After a weekend filled with FA Cup and Premier League action, here we select our best XI players from Saturday and Sunday’s games.
We’ve gone with a 3-1-4-2 formation with midfielders stealing the show, for the most part, this weekend.
GK: Kasper Schmeichel
The Leicester City stopper kept Swansea at bay, despite six shots on target, in their 2-0 win over Swansea at the weekend, which means they now have real hope of Premier League survival, following what looked a hopeless situation. Joe Hart just misses out, but due to Leicester’s form at present, we couldn’t help but go for the Foxes’ goalkeeper.
DEF: Eliaquim Mangala
Mangala didn’t give West Ham an inch for the entire game at the weekend. The Hammers did have a sustained period of pressure towards the end of the game but one never feared a goal being conceded.
He was helped by City’s high pressing, which meant he was always going to be the favourite in a one-on-one dual from a punt up field but he still worked tirelessly to make sure the City defence was never breached.
DEF: John Terry
Much of the discussion around the game will concern his tackle on Radamel Falcao in the build up to the Blues’ one and only goal, however his defensive ability cannot be questioned. He was a huge factor in Chelsea holding out, despite United bossing possession.
DEF: Luke Shaw
He was a constant nuisance down Chelsea’s right flank all day long. The only slight on his part was that his final ball, when he worked his way into some great positions, was just lacking. Other than this he kept the ball well, when under pressure, and looks to be developing into a fine asset for Louis van Gaal.
MID: Jesus Navas
The Spaniard was Manchester City’s standout player in their 2-0 win over West Ham. He created problems down the right all day long for City and had a part to play in both goals. His one-two with Sergio Aguero for the Citizens’ second was the high point of a great display from the champions.
MID: Eden Hazard
The difference between Chelsea and Manchester United was his goal. However, aside from his cool finish, he exemplifies that little extra bit of class that United haven’t had this season. Limited in the second half due to United’s aforementioned pressure but Hazard is still worthy of inclusion in our Team of the Week.
MID: Nemanja Matic
Along with Kurt Zouma, Matic helped Chelsea break up the play before it was even given a chance to enter Chelsea’s final third. The one aspect of Matic’s game which stands out is how he makes intercepting and tackling look like an art form, one which has been lost amongst cynical diving and stricter refereeing.
Not that Matic is in any way a dirty player but more a midfield general who can play a bit too. Roy Keane but with a bit more grace on the ball, if you will.
MID: Christian Eriksen
Instrumental to everything that’s good about Tottenham when they get going. He scored the crucial second goal in their victory over Newcastle at St. James’ and helped Spurs dominate possession; 62% of it, to be exact.
MID: Jack Grealish
The local lad played to a level well beyond his 19 years against Liverpool as Aston Villa advanced to the final of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win. Grealish even had a hand in the second goal, assisting Fabian Delph for Villa’s winner. This was just the focal point however, of an all-round fantastic display by the Republic of Ireland under-21 international.
FW: Alexis Sanchez
We couldn’t leave the Arsenal frontman out due to his two goals, which sent Arsenal through to the FA Cup final against Reading.
This now puts the Chile international on 22 goals in all competitions for this season.
FW: Harry Kane
The Tottenham frontman trumps even Sanchez with his 30 goals in all competitions, helped by his strike which finished-off Newcastle at the weekend.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena