Garth Crooks’ staff of the week: Azpilicueta, Silva, Salah, Foden

Chelsea scored two late targets in a 3-1 win over Southampton to maneuver prime of the Premier League whereas fellow title rivals Liverpool and Manchester Metropolis performed out an exciting 2-2 draw.

Manchester United have been held to a 1-1 draw towards Everton whereas Brighton and Arsenal completed in a 0-0 stalemate.

Brentford scored in added time of their 2-1 victory at West Ham, whereas Wolves beat Newcastle 2-1 and Leeds gained 1-0 towards Watford.

Tottenham edged to a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, Burnley have been held to a 0-0 draw by backside membership Norwich and Crystal Palace and Leicester Metropolis performed out a 2-2 draw.

Take a look at my staff of the week after which make your personal choices in direction of the underside of the article.

Garth Crooks' team of the week

Goalkeeper: David Raya (Brentford)

David Raya

To lose a recreation in any respect is tough sufficient however to take action within the 94th minute should have been soul destroying for West Ham. One of many causes for the Hammers’ defeat was the efficiency of Brentford’s David Raya between the sticks.

The Spaniard made three excellent saves at a vital interval, which turned the match in Brentford’s favour. This outcome places the Bees above Tottenham, West Ham and Arsenal.

I stated final week that Brentford’s squad is so skinny it would wrestle to outlive the calls for of the Premier League. After this outcome Brentford might in all probability survive something.

Do you know? Together with play-offs, Raya has performed in 101 of Brentford’s 105 league matches since becoming a member of the membership earlier than the beginning of the 2019-20 season.

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Diego Llorente (Leeds United), Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea)

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Diego Llorente (Leeds United), Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea)

Azpilicueta: VAR actually ought to thoughts its personal enterprise. Clear and apparent errors we have been informed. So why disallow Timo Werner’s headed purpose for Chelsea within the second section of play which had nothing to do with the earlier section. I assumed the referee waved play on when Cesar Azpilicueta tackled Kyle Walker-Peters within the construct as much as Werner’s purpose however modified his thoughts when VAR raised a pink flag.

It was hardly stunning the Chelsea captain and his supervisor Thomas Tuchel, went ballistic. Happily Azpilicueta did not permit the incident to dwell on his thoughts too lengthy. He supplied the go of the sport for Werner to attain Chelsea’s second purpose of the match and put proper what Martin Atkinson had clearly obtained incorrect.

Do you know? Azpilicueta has two Premier League assists this season in seven video games, matching his tally from final season already (in 26 appearances).

Llorente: Boy did Leeds want this victory. The response by Diego Llorente was that of a striker and it was sufficient to seal the factors – however it should not have. But once more VAR will get concerned in a state of affairs it shouldn’t have gotten concerned in and when it did it nonetheless obtained it incorrect.

What’s the level of this technique? Watford’s disallowed purpose was incorrect and virtually definitely contributed to their supervisor Xisco Munoz getting the sack hours after this outcome. It was Watford’s Christian Kabasele who was fouled within the field and the purpose ought to have stood. I do not know who was working VAR however he should not be allowed anyplace close to the expertise ever once more.

Do you know? Solely Liam Cooper (64) accomplished extra passes for Leeds than Llorente (60) in Leeds’ 1-0 win over Watford.

Chalobah: I am at all times fascinated by defenders who’ve a real urge for food for targets. Trevoh Chalobah scored a cracker towards Crystal Palace earlier within the season however his purpose towards Southampton was significantly fascinating.

His motion away from the ball on the set-piece was instinctive. He knew precisely the place the ball was going to fall. Most defenders know find out how to assault the ball particularly within the air however few know find out how to learn the place it’s probably drop with the intention to apply a well timed end. Chalobah does. Learn why I feel gamers ought to proceed heading the ball within the Crooks of the Matter beneath.

Do you know? Chalobah has scored together with his solely two pictures within the Premier League, towards Crystal Palace and Southampton.

Midfielders: Andros Townsend (Everton), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham), Bernardo Silva (Manchester Metropolis), Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Andros Townsend (Everton), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Townsend: : My goodness it appears like Andros Townsend is having fun with his soccer once more. I do not know if it is the Merseyside air that is finished it, however no matter it’s he ought to proceed doing it.

Having gone by tough intervals in his profession at Spurs and Crystal Palace he appears bang in kind for Everton. His purpose towards Manchester United was of the best high quality. His first contact with the surface of his left boot was solely equalled by a end of precision together with his proper foot. David de Gea was rooted.

Do you know? Townsend has scored 5 targets in all competitions for Everton this season, three greater than he managed in his final two seasons for Crystal Palace (2 in 61 video games).

Hojbjerg: He was by no means certainly one of my favorite gamers when he performed for Southampton however I need to say he has grown on me since his arrival at Spurs. He is one of many few Tottenham gamers which have some grit to their recreation.

It’s also possible to belief him in a battle and at instances the sport towards Aston Villa grew to become simply that. What was spectacular, nevertheless, was the best way Hojbjerg took his purpose. He did it with consummate composure and in a way that implies Tottenham or their supervisor usually are not below any stress in any respect – and we all know that is not true.

