MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 09:01:11

Premier League Team of the Week - Harry Kane, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho

Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 21, including Harry Kane, Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho.

The title race was blown wide open in the first gameweek of 2019 as champions Manchester City inflicted a first league defeat of the season on the previously-unbeaten leaders Liverpool.

Liverpool remain four points clear at the top of the standings, but both City and Tottenham Hotspur - who returned to winning ways with a 3-0 triumph over Cardiff City - were able to close the gap.

Chelsea also dropped points having been held at home by Southampton, allowing both Arsenal and Manchester United to close in on the top four with victories over Fulham and Newcastle United respectively.

One of the most entertaining contests of the gameweek came at the Vitality Stadium, where Bournemouth and Watford played out a 3-3 thriller, while West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion also shared goals and points in a 2-2 draw at the London Stadium.

There were also wins for Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Burnley as the New Year got off to a typically action-packed start in the Premier League.

Here, Sports Mole selects its team of the week for gameweek 21.



PL TOTW GW21

Angus Gunn made his first ever Premier League appearance at Stamford Bridge, but it is unlikely to be his last having made six saves en route to a clean sheet against Chelsea.

Gunn is one of two Southampton defenders to earn his place in this XI as a result of that impressive performance, with Maya Yoshida also playing a big part in keeping the home side at bay, narrowly edging out goalscoring centre-backs Nathan Ake and Shane Duffy to a place in the team.

It was a rare clean sheet for the Saints, but they have still kept more than Manchester United, who managed only their third of the campaign away to Newcastle. Phil Jones came back into the side for that match and made one crucial last-ditch challenge to keep the Magpies at bay as the Red Devils kept their winning run going.

Leicester's Ricardo Pereira has played all over the pitch so far this season and on New Year's Day featured as a left winger, but he reverts to right-back in this team having created the only goal of the game against Everton at Goodison Park.

Sead Kolasinac also helped himself to an assist in Arsenal's 4-1 win over Fulham, earning him a place in the team above Andrew Robertson, who was one of Liverpool's better performers in the defeat to Manchester City but was unable to prevent his side from falling to defeat at the Etihad.

Arguably the standout performer from that top-of-the-table showdown was Fernandinho, who not only helped to break up countless Liverpool attacks but also made more successful passes in the opposition half than any other player on the pitch in a sensational display in the middle of the park.

Teammate Bernardo Silva typified the spirit which was needed to come out on top in that frantic match, assisting the opening goal and running further than any other player has done in any Premier League game this season.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka opened the scoring in their win over Fulham, as well as making a team-high three tackles, to earn a place in the team above Luka Milivojevic, Christian Eriksen and Ken Sema.

Marko Arnautovic has to make do with a wider position than he has been used to playing recently in order to squeeze his way into the team, having scored twice in as many minutes to help West Ham come from behind and draw against the Seagulls.

Troy Deeney was the star performer from the six-goal thriller at the Vitality Stadium, and while he may face punishment for his comments after that game, his two goals and an assist for Watford's three goals make him a sure-fire inclusion in this XI.

The likes of Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marcus Rashford and Son Heung-min all deserve honourable mentions for the final centre-forward spot, but it goes to Harry Kane, who scored one and assisted another in Tottenham's comfortable win at Cardiff.

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Paul Pogba reacts while in action for Manchester United on September 22, 2018
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PL Team of the Week - Pogba, Hazard, Kane
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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