There is just two more gameweeks left in the Premier League now that this one is over. But it can’t officially come to an end without another edition of Team of the Week! So here are all the details below on the best 11 for Matchday 36! Enjoy!
Goalkeeper: Fraser Forster
Goalkeepers were so amazing this weekend that surprise, two more of them made the subs bench. At first after West Ham’s amazing win over Spurs Adrian was in the team, than Kasper Schmeichel stole the spot away for his stellar antics against Watford, but finally Fraser Forster stole it away a third time with his amazing display against Liverpool! Forster made 8 saves to keep Southamtpon alive in the game; a game that the Reds really should have won. He even saved James Milner penalty’s shot, the man who never misses, in what was his first penalty miss in 8 years. The British goalkeeper was just unbelievable against the Reds and now could be set to lead the Saints to a top ten finish as the season comes to a close. Rating: 10/10.
Right Back: Fernandinho
Fernandinho impressed Pep Guardiola from the moment the Spanish manager arrived at the club and now know matter what (as long as he’s not red-carded) has always appeared in Guardiola’s team. He’s already played a ton of different positions this season and although he’s yet to really make anything other than defensive midfield his own, he had a very fine outing on Saturday against Crystal Palace. In attack, the Brazilian right-back was resourceful, creating 3 chances, taking 3 shots, completing 4 dribbles and completing 90% of his passes. Meanwhile he also had a good performance in defence by making 2 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 clearances. Fernandinho really is by no means a right-back but he proved that he could play the position on Saturday against Allardyce’s Eagles. Rating: 9.5/10.
Centre Back: Cesar Azpilicueta
Cesar Azpilicueta was so good in Chelsea’s match against Middlesbrough. The Spanish defender has played every single minute of every single game so far this term but still isn’t showing any signs of tiredness. His role in defense was vital, always stepping up to intercept any of Middlesbrough’s attempts. But he was so influential in attack as well, constantly playing balls forward into the box and even assisting Marcos Alonso’s goal. Like Cesc Fabregas, the Spanish defender was always on the ball in the match, having 100 touches, making 94 passes and completing 93% of them and just having such a massive influence on Chelsea’s team on all fronts. Cesar Azpilicueta has been one of the stars of this Chelsea team all season long and perhaps hasn’t received enough of the credit that he deserves. Rating: 10/10.
Centre Back: Vincent Kompany
It really is a shame how much Vincent Kompany has been injured this season. Manchester City are just a different team with him in their lineup and he goes so forgotten about when he’s injured that people start to question how good of a centre back he really is. In reality, Vincent Kompany is one of the best players the Premier League has ever seen and is unlucky not to be able to prove it to all of us on a more regular basis. But the Belgian defender was magnificent against Sam Allardyce’s Crystal Palace on Saturday, easing Pep Guardiola’s side to a 5-0 win. The capable defender was a beast at the back in making 2 tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 clearances and was also amazing going the other way, scoring a goal, completing nearly 87% of his passes and dominating over Christian Benteke. Crystal Palace were woeful, but Man City were absolutely different class and on top of their game. One of the main reasons why was the solid defense and offensive play of their captain, their leader, Vincent Kompany. Rating: 10/10.
Centre Back: Nicholas Otamendi
Sometimes making rash errors and neglecting to mark those around him, what sometimes gets overlooked with Nicholas Otamendi is how capable he is on the ball. Otamendi is in fact probably a Pep Guardiola dream given his on-the-ball prowess. And when City can have 80% of the possession like they did against Crystal Palace on Saturday, Otamendi is going to be far less likely to make any off the ball errors. As the Sky Blues had all of the possession during the match, the Argentinean defender was just able to do what he’s good at and fully shine. The 29-year old was more than solid in defense, making 11 clearances, 3 interceptions and 2 tackles and was more than solid in possession of the ball, completing 93% of his passes. In addition to that, he even scored what his first goal of the season. Rating: 10/10.
Left Back: Marcos Alonso
Marcos Alonso started Chelsea’s match against Middlesbrough incredibly brightly when he struck the crossbar after just three minutes and continued on in that regard for the entire match. He was actually even a contender for man of the match against Boro, even despite all of the impressive antics of Fabregas, Matic and Azpilicueta. Alonso has just been amazing this season for Chelsea and so underrated too when you think about how on earth he didn’t make the PFA Team of the Year nor earn his first Spain cap. The Spanish wing-back was a constant source for Chelsea down the left-hand side and was even more influential than Eden Hazard. He had two great opportunities to score, finding the back of the net with one and hitting the crossbar with the other, he created 2 chances, and he did his defensive bit with 2 tackles and 2 interceptions. Marcos Alonso has been undoubtedly this season’s standout left-back and was magnificent in the result that now surely takes them to a second Premier League title in three years. Rating: 10/10.
Defensive Midfield: Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas ran the show for Chelsea against Middlesbrough, coming up with several stunning passes and showcasing his play-making abilities to the maximum. In truth he is one of the best passers of the ball the Premier League has ever seen and has been incredibly unfortunate to not be able to showcase his talent on a more regular basis this season with the stellar displays of Matic and Kante in midfield for the Blues. The Spanish midfielder wouldn’t even have started the match if Kante had been fit and credit has to go to Fabregas again for playing so well in his place. The 30-year old midfielder assisted 2 goals, created 6 chances and delivered 7 crosses into the box in the match; constantly providing opportunities for his teammates to score. He also had 30 more touches on the ball (130) than any other player on the pitch and 20 more passes (114) than any other as well. Fabregas just completely dominated the game against Middlesbrough and was probably the man of the match. Rating: 10/10.
