Team of the Week: Game week 22 | Virgin Media
Team of the Week – gameweek 22

Team of the Week – gameweek 22

23/01/2017Sport

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Chelsea moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table after picking up a 2-0 win over Hull City in gameweek 22.

Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City and Liverpool’s 3-2 surprise loss to Swansea City at Anfield helped open up a commanding lead for Antonio Conte’s side.

Elsewhere, Wayne Rooney’s record-breaking 250th goal earned Manchester United a late 1-1 draw at Stoke, while there were also wins for Southampton, Everton and West Brom.

Here are the stand-out XI from the weekend’s action.

Defence: Lee Grant, Cedric Soares, Harry Maguire, Ashley Williams, Chris Brunt

 

In goal is Stoke’s Lee Grant, who continued his excellent form against United, making five saves and keeping out everything right until Rooney’s telling intervention in injury time.

Southampton’s Cedric comes in right-back after putting in an all-action display in Saints’ 3-0 win over Leicester City. The Portuguese defender set up James Ward-Prowse’s opener with a burst of energy and low cross, while guarding his flank well against the threatening Demarai Gray.

At centre-back is Hull’s Harry Maguire, who shone in attack and defence, despite finishing on the losing side at Stamford Bridge. His intelligence and ambition were particularly impressive, with four shots and seven interceptions quite a return for a defender.

Everton’s Ashley Williams partners him after keeping leading his side to a third-straight league clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace. The skipper dealt well with the aerial threat of Christian Benteke and his side now look solid.

At left-back is West Brom’s Chris Brunt. Like James Milner at Liverpool, the Northern Irishman continues to fill in out of position and do a great job. He rifled in a characteristically powerful finish and kept a clean sheet as the Baggies beat Sunderland 2-0.

Midfield: Ander Herrera, Kevin De Bruyne, James Ward-Prowse

 

Ander Herrera makes the side after yet again providing the driving force behind Manchester United’s play. The Spaniard completed 101 passes – the second-most of any player – at a 93% success rate, while also creating two chances.

He’s joined by Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Ward-Prowse of Southampton, who both scored for their sides.

De Bruyne, as ever, was the creative mainstay of his side with four chances fashioned, while he also bagged a goal after Hugo Lloris dropped a cross. Ward-Prowse curled in a wonderful opener for Saints, while it was his free-kick which caused havoc in the Leicester defence for Jay Rodriguez’s goal to make it 3-0. Not a bad way to impress the watching England manager Gareth Southgate.

Attack: Fernando Llorente, Roberto Firmino, Andy Carroll

 

All three of the strikers in the side scored twice for their clubs to warrant their place.

Fernando Llorente was the hero at Anfield, reacting quickest to a loose ball from a corner to open the scoring before powering in a classic centre-forward’s goal to make it 2-0. He now has eight league goals for the season and will be Swansea’s great hope of avoiding the drop.

At the other end of the pitch Firmino did his best to halt Swansea’s march, bringing it back to 2-2 with two wonderful finishes. He headed in James Milner’s deep cross with great power before gathering Georgino Wijnaldum’s pass and firing a half-volley into the bottom corner. His side’s loss had nothing to do with his efforts.

To complete the trio of forwards is West Ham battering ram Andy Carroll, who followed his goal of the season contender from last weekend up with two more goals. He scored the most atypical pf Carroll goals to get the scoring underway – a thumping header from a corner – before gobbling up a rebound for 2-1. He looks back and raring to go – who needs Dimitri Payet?

Write-up by Felix Keith for Squawka.com