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Premier League Team of the Week - Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Raphinha

Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 23, including Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Raphinha.

Manchester City took the Premier League title race by the scruff of its neck over the weekend as the only team in the top four to pick up a victory.

The leaders condemned champions Liverpool to a third successive home defeat in a famous 4-1 triumph at Anfield, while Manchester United conceded a last-gasp equaliser in a six-goal thriller with Everton and Leicester City were held by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Man City now sit five points clear at the top with a game in hand, and those below may be beginning to look over their shoulders, with Chelsea, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa among the Champions League-chasing pack to win.

Villa overcame Arsenal 1-0, allowing Leeds United to leapfrog the Gunners into the top half of the table with a 2-0 triumph over Crystal Palace on Monday night.

There was also a big win for 10-man Newcastle United against out-of-form Southampton as the Magpies moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 23.



PL TOTW GW23

There were not many outstanding goalkeeping performances this weekend, but Kasper Schmeichel's fine save to earn Leicester a point at Wolves deserves a mention, while Robert Sanchez made six saves to keep Burnley at bay in Brighton & Hove Albion's draw at Turf Moor.

Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez is the man to get the gloves this week, though, having showcased exactly why Arsenal were wrong to let him leave with a clean sheet against his former club.

Matt Targett and Tyrone Mings were also central to that clean sheet as Villa resisted Arsenal's pressure, both winning five aerial duels, while Targett made five tackles and Mings made six clearances.

Lewis Dunk and Liam Cooper also deserve mentions at the back, but our back three this week is completed by Luke Ayling, who also helped himself to a clean sheet as Leeds saw off Palace at Elland Road.

Leeds had a few players in contention for this XI, with Jack Harrison, Stuart Dallas and Patrick Bamford all unfortunate to miss out, but Raphinha does make the cut having once again caught the eye with his skill and trickery, as well as playing a big part in Bamford's goal.

There is a good balance to this week's XI with two attacking wing-backs supplemented by one holding midfielder and another central midfielder capable of both holding and attacking in equal measure.

Ilkay Gundogan has certainly done the attacking aspect of that to great effect in recent weeks, adding another two goals to his burgeoning tally with a couple of poacher's finishes at Anfield, shrugging off his first-half penalty miss.

There is no doubt that Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's best work comes when breaking up play, but he also demonstrated that he can have an impact in the final third by threading the pass through for Harry Kane to score as Tottenham returned to winning ways against West Bromwich Albion.

Newcastle's Joe Willock earns an honourable mention on his goalscoring debut and, while he misses out, two of his new teammates do make the cut.

Allan Saint-Maximin is forced into a more reserved left wing-back role but would still have license to get forward in this team, having helped himself to two assists in the Magpies' win over Southampton.

Miguel Almiron produced an even better return by getting on the scoresheet twice himself, before playing his part alongside the rest of his team in holding out for a valuable victory with 10 men.

Despite Newcastle's best efforts, it was Man City who produced the standout result of the gameweek as they ended a 17-year wait for victory at Anfield in style, helped in no small part by Alisson Becker's errors.

Phil Foden capitalised on the first of those to set up Gundogan for his second, and the youngster capped off the rout with a thunderous strike of his own late on to put the cherry on a coming-of-age performance in a false nine position.

Raheem Sterling ran Foden close for the man-of-the-match award against his former club and got his name on the scoresheet for good measure, beating the likes of Timo Werner, Ollie Watkins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to the final place in the front three.

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