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Premier League Team of the Week - Ilkay Gundogan, Son Heung-min, Joel Matip

Sports Mole picks its Premier League Team of the Week, including Ilkay Gundogan, Son Heung-min and Joel Matip.

After 38 gameweeks of twists, turns and some unforgettable drama, the final whistle has blown on the 2021-22 Premier League season, and surprises continued to be thrown up right until the dying embers.

Manchester City suffered a scare in their pursuit of the title against Aston Villa but ultimately clinched their sixth Premier League crown with a 3-2 comeback success, rendering Liverpool's 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers inconsequential.

Chelsea sealed third with a late 2-1 triumph over Watford, while Tottenham Hotspur returned to the Champions League in style by thumping already-relegated Norwich City 5-0.

Arsenal were forced to settle for fifth despite thrashing Everton 5-1 at the Emirates, and they will be joined in the Europa League by Manchester United despite their 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace.

West Ham United will be playing Europa Conference League football after a 3-1 loss at Brighton & Hove Albion, and Leicester City ended the season on a high by beating Southampton 4-1.

At the foot of the table, Leeds United secured their Premier League status with a dramatic 2-1 win at Brentford, condemning Burnley to the drop after their defeat to Newcastle United by the same scoreline.

Here, Sports Mole picks its Premier League Team of the Week for the final time this season.


Joel Matip in action for Liverpool in February 2022© Reuters

Goals were on the menu more than clean sheets were in the final gameweek of the season, but Palace would not have secured a historic win over Man United without the efforts of Vicente Guaita, who stood tall and made four key saves to help the Eagles end the term on a high.

Cedric Soares has become accustomed to stepping in during Takehiro Tomiyasu's injury woes this season, and the Portuguese saved the best for last with a cracking first-time finish against Everton from a corner, and he also claimed an assist for Gabriel Magalhaes's strike not long after.

Down on the South Coast, Joel Veltman continues to ply his trade on the right-hand side but has been moved to his old-style centre-back role for the purposes of this XI after squirming an effort under Lukasz Fabianski, and the Dutchman also contributed strongly on the defensive front with four tackles and three interceptions for Brighton.

Despite conceding after just two minutes against Wolves, Liverpool would not relinquish the title without a fight and had Joel Matip to thank for that, as the Cameroonian's flick found Mohamed Salah for the Reds' second - one of two big chances he created - and the centre-back also won all six of his aerial duels in a strong Anfield display.

Andy Robertson would have been a worthy pick on the left, but it is simply impossible to overlook Oleksandr Zinchenko's contribution to the Man City comeback, as the Ukraine international set up Rodri, completed all three of his dribble attempts and posted a 94% pass accuracy before a heartfelt tribute to his countrymen.


Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring their third goal with Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden on May 22, 2022© Reuters

Shades of 2012 Sergio Aguero lingered on in the spirits of Man City's current crop, and it was to be Ilkay Gundogan who would fit the 93:20 mould this time around. In what could prove to be his final game for the club, Gundogan's 22-minute brace against Villa sparked pandemonium inside the Etihad, and the German certainly earned that winners' medal around his neck.

Tottenham's trip to Norwich was a much more straightforward affair in comparison, and Rodrigo Bentancur's strong start to life in England saw him end the Premier League season with another two assists to his name at Carrow Road, as well as three interceptions and a 96% pass accuracy for the Champions League contenders.

Securing their highest-ever Premier League finish in style, Brighton were treated to a midfield masterclass of their own by Pascal Gross, whose thunderous effort beat Fabianski all ends up before he turned provider for Danny Welbeck to convert in the dying embers - just one of his four key passes on the day.

Goals were also flying in left right and centre at the King Power Stadium, and the effervescent James Maddison was at the heart of the Foxes' efforts - firstly pouncing onto a loose ball to slot home into an empty net before finding Ayoze Perez for the Spaniard's first goal to help Leicester end a topsy-turvy campaign in the best possible way.


Tottenham Hotspur attacker Son Heung-min pictured on May 22, 2022© Reuters

Callum Wilson will not be making any new friends in Lancashire anytime soon, as the Newcastle man struck the two goals that ended the Clarets' six-year run in the top flight, calmly converting a penalty before finishing at the back post from Allan Saint-Maximin's pass for the Magpies, whose optimism could hardly be higher right now.

A new chapter in Premier League history was written at Carrow Road, and in some style too. Starting the day one goal behind Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot, Son Heung-min bagged a pair of second-half strikes - including a stunning long-range effort - to collect his share of the top scorer prize, becoming the first-ever Asian player to do so in the process, and his partnership with Dejan Kulusevski and Harry Kane can only blossom further.



Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week (4-3-1-2): Guaita; Cedric, Veltman, Matip, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Bentancur, Gross; Maddison; Wilson, Son

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