Right Midfield: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been phenomenal for Arsenal since moving to right-wing back in Arsene Wenger’s new system. The British midfielder has never been able to find a good run of form in Wenger’s side and that is simply just down to the French manager never being able to find out exactly what Chamberlain’s best position is. But playing Oxlade-Chamberlain as a right-wing-back has turned out to be a stroke of genius from Arsene Wenger, especially with Hector Bellerin in such poor form. He’s been the Gunners’ best player in the past month since they moved to a back three and he was the main reason above all else for their stunning victory over Manchester United on Sunday. The height of his performance against United was in assisting both of Arsenal’s goals as they practically cruised to a 2-0 win. The second of those assists by the way was a picture-perfect cross. Going forward, the 23-year old always looked a threat with 7 crosses and 2 take-on’s and he also handled his defensive responsibilities well by making Mkhitaryan look anonymous, making 3 tackles and making 1 clearance. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might just have finally found his best position and is now helping Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal flourish again as a result. Rating: 10/10.
Attacking Midfield: Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne hasn’t had his best season of his career and in recent weeks he’s barely even assisted or scored a goal despite playing very well in City’s resurgence of form. But on Saturday against Crystal Palace, the Belgian midfielder turned everything around again and had his best performance of the season, leading Man City to a stunning 5-0 victory. De Bruyne was just absolutely on top of Crystal Palace, creating 7 chances for his teammates to score and assisting two goals! When you add the fact that he scored one himself, this was just an unreal performance from de Bruyne and one of the best of any player this season. In addition to his two assist-one goal game, the 25-year old also had 99 touches, completing 89% of his passes and whipped in ten crosses. Kevin de Bruyne for what it’s worth has actually gone a bit underrated this season and has maybe not been given quite enough of the credit he deserves. If he finishes the season strong, he’ll cruise past the finish line as the league’s top assist maker somehow without even being considered for PFA Team of the Year. Rating: 10/10.
Left Midfield: Manuel Lanzini
Manuel Lanzini has been West Ham’s best player these past few months and even when Slavan Bilic’s side have played poorly, he’s always found a way to make himself effective and efficient in football matches. The Argentinean attacking midfielder practically ran the show for the Hammers going forward and it was his second-half goal that stunned Spurs and possibly just won the Premier League title for Chelsea. In addition to his goal, the 24-year old made 3 tackles, completed 3 take-on’s, created 4 chances and quite possibly should have had a second half penalty. Manuel Lanzini looks a star for West Ham at the moment and he continues to fill the boots of Dimitri Payet very well and keep Slavan Bilic in his job in the process. Rating: 9/10.
Centre Forward: Sam Vokes
Oh how Burnley have missed Sam Vokes since he’s been out injured. The Welsh forward just gives Sean Dyche’s men a different look and was the main reason for their comeback draw against West Brom this weekend. Vokes just dominated the air and that was against rough and tough centre backs like Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans; hardly easy opponents. He won 6 headed duels and in addition to that scored both of Burnley’s goals in their 2-2 draw. Sam Vokes has come up big for Burnley in some of their most crucial results this season. They’ve really missed him when he’s been gone and now that he’s back, Premier League survival has been ensured. Rating: 9.5/10.
Formation: 5-4-1: Forster, Fernandinho, Azpilicueta, Kompany, Otamendi, M. Alonso, Fabregas, Oxlade-Chamberlain, de Bruyne, Lanzini, Vokes
Substitutes: Jordan Pickford, Kasper Schmeichel, Billy Jones, Nemanja Matic, David Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy
Player of the Week: Kevin de Bruyne
No player was better on Matchday 36 than Kevin de Bruyne and very few have been better in a single-match this season. One goal, two assists and seven chances created! How do you stop him in this kind of form? Kevin de Bruyne is this week’s Player of the Week!
Manager of the Week: Slavan Bilic
Several managers were absolutely magnificent this weekend. Paul Clement led his side to a surprising and crucial 1-0 victory over Everton, Pep Guardiola led Man City to a smashing 5-0 triumph over Crystal Palace, Arsene Wenger proved that his time at Arsenal might not be done after all with a 2-0 thumping of Manchester United and finally, David Moyes somehow managed to rally a team of already relegated players to a 2-0 win against Hull City. But the best of the best this weekend in the Premier League was Slavan Bilic who helped his team incur what was probably their best result of the season. Slavan Bilic’s team were magnificent against Tottenham Hotspur and somehow managed to defend against the league’s most lethal attack, shutting them out completely in a 1-0 win. Impressively that goal from Manuel Lanzini was also the first one that Spurs had conceded in six games.
Walker’s insistence and persistence in going forward left massive gaps in defense that Manuel Lanzini was able to exploit and do his damage. Regardless of whether this was all down to the Argentinean or if the Croatian manager had a role to play as well, it’s a testament to how well he set his team up and the role that he’s given Lanzini since Payet’s January departure to Marseille. His front three in general were just so effective, constantly buzzing around Tottenham’s defence; a defence that normally seems so indestructible. Kouyate and Noble also stuck to Wanyama like a glue and stopped him from playing. This was so crucial given how so silently key the Kenyan has been for Spurs this season. But most impressively of all, was his team’s defence. Highly organized, so resilient, man marking Tottenham’s most lethal weapons; just fantastic. What Slavan Bilic has managed to do this weekend is possibly end Tottenham’s hopes at winning the Premier League for a second season in a row where they had the shot to do so. That cannot be overlooked and so Bilic has to be this week’s Manager of the Week!
Honourable Mentions: David Moyes, Paul Clement, Pep Guardiola
So there it is! The Team of the Week for Gameweek 36 in the Premier League. Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to see you next week for another edition!