VAVEL UK's Premier League Team of the Week - GW16
Photo: VAVEL UK - Daniel Orme

VAVEL UK's Premier League Team of the Week - GW16

Who starred in this week's round of Premier League matches? 

mattddawson
Matt Dawson

We are now down to just one unbeaten side in the Premier League. Can Liverpool repeat the Invincibles? It would be an almighty task but 16 matches into the season they are giving it a good go having not lost. 

Manchester City tasted defeat for the first time at the hands of Chelsea whilst the race for the top four hotted up with Tottenham and Arsenal both recording victories too. 

Cardiff and Burnley flew the flag for the teams at the bottom as they both recorded massive wins in an otherwise unhappy week for those fighting relegation.

But individually, who stood out? 

Goalkeepers and defence

Ben Foster

The Watford stopper has been excellent for the Hornets this season, no less so than against Man City on matchday 15. He was again in top form on Monday night despite conceding two against Everton. Foster played his part in a remarkable period in the second half where Watford came from behind to lead in the space of two minutes. Moments after the visitors' turnaround, the former England international was called into action to deny Gylfi Sigurdsson from the penalty spot. Despite that, his heroics weren't enough to stop Lucas Digne's free-kick at the death.

Cesar Azpilicueta

The Spanish defender just seems to get better with age and throughout Chelsea's impressive win over Man City on Saturday night he was exceptional. Leroy Sane has been incredibly difficult to deal with on City's left flank this term but Azpilicueta kept him quiet as Pep Guardiola's men witnessed a rare quiet day in front of goal. The 29-year-old plays with an almost unbelievable level of consistency, as he put in 13 tackles, made five interceptions and two blocks during Chelsea's 2-0 win. 

James Tarkowski

Burnley were incredibly reliable at the back last season. They were one of the most solid outfits in the division, but this campaign has witnessed a stark contrast to their fortunes of last season. Against Brighton Sean Dyche's men were back to being their gritty selves. This was largely down to the performance of Tarkowski who not only scored from close range but also kept a clean-sheet. The 26-year-old particularly stood firm in the closing moments of the game as they were able to see off late pressure from Brighton to hold out for a one-goal win. 

Chris Lincoln, Burnley editor: "After slipping into the relegation zone and conceding goals aplenty, Burnley needed somebody to stand up and be counted in a huge game against Brighton. The England international scored the critical, if somewhat fortunate, winning goal but also made a match-high five clearances as he solidified the back four." 

Sol Bamba 

Long live relegation-threatened back lines! Another defender who plays for a team languishing at the bottom makes this team of the week. Cardiff have witnessed a bit of a turn around over the last month or so and have won three out of their last six Premier League matches. Bamba has stood out in those good results, scoring late on against Brighton at the start of November, bouncing back from a mistake, before turning in a particularly solid performance this weekend as Cardiff kept a clean sheet and won against Southampton.

Matt Wojciow, Cardiff editor: "Cardiff secured their third consecutive home win and this one was thanks to an outstanding defensive display. When talking Cardiff defenders, Bamba is the main man. His leadership at the back is incredible. He has immense strength and read the game so well against Southampton. He closed down his opponents excellently and limited the Saints to only a single shot on target."

Midfielders

N'Golo Kante

The Frenchman came under the spotlight when Chelsea suffered defeat against Spurs because he appeared to be playing too far forward. Jorginho was given a deeper role which was bizarre considering Kante's proven ability as a defensive midfielder. But against the Champions on Saturday evening, this wasn't an issue. Kante played closer to the other members of the midfield but was again appearing in forward areas. He helped himself to the opening goal of the match, arriving late on the edge of the penalty area to smash the ball home, proving to be the catalyst for the Blues victory. 

Lucas Torreira

Another week, another terrific performance from Arsenal's diminutive holding midfielder. The Uruguayan has been outstanding this term and is a strong contender for signing of the season already. Against Huddersfield, Unai Emery opted for three more defensive midfielders with Granix Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi also playing.

This meant that Torreira was given more freedom going forward and was one of the Gunners biggest creative outlets in a match which for them lacked much going forward. It didn't look as though Arsenal would ever score but Torreira stepped up when it mattered, by scoring an acrobatic effort from close range to win the game for his side in the last ten minutes.

Felipe Anderson

West Ham finally have their Dimitri Payet replacement. Anderson had a slow start to the campaign but has been exceptional recently and turned in another brilliant display as West Ham beat Crystal Palace this weekend. The Brazilian was at the heart of everything good the Hammers did, just as he was against Newcastle a week previous. The 25-year-old added to his goals tally for the season by scoring West Ham's third goal - a delightful curling effort from the left-hand side of the area.

Alan Rzepa, West Ham editor: "Anderson is proving his worth game after game. His fifth goal in the last six games puts him right in the top of the goal-scoring list with the likes of Sadio Mane and Romelu Lukaku on six goals each. At this point, his £40m fee looks like a real bargain!"

Diogo Jota

After scoring 17 goals in Wolves' promotion campaign last season Jota initially struggled to find his feet in the Premier League. However, he now appears to have found his groove after scoring against Chelsea in midweek and finding the net against Newcastle. Jota was at the heart of everything that went Wolves' way. He opened the scoring with a comfortable finish from close range, was brought down as DeAndre Yedlin received a red card and then saw his shot turned home via the rebound from Matt Doherty who grabbed the winner. 

Attackers

Marcus Rashford

The Manchester United forward has been injected with a new lease of life in recent weeks. Against Southampton last weekend he was vital in Jose Mourinho's side turning the game around and was also hugely influential as United thrashed Fulham on Saturday. The Englishman scored late on, firing through Sergio Rico from range for a fourth United goal, whilst he also laid on two goals for his teammates in what was the 21-year-old's best performance of the season. 

Harry Robinson, Head of Content/Man United editor: "Rashford grew up idolising Ronaldo at Man United and this performance showed that; cutting inside and scoring with a dipping shot to the near post, more dipping free-kicks with the laces. It was a fantastic performance, a confidence booster and evidence as to why his long-term future is on the left flank, and not up front."

Son Heung-min

The South Korean has quickly become one of Tottenham's most valuable players, being involved in goals on a regular basis. He was one of few positives during the north London derby for Spurs and has followed that up with impressive performances against Southampton in midweek and against Leicester this weekend. Son scored a wonderful left-footed effort, curling the ball into the top corner before crossing for Dele Alli to head home as Spurs won 2-0 at the King Power. 

Mohamed Salah 

The Egyptian is easily one of the best players in the world and although it took him a while to get going this season, he is now at his ever-flowing best. Salah was fantastic against Bournemouth as he scored his second Liverpool hat-trick as the Reds went top of the table with a 4-0 win. He scored the opening goal of the match from close range after Asmir Begovic turned the ball into his path from Roberto Firmino's shot. Salah was able to drive at the defence for his second, side-footing the ball home via a slight deflection from Nathan Ake, before toying with the opposition for his third as he rounded Begovic and then found the net. 

Josh Kerr, Liverpool editor: "He’s back. Let’s be honest, he never went anywhere anyway. To anyone who doubted the Egyptian Kings quality, this was a cruel reminder of how you can’t contain talent of Salah’s scale. The Liverpool forward tormented Bournemouth from start to finish and his third exuded quality and class. To have the audacity to round Begovic twice was almost rude and a performance of the highest level. Simply sensational." 

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