Ahead of Monday’s fixture between West Ham and Chelsea, theScore selects the best XI after another weekend of some great individual performances in the Premier League.
GK – Artur Boruc
Not short of detractors, Artur Boruc gave a great account of himself at Old Trafford BY denying Zlatan Ibrahimovic from 12 yards during a six-save performance. Boruc kept 10-man Bournemouth in the match in the second half, and showed his maturity as he shaved seconds off the clock here and there.
DF – Mamadou Sakho
In just his second appearance of the season, Mamadou Sakho repaid Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce for his faith. Sakho was sent to south London on loan for the remainder of the season after being frozen out of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side, and returned to action quickly thereafter. He marked West Brom’s Salomon Rondon completely out of the Saturday’s match, and routinely provided relief at the back to help preserve a clean sheet.
DF – Steve Cook
Bournemouth captain Steve Cook contributed to his club’s stingy performance against Manchester United. He won tackles, aerial battles, and made a game-high 13 interceptions. Along with Boruc, he was a big reason why the Cherries won their first-ever point at the Theatre of Dreams.
DF – Martin Olsson
What a signing Martin Olsson has been. The former Norwich City full-back was floundering in the Championship before Swansea City manager Paul Clement tapped on his shoulder for help in the coming relegation battle. With two goals in his first six domestic appearances with the Swans, Olsson has matched his return from his previous 104 Premier League outings.
RM – Riyad Mahrez
The fancy footwork was back on display as Riyad Mahrez returned to his old self on the weekend. He dragged two Hull City defenders with him before rifling an accurate shot into the bottom corner for his first goal from open play since last April. It was vintage Mahrez, if it can be called that. The Algerian was much more involved in the play than previously under Claudio Ranieri, leading all Leicester City attackers with 58 touches.
CM – Dele Alli
In one of his most complete performances of the season, Dele Alli acted as both provider and finisher, setting up one of Harry Kane’s goals before flicking the eventual winner past Everton’s Joel Robles. He is excellent on the ball, but Alli’s interpretation of space and willingness to make runs makes him such a dual threat.
CM – Adam Lallana
He may not be getting all the plaudits he deserves, but Adam Lallana has become one of England’s most trustworthy and talented midfielders over the past 12 months. No longer just an attack-minded player, Lallana is able to flank Liverpool midfielders and offer outlets. More importantly, he can kick-start counters and hold up possession. Noticing Divock Origi had been offside on the break, Lallana got away from three Arsenal players before releasing his teammate for the game’s final goal. It was a perfect display of patience.
CM – David Silva
Even if there were three or four Sunderland players around him, David Silva would offload the ball at just the right time. He was involved in both of Manchester City’s goals in the win at the Stadium of Light and routinely had his head on a swivel, surveying the pitch to make the right pass. He now has 62 Premier League assists since his debut in August 2010 – by far the league’s best total in that period.
LM – Nathan Redmond
One of Southampton’s shrewdest summer signings, Nathan Redmond has become increasingly difficult for defenders to contain. Scoring twice against Watford – his first league tallies since October – the former Norwich speedster is in contention for an England call-up this month.
FW – Fernando Llorente
It’s a wonder how Fernando Llorente struggled to get game time earlier in the season. He is now the lifeblood of Swansea’s attack, a fact underlined by Saturday’s virtuoso two-goal display. It is the fourth brace of his debut Premier League campaign. His aerial prowess is giving defenders lots of trouble.
FW – Harry Kane
He is the Premier League’s most prolific scorer at the moment. Kane hardly needs a few seconds on the ball before finding the back of the net – such is his deadly accuracy and overwhelming confidence in front of goal. His two goals against Everton upped his Premier League tally at home to 14 – a benchmark no other Spurs players has reached ever before in a single season.
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)