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FT Analysis: Premier League Team of the Weekend

Dean Carr 12 Mar 2018
  • Jonjo Shelvey impressed for Newcastle, while Petr Cech reached yet another Premier League milestone
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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his teams first goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus at Wembley Stadium on March 7, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It was a good weekend for Newcastle and Tottenham, who each get three selections...

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech

It was a historic weekend for Arsenal’s veteran shot-stopper, who reached 200 Premier League clean sheets after keeping Watford out during his side’s comfortable 3-0 win at the Emirates on Sunday. He marked the occasion by also saving a Troy Deeney penalty in the second half to really take the sting out of the Hornets, becoming the first player in Premier League history to reach the 200 mark for clean sheets - sitting 31 clear of any other ‘keeper.

Right-back: Serge Aurier

Tottenham’s £25m full-back has often flattered to deceive during the early months of his career in the Premier League, but enjoyed a productive afternoon at Bournemouth this weekend. Aurier bagged his second Premier League goal of the season in stoppage time with a close-range header and put in an excellent cross for Dele Alli’s equaliser ten minutes before half-time, in what was an assured performance from the Ivorian.

Centre-back: Jamaal Lascelles

Should Newcastle avoid relegation this season, their captain Jamaal Lascelles will be a vital reason for it, as the 24-year-old centre-half produced another excellent display in his side’s 3-0 win over Southampton. Winning nine aerial duels, Saints forwards Guido Carrillo, Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long could not get any loose change from the Magpies’ captain, who marshalled the defence with the maturity of a player well beyond his years.

Centre-back: Shkodran Mustafi

After a shocking performance in the Carabao Cup final, Shkodran Mustafi now looks a player with the target of redemption on his mind, after impressing during Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Watford. The German international got on the scoresheet after eight minutes to give his side the lead early on and had the cojones to keep Watford skipper Troy Deeney quiet throughout.

Left-back: Leighton Baines

After almost three-and-a-half months out injured, it didn’t take Leighton Baines long to find his form again for Everton after being brought straight back into the starting XI by Sam Allardyce at the weekend. The experienced defender showed no signs of rustiness, winning the man-of-the-match award after claiming the assist for Cenk Tosun’s goal with a perfect delivery.

Right midfield: Riyad Mahrez

Those who may have questioned Riyad Mahrez’s commitment to the Leicester cause will no longer have any doubts after the Algerian looked back to his best in his side’s 4-1 win over West Brom. Mahrez first provided a tremendous pass for teammate Jamie Vardy to lash in a superb volley, before then netting himself with a delicate flick over the onrushing Ben Foster.

Centre midfield: Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey has previous in speaking himself into England contention, but is best when letting his play do the talking, as he did in Newcastle’s victory over Southampton at the weekend. Shelvey claimed two assists and ran the show from the middle of the park, completing a team-high 51 passes, in what was a huge three points for his team.

Centre midfield: Dele Alli

Criticised at times this season for failing to replicate last term’s form, Dele Alli was back making an impact for Tottenham this weekend, providing a goal and an assist for his team in their 4-1 win over Bournemouth. Alli clearly took personal confidence from a terrific individual display in his team’s exit from the Champions League to Juventus, scoring his team’s equaliser before setting up Heung-Min Son for Tottenham’s second.

Left midfield: Kenedy

The on-loan Chelsea midfielder has proved to be a real hit on Tyneside and continued to improve his rapport with the Newcastle fans after scoring twice in their 3-0 win against Southampton. Kenedy is now wanted on a permanent deal by his temporary employers and unsurprisingly so, having now been given the opportunity to show what he is capable of over a consistent run of games.

Striker: Heung-Min Son

In the team of the weekend for the second week running, Heung-Min Son, not Harry Kane, was the man to fire Tottenham to three points at Bournemouth on Sunday after impressing as the lone striker in the absence of the injured England forward. Son scored twice at the Vitality Stadium, with his second of the game particularly impressive, highlighting his newly-found confidence as he made it seven goals in four games for Spurs.

Striker: Marcus Rashford

Itching for the chance to start once again in the Premier League for Manchester United, Marcus Rashford took his chance with both hands against Liverpool after scoring both of United’s goals in their 2-1 win over their rivals. Rashford looked lively from the offset, producing a lethal, whipped finish past Loris Karius for the opener, before taking advantage of hesitant Liverpool defending to calmly slot home their second.

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FT Analysis: Premier League Team of the Weekend

After another weekend of excellent performances, here's the pick of the bunch from the Premier League.

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