Do you know? Hojbjerg scored together with his solely shot, accomplished extra passes (59) and gained possession extra usually (10) than every other Spurs participant towards Aston Villa.

Silva: I am not within the behavior of choosing Bernardo Silva forward of Kevin de Bruyne however on this event I really feel I’ve to. Silva was sensible all through the match towards Liverpool and for a lot of this recreation De Bruyne wasn’t.

Silva was additionally booked within the match for a real mistimed deal with however it was neither cynical nor calculated. Nevertheless, the deal with on Silva late within the match by James Milner was each. Milner ought to have obtained a second yellow however did not. Manchester Metropolis boss Pep Guardiola instructed in his post-match interview that he wasn’t stunned by the referee’s choice, in any case it was Anfield. It is true and it used to occur in my day and it is time it stopped.

Do you know? Silva accomplished extra passes in Liverpool’s half than every other Manchester Metropolis participant (26).

Son: It has been a tricky couple of weeks for Spurs and particularly for his or her supervisor Nuno Espirito Santo. Towards a really harmful Aston Villa outfit each the staff and the supervisor held their nerve in what was a really tough fixture. Harry Kane appeared way more like himself, however it was Son Heung-min who supplied two vital assists for Hojbjerg and Lucas Moura, who for some motive noticed his purpose credited to Villa defender Matt Targett. I am unable to perceive why. Targett would not wish to have an personal purpose subsequent to his title and Moura is determined for one. The excellent news is that a few of the warmth has been taken out of the Tottenham Hotspur stress cooker, not less than in the meanwhile.

Do you know? Son Heung-min ended a run of 9 Premier League video games with out an help, establishing Tottenham’s first purpose towards Aston Villa

Forwards: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolves), Phil Foden (Manchester Metropolis)

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolves), Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Salah: It is official: Mohamed Salah is again to his greatest and being the participant I noticed arrive at Anfield 4 years in the past. Common readers will know that I’ve had my points with Salah after I thought he was chasing the golden boot award the second the primary ball of the season was kicked. Not anymore. Towards Manchester Metropolis he was unselfish, confirmed blistering tempo and stylish ending. The ball for Sadio Mane to attain was sensational whereas his personal purpose was simply breathtakingly sensible in such circumstances. Nice to you could have you again, Mo.

Do you know? Salah has scored in seven matches in a row in all competitions, equalling his greatest ever scoring run with Liverpool, doing so for the primary time since April 2018.

Hwang: It appears like Wolves have discovered a finisher to go together with Raul Jimenez. Each males have been in devastating kind towards Newcastle, who could not have completed a fish supper. Granted Jeff Hendrick got here on and scored a stunner for the Magpies, however if you cannot take the easy probabilities you are going to wrestle to win matches.

In the meantime, Hwang completed fantastically on two events and each have been provided courtesy of the bang-in-form Jimenez. Wolves look so a lot better with a match Jimenez again within the facet however Hwang’s potential to complete might change into a serious asset.

Do you know? Hwang Hee-chan was the primary Wolves participant to internet a brace in a Premier League recreation since Diogo Jota in February 2020 towards Norwich

Foden: He missed two gilt-edged probabilities within the first half and I’m satisfied a Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus would have taken certainly one of them. Every time Pep Guardiola asks Phil Foden to guide the assault he would not get the perfect out of him.

Put him on the left of a three-man assault and you’ve got a very completely different participant. His purpose towards Liverpool demonstrated that with a little bit extra time at his disposal he can’t solely end however select gamers who’re in higher positions to attain targets. The final time I noticed Foden play at Anfield he scored an analogous purpose. He clearly likes the massive event.

Do you know? Foden (21y 128d) is the youngest participant to attain in three consecutive Premier League appearances towards Liverpool since Romelu Lukaku in November 2013 (20y 194d).

Choose your XI from our listing and share with your mates.

The Crooks of the Matter

I used to be fascinated by the current feedback made by former England captain Terry Butcher suggesting that heading the ball needs to be utterly phased out of the sport. I used to be barely greatly surprised by his assertion, not least as a result of the previous Ipswich centre-back was relatively good at it.

His causes have been after all due to analysis displaying that skilled footballers have been extra more likely to get dementia or Alzheimer’s as a consequence of repeatedly heading the ball. The invention is worrying if not fully stunning. The top just isn’t designed to be repeatedly bashed towards any object by no means thoughts one travelling at velocity. So why do I disagree with my former England Below-21 colleague?

To match skilled footballers with members of the general public is an unfair comparability. It might be extra affordable if soccer gamers have been in comparison with women and men competing in different sports activities like rugby or boxing.

Moreover, the dynamics of soccer are so intoxicating it makes it essentially the most watched sport on the planet. Change it and it’ll lose a lot of its enchantment. So what’s the skilled recreation to do below these circumstances? Depart it to the modern-day gamers I say. Allow them to ponder the dangers and permit them to make their very own selections. In any case, we made ours.

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