Another enthralling week in the Barclays Premier League comes to a close with several shocking upsets, massive defeats and standout stars.
Players like Sadio Mane, Sergio Aguero, Steven Defour and Virgil Van Dijk all had fantastic displays this weekend but couldn’t find their way on to this week’s best eleven because of how good these eleven players were. This is The Mastermind‘s Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo
Although there were too many amazing performances to count this week, there was not one standout goalkeeper. Thus the man that takes the number one spot as The Mastermind‘s goalkeeper of the week is Claudio Bravo. The Chilean goalkeeper who has only recently replaced Joe Hart in Pep Guardiola’s side made four saves to keep Swansea out, only letting in one goal as Manchester City sailed to a 3-1 win. Miraculously, he also had 69 touches in the match, 57 of those were passes and he completed 84% of the passes he made. This shows how Pep Guardiola is certainly getting what he bargained for out of Claudio Bravo regardless of whether it was the right move or not from a Manchester City perspective. Rating: 8/10.
Right Back: Hector Bellerin
Hector Bellerin was one of Arsenal’s best performers as they cruised to a surprising 3-0 win over title challengers Chelsea. Bellerin constantly exploited Azpilicueta down the right-hand side, creating 2 chances and assisting Theo Walcott’s goal. What’s perhaps even more impressive is that he mastered the art of defending against one of the league’s trickiest dribblers, Eden Hazard, and was hardly ever beaten, forcing the Chelsea man to have his worst performance of the season so far. Bellerin completed 100% of his tackles, including one very timely last-man tackle, won 100% of his duels in the air and helped Arsenal dictate the tempo of the match as they won 3-0. Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Back: Daley Blind
Manchester United have always been a massive threat from corner kicks but scoring three goals in the same game, the same half from corner kicks, is absolutely unheard of. The man who was taking all of those corner kicks and providing his teammates with the opportunity to score was Daley Blind. Leicester City thrived in set-piece situations last year, but they were just out-muscled and out-classed by the quality of Blind’s deliveries. The Dutch defender assisted two goals inside the first half from perfect corner kick crosses. He also made Rashford’s goal happen with an incredibly inventive quick ball into the box which was flicked on by Mata before finding the feet of the young Englishman. Daley Blind was also superb defensively and never lost a duel. He won every tackle, four of them to be exact, made six clearances and also helped United keep all of the possession with 68 passes, 101 touches and an 85% pass completion rate despite taking several corner kicks. Daley Blind was excellent for Manchester United against Leicester City, thriving in his more normal left-back position and continues to be a very important player for Jose Mourinho’s side this season. Rating: 9.5/10.
Left Back: James Milner
Liverpool were absolutely rampant against Hull City, doing one better than what they did to Leicester City last week in that 4-1 win, as they took this match by a score of 5-1. Every single player played a role in the massive victory, including the experienced Englishman James Milner who is continuing to thrive in Liverpool’s setup as an unorthodox fullback. Although the 30-year old wasn’t called upon too often in defense, he stuck with his task very well, limiting Snodgrass to just one shot. Of course what was most impressive about Milner’s performance against Hull City was his coolness in front of goal from the penalty spot. He slotted in two relaxed finishes to help contribute massively to Liverpool’s 5-1 win over Hull City by scoring two goals. He also whipped in ten crosses and created 2 chances as Hull City just could not cope with him or anyone else in a red shirt. James Milner had a wonderful performance against the Tigers and continues to play a massive role in Liverpool’s team despite playing out of position. Rating: 9/10.
Centre Midfield: Adam Lallana
Adam Lallana has been incredible this season for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and is flourishing in his role as the furthest to the right of a midfield three. Liverpool battered Hull City and in large part that was because of players like Lallana who were just so comfortable in possession of the ball, moving it from left to right with ease and creating chance after chance for one another to score. The ambidextrous Adam Lallana was superb in this match and was arguably Liverpool’s best performer on the day. He assisted Sadio Mane’s goal with a neat bit of footwork before an excellent pick-out, assisted Philippe Coutinho’s goal again breaking away from defenders into space before picking out the Brazilian this time and scoring a goal himself placing a left-footed strike into the bottom corner from Philippe Coutinho’s pass. The 24-year old was so neat and tidy in possession of the ball, completing 94% of his passes despite several of them being forward-thinking inventive passes. I discussed earlier in Adam Lallana Reaching New Heights Under Jurgen Klopp in 2016-17 how impressive the Liverpool midfielder has been this season but this was just the cherry on top of what has been an incredible month and season so far in the Barclays Premier League for Adam Lallana. Rating: 10/10.
Centre Midfield: Paul Pogba
If one man controlled Manchester United’s excellent display against last season’s champions Leicester City on Saturday it was Paul Pogba. Paul Pogba was everywhere in the match, up and back, doing his defensive duties as well as being a key figure in attack and of course scoring his first goal in a Manchester United shirt. Pogba was incredibly neat and tidy when in possession of the ball and hardly ever gave it away. The Frenchman had 115 touches on the ball against Leicester, more than any other player in the league this week. Among those 115 touches were three created chances, 2 shots on target out of 2 attempts, 99 passes, 4 clearances and a goal. Pogba was immense for Manchester United against Leicester City and was one of the very best players of the round. Rating: 9.5/10.
