any other Premier League player has created in a league game, while his assist for Alexandre Lacazette was his 43rd since joining Arsenal in 2013, more than any other Premier League player has managed in that time. He also managed to score his 1st league goal of the season with a well-taken header to supplement a majestic performance from the German.
LWB – Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City FC)
There was a lot of intrigue going into Leicester’s visit to Swansea on Saturday afternoon in the wake of Craig Shakespeare’s controversial sacking from the managerial seat.
Fortunately for the former Premier League champions, they managed to leave Wales with a vital 3 points thanks in no small part to Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian, who has been a somewhat polarising figure since Leicester won the title back in 2016, set up both of Leicester’s goals in their 2-1 win over Swansea City who could barely keep up with him.
His assist for the 1st goal was a testament to his dedication as he chased a lost cause and prevented the ball from crossing the by-line. From there, his cross bounced off Fernandez and ended up in the Swansea goal. Everything positive about Leicester City went through Mahrez on Saturday, and it was the sort of performance from the Algerian that Leicester will need in order to escape their current situation.
RF – Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea FC)
Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Watford at Stamford Bridge very much flattered the Londoners. They were dysfunctional, lacked any semblance of composure and were uncharacteristically disorganised at the back. They needed someone to step up to the plate when they needed it the most, which made Batshuayi’s contribution particulary important. The Belgian, who has had a rather hectic time since arriving to the Premier League, chipped in with 2 goals after coming on for the ineffective Alvaro Morata.
Both of his goals were of significant quality. His 1st, a bullet header from a Pedro cross, and his 2nd, a cushioned finish after impressively holding off Kabasele and lifting the ball over Heurelho Gomes in the Watford goal, were vital when it came to Chelsea coming away with the 3 points.
With an excellent 30 minute cameo, ‘Bats-man’ has firmly forced his way into Antonio Conte’s plans.
CF – Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur FC)
As the season has gone on, fans of Tottenham Hotspur have been experiencing Real Madrid-associated deja-vu.
First it was Luka Modric, then it was Gareth Bale, and now another one of their beloved talisman is being heavily linked to the Galacticos: Harry Kane.
Of course, the speculation is only being enhanced as Kane continues to prove himself to be one of the most complete centre-forwards in the world today, as was demonstrated at Wembley Stadium on Sunday in Spurs’ 4-1 demolition of Liverpool.
Enough has been written and said about just how poor Liverpool are defensively, but it cannot be underestimated just how good Kane was in the game and is overall.
Of the 4 goals, Kane scored twice and set up another. While his 2nd goal was the kind of goal-poaching every good striker is great at, his 1st was a moment of understated brilliance as he lifted the ball over Mignolet, before calmly slotting the ball into the empty net while off balance.If that was not enough his pass for Son’s goal was also of top quality. A fantastic performance from a truly fantastic player.
LF – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City FC)
On Saturday afternoon, Sergio Aguero scored the 1st in Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Burnley. With that goal, Aguero made history by becoming the club’s joint all-time leading goalscorer with 177 goals – a record which has stood for 77 years. Not only that, but he has the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any player in Premier League history to reach a century of goals in the competition. That ratio is, therefore, better than that of Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Eric Cantona.
All of that speaks to the monumental nature of Sergio Aguero as a player and how much he has contributed to the Premier League. It is a wonder that the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona have not thrown money at City for the Argentinian’s services.
He is, after all, 1 of maybe 3 Premier Leagues that can truly claim to be world class.
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