VAVEL UK's Premier League Team of the Week - GW27
Photo: VAVEL UK - Daniel Orme

This weekend's Premier League action allowed some of the club's who don't often receive the plaudits to take the limelight.

With Manchester City facing Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final and Manchester United drawing 0-0 with Liverpool, the attention fell on the likes of Watford and Crystal Palace who both showed their attacking quality with big wins.

Arsenal returned to the top four, Burnley beat Spurs whilst Huddersfield and Fulham's relegation troubles only continue to mount.

But who stood out in particular?

Goalkeeper and defence


Goals can win you titles, but so can goalkeepers and in a game where Liverpool's title ambitions took a minor blow with a 0-0 draw against Man United, they have Alisson to thank for them returning to the top of the table.

The Brazilian made a fantastic sprawling save to deny Jesse Lingard during the game, getting down to his left to stop the England international from making his way around the 'keeper for a certain goal. It was another example of just why Liverpool paid such big money for him.

Issa Diop

The French central defender is a man mountain and at still only 22 years of age is surely destined for greater things. His height, all 6 ft 4 inches of it, is what captures the eye the most and it was hardly a surprise to see him make the move to the Premier League last summer after impressing for Toulouse.

He saved one of his best performances of the season for this weekend, as he recorded his first West Ham goal in a 3-1 victory over Fulham. The central defender rose the highest to crash a header into the back of the net from a corner. His display earned rave reviews from Hammers fans.

Alan Rzepa, West Ham editor: "Another immense performance from the Frenchman capped off with a clutch goal to put the Hammers in front shows just how excellent he has been so far in the season after his big transfer."

James Tarkowski

Tottenham's title challenge seemed to be gathering momentum at just the right time. But step forward Burnley, who thanks to Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes managed to put a dent in any aspirations Spurs have by winning 2-1. But it was Tarkowski who stood out from a defensive point of view, making four tackles and a mightily impressive 14 clearances.

He may not have stopped Harry Kane from scoring, but the Burnley defence managed to keep the dynamic Heung-min Son at bay. It was a performance from the defender that will no doubt please England boss Gareth Southgate.

Chris Lincoln, Burnley editor: "Tarkowski was a lynchpin in Burnley's huge win at Spurs, effectively ending their title hopes and Keeping the Clarets' unbeaten run alive. The centre-back won more aerial duels (nine) than anyone on the pitch, cleared the ball from danger a mammoth 14 times and manufactured the joint-most tackles in the contest."

Nathan Ake

There have been murmurs of a move elsewhere for Bournemouth's Ake. It's clear to see why; he's good on the ball, composed, a physical presence and he's still very raw. To add to that, he's been one of the Cherries most consistent players this season and showed as much once again on Saturday afternoon, as they held Wolves to a 1-1 draw. Ake was sensational, making 14 clearances, three tackles and he also won the ball back four times for his side.


Etienne Capoue

What an evening Watford had on Friday night. They put Cardiff to the sword, winning 5-1 as they scored five for the first time in a top-flight game since 1986. Capoue was one of the driving forces behind the win and although others will deservedly take more credit, the French midfielder was terrific. He claimed the assist for Gerard Deulofeu's hat-trick goal, playing an inch-perfect through ball into the path of the Spaniard who did the rest.

Jake Horwood, Watford editor: "The Frenchman earned an assist to round off a fantastic individual showing with a defence-splitting pass for Watford’s fourth goal. Capoue was at the heart of an impressive passing display from the Hornets that stemmed from the midfield of which he is the very core."

James McArthur

Crystal Palace's match with Leicester saw Roy Hodgson become the oldest manager to ever take charge of a team in the Premier League and he celebrated it with a hugely impressive 4-1 win. Palace were excellent, as was McArthur who put in an intelligent display in midfield.

He picked up two assists in a single Premier League game for the first time ever. This was his 232nd appearance. There may have been a bit of fortune about the first, however, hitting a volley which was then diverted into the goal by Michy Batshuayi. However, his performance alongside Luka Milivojevic was extremely commanding.

Granit Xhaka

The Swiss midfielder takes a fair bit of stick on a regular basis but his first-half display against Southampton on Sunday was phenomenal. Xhaka was at the heart of each Arsenal attack, supplying balls from deep and in pivotal areas in and around the penalty area.

He provided three goalscoring chances for Alexandre Lacazette in a performance which showed just how excellent Xhaka's passing range and vision can be. The Gunners have lacked creativity in recent months, but he was on hand to provide it this weekend.

Gerard Deulofeu

This was one of the best performances you'll see all season. The La Masia youth product showed exactly why he's had two stints at Barcelona, scoring a wonderful hat-trick and also claiming an assist for Watford. If there was a fact that could sum up the magnitude of his three goals then it would be that he became the first Hornets player to score a top-flight hat-trick since 1986.

His first goal saw him fire in from the edge of the box after good combination play with Troy Deeney before racing clear of the defence to add a second on the counter. His final goal was of supreme quality, dinking the ball over Neil Etheridge after entering the penalty area.

Jake Horwood: "Where do we begin with this man’s performance on Friday night? Pace, control, composure, innovation — his spellbinding hat-trick proved he has it all to offer, and the Spaniard continually terrorised a helpless Cardiff defence. Often criticised for blowing hot or cold, the onus is now on Deulofeu to produce this calibre of performance on a more consistent basis."


Michail Antonio

Fulham started brightly against West Ham, only for the Hammers to come back and go onto win the game. At the heart of that was Antonio who on his 100th league game for the club scored the final goal of the game as he headed past Sergio Rico to wrap up the points. Playing on the right, the winger was a constant threat, having five shots in the game as the east London club took advantage of poor Fulham defending.

Alan Rzepa: "After a horrendous start to the campaign a lot of people wanted him gone, but the work Antonio put into rediscovering his old form has been fantastic. His goal which made him contribute in three goals in the past games is only a sign of his improvement."

Troy Deeney

Another stand out man from Watford's free-flowing performance on Friday evening was Deeney. The Hornets' skipper's link-up and hold up play with Deulofeu was first class and as well as grabbing an assist, notched two goals himself. He first got on the end of a pass from the Spaniard, firing home from close range before wrapping up the rout late on, receiving the ball inside the area before coolly dispatching the chance. It looks like Watford have a real chance of making the Europa League.

Jake Horwood: "Watford’s talisman was the perfect complement to Deulofeu’s brilliance, using his power to occupy the Bluebirds’ backline while the Spaniard roamed free. Deeney notched two goals from himself, but this was certainly a selfless performance from the captain."

Wilfried Zaha

In the Ivorian, Crystal Palace have a player capable of taking them away from the relegation places. He has been their stand out man for quite some time and showed his class by scoring twice in the win over Leicester on Saturday evening. He fired home at the back post after ghosting in to make it 2-1 in the second half and then scored late in injury time after robbing Harry Maguire of the ball.