Right Wing: Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho was just on another planet on Saturday afternoon as Liverpool claimed a 5-1 victory over the struggling Hull City. Out of the players that Hull City could not cope with, Coutinho was the most potent as he danced circles around the Tigers and gave them no hope at all at even gaining possession of the football let alone willing the match. By now the Hull City players must not only have headaches but severe migraines because of how much Coutinho tormented them on Saturday. The Brazilian midfielder has been fantastic so far this season and Liverpool’s match against Hull was no different as he scored and assisted another goal to help the Reds win 5-1. Along with the Brazilian’s 100 touches, the 24-year old also had six shots, created 4 chances and completed 85% of his passes on his way to achieving the highest Squawka score of the season so far with 143, and a massively sized WhoScored? Rating of 9.8. Philippe Coutinho was absolutely deadly against Hull City and at the moment with Liverpool in full flow there just looks like no stopping him at the moment. Rating: 10/10.
Attacking Midfield: Juan Mata
I am so happy that Jose Mourinho has given Juan Mata a proper chance at Manchester United and hasn’t cast him away from the side like he did at Chelsea. The two-time Chelsea Player of the Year is absolutely flourishing under the confidence that his manager has shown in him at Manchester United, looks a totally different player and had one of his best games in a United shirt ever on Saturday against the Foxes. He was absolutely everywhere from an attacking point of view for Manchester United and more often than not was involved in the chances they were creating. The Spanish midfielder scored a wonderful goal to give Manchester United a 2-0 lead against Leicester and then killed the game off minutes later with a daft touch off of a corner kick over towards Marcus Rashford for 3-0. In total, Mata had 76 touches in the match, completed 90% of his passes and hardly put a foot wrong as Manchester United cruised to a 4-1 victory. Rating: 9.5/10.
Attacking Midfield: Mesut Ozil
Not many would have expected Arsenal to beat Chelsea so comfortably. But one of the key factors as to why the Gunners were able to get one over Antonio Conte’s side so easily was because of the brilliance of Mesut Ozil. Ozil was excellent in being the linchpin for all Arsenal attacks, creating 3 chances, putting in 5 crosses, and completing three out of three take-on’s attempted. He completed 91% of his passes and only nine of his 72 passes were in his own half, highlighting how crucial he was in the final third for the Gunners. The German midfielder had 93 touches on the ball, 72 of those touches being passes and one of those touches being a fabulous finish to kill Chelsea’s hopes of getting back into the match as it made the score 3-0 for Arsene Wenger’s side. Mesut Ozil has had a brilliant start to the 2016-17 season again and Arsenal are now beginning to look like title contenders again when at the start of the season nobody gave them a chance. Rating: 9.5/10.
Left-Wing: Heung-Min Son
Heung-Min Son has been incredible this month, stealing a spot away from the in-form Erik Lamela in Maurcio Pochettino’s side and staying there with excellent displays. And it wasn’t just Lamela’s spot that Son stole against Middlesbrough, he also stole the show, scoring both goals and absolutely dominating every single attack Spurs had as they won by a narrow score of 2-1. The South Korean attacker was as sharp as a needle and was at the heart of everything good and dangerous for Spurs, creating 2 chances, completing 91% of his passes, completing 7 dribbles, floating in nine crosses and taking 4 shots. The ex-Bayer Leverkusen man scored another two goals to bring his tally up to four in the league this season, exactly as many as he managed in twenty-eight games last term. Heung-Min Son had an unreal game against relegation contenders Middlesbrough as Tottenham continue to look like one of the most-well equipped sides to challenge for the 2016-17 title. Rating: 10/10.
Centre Forward: Alexis Sanchez
Despite a number of fantastic performances as of late, Alexis Sanchez has been omitted from several recent Team of the Week’s and has only featured in one so far this season. However, this week his performance against Chelsea as a centre forward was just too good to ignore as he scored a goal and assisted another as Arsenal smoked the Blues 3-0. Sanchez had 4 shots, created 2 chances and was just incredibly influential for the Gunners in their smashing victory. The Chilean attacker has been one of the standout players of the month and of the season so far and his display against Antonio Conte’s side was arguably his best and most important of the season. Rating: 9/10.
Player of the Week: Adam Lallana
Jurgen Klopp has just given him so much confidence and as a result he is taking his game to the next level. The freedom he has been given by the manager to roam around and make things happen has been fantastic and he’s taken full advantage of it every single game he’s played in this season. But Liverpool’s 5-1 win over Hull City was Adam Lallana’s best performance of the season as he scored a goal, assisted two more, and completed 91% of his passes acting as the focal point for the Reds as they were just unstoppable. Adam Lallana was unbelievably good on Saturday against Hull and is on his way to being one of the standout players of the 2016-17 Barclays Premier League season.
Honourable Mentions: Philippe Coutinho, Heung-Min Son
Manager of the Week: Jose Mourinho
I have to hand it to Jose Mourinho this week because tactically he was brilliant on Saturday and Leicester didn’t even stand a chance from the very first whistle because of how the Portuguese manager set up his team. The addition of Ander Herrera to the side first and foremost was one the best decisions he has made all season as Herrera controlled the tempo of the play and allowed Pogba and Mata more time on the ball and more freedom going forward because of the defensive cover that he can provide. Chris Smalling was another astute addition from the manager as the central defender had an excellent game against the Foxes, scoring a goal and sticking to his defensive duties exactly well including making seven clearances. Manchester United were also brilliant on corners, something that the team may have been practicing a lot of this past-week and something that the Red Devils used to guide their team to victory as three out of their four goals came from corner kicks. Manchester United were fantastic in beating last season’s champions, Leicester City so comfortably and Jose Mourinho deserves a lot of credit for that.
So there it is! The Team of the Week for Gameweek 6 in the Barclays Premier League! Having fun on this site? Make sure to follow for more articles like this every single week.