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Premier League Team of the Week - Harry Kane, Bruno Fernandes, Granit Xhaka

Sports Mole picks its final Premier League Team of the Week for the 2022-23 season, including Harry Kane, Bruno Fernandes and Granit Xhaka.

An unforgettable Premier League season drew to a close with a fine selection of gameweek 38 fixtures on Sunday afternoon. Relegations were confirmed, European fates were sealed, and drama unfolded up and down the land.

Manchester City's title-winning campaign ended on a slightly sour note with a 1-0 loss to Brentford, while Arsenal achieved their best points tally since 2003-04 courtesy of a 5-0 demolition of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Manchester United clinched the final spot on the podium by coming from behind to beat Fulham 2-1, forcing Newcastle United - who drew 1-1 with Chelsea - to settle for fourth.

Liverpool and Southampton - two sides whose spots in the table were already rubber-stamped - played out a pulsating 4-4 draw on the South coast, while Aston Villa joined Brighton & Hove Albion in Europe, sealing Europa Conference League qualification with a 2-1 win over the Seagulls.

Tottenham Hotspur's 4-1 win over Leeds United proved inconsequential for their European hopes, but it did confirm the Whites' demotion to the Championship, where they will be joined by Leicester City despite the Foxes' 2-1 beating of West Ham United.

Everton stayed up in dramatic circumstances for the second year running with a gritty 1-0 win over Bournemouth, and a bottom-half dead rubber between Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace ended 1-1.

For the final time this season, Sports Mole picks its Premier League Team of the Week for the latest round of fixtures.


Ethan Pinnock scores for Brentford against Manchester City on May 28, 2023© Reuters

Stepping in for the injured Nick Pope, seldom-seen Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka proved that there is still life in his 34-year-old legs at Stamford Bridge, coming up with five saves and also registering an 88% pass accuracy to ensure a point for his Champions League-bound crop.

Tottenham will not be present in the top tier, or any tier, of European football next term, but Pedro Porro - playing in a more advanced position - put in a performance to excite the Tottenham faithful against Leeds, picking out the corner with a fine finish across goal before setting up Harry Kane in a stellar final-day outing.

Similarly, a goalscoring defender was the hero for another capital side at the Gtech Community Stadium, where Ethan Pinnock celebrated his new Brentford contract in the perfect manner, prodding home the decisive goal against champions Man City while also making six blocks and three tackles during a monstrous display.

Ben Mee's own heroics made him an honourable mention for this Team of the Week too, but Everton may be preparing for life in the Championship had it not been for the crucial interventions of James Tarkowski, who won seven of his eight aerial battles while registering eight clearances, three tackles and three interceptions to thwart Bournemouth and keep the Toffees afloat in the big time.

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui's choice to bring Jose Sa back in between the sticks for the trip to Arsenal was not vindicated, and Jakub Kiwior was the beneficiary of a horror mistake from the Portuguese, netting his first Gunners goal on the half-volley to complete the five-goal rout while winning four of his six ground duels in a promising display.


Granit Xhaka celebrates scoring for Arsenal on May 28, 2023© Reuters

Following a season of scathing criticism for his antics both on and off the ball, Bruno Fernandes was back to his best in Man United's final-day meeting with Fulham, keeping himself onside and delicately chipping the winner over Bernd Leno to seal a third-placed finish for the Red Devils, while also creating six chances for his teammates on the day.

A goal fit to save any team's Premier League bacon flew into the back of Mark Travers's net at Goodison Park, where Everton fulcrum Abdoulaye Doucoure came up with the strike that prolonged the Toffees' perennial Premier League stay, firing a sweetly-struck half volley into the bottom corner from the edge of the box and sparking unbridled bedlam on Merseyside.

Everton will not be bidding farewell to the Premier League just yet, but Granit Xhaka could very well have signed off at the Emirates with a first-ever Arsenal brace against Wolves. Ahead of an expected switch to Bayer Leverkusen, Xhaka opened the scoring with a trademark header before slotting home his side's second on an emotional day, capping off his remarkable redemption arc in front of 60,000 buoyant fans singing his name.


Southampton's Kamaldeen Sulemana celebrates scoring their second goal on May 28, 2023© Reuters

Southampton fans may not be head over heels in love with their side right now, but Kamaldeen Sulemana quite literally was - twice - in their thrilling 4-4 draw with Liverpool. Firstly levelling the scores with a low first-time finish underneath Caoimhin Kelleher, the Ghana international netted his second after the break with a crisp finish into the corner, and each strike was followed by an equally eye-catching acrobatic demonstration.

Diogo Jota's celebrations were far more low-key in comparison to Sulemana, but the returning Portuguese capped off a positive couple of months with the first and final goals of the day at St Mary's, capitalising on a Romeo Lavia error to side-foot home into an empty net before drilling a first-time strike into the roof of Alex McCarthy's goal.

The Golden Boot may be sitting pretty on Erling Braut Haaland's cabinet, but Tottenham talisman Harry Kane - amid all the chaos engulfing his club - also hit the 30-goal mark in the top flight during the Lilywhites' 4-1 thumping of Leeds. Picking out the top corner inside the opening two minutes and curling home in the second half, Kane reminded Daniel Levy just how much worse his side's predicament could have been without his prolific tendencies, and whether that man-of-the-match showing proves to be his final game in a Spurs jersey remains to be seen.



Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week (4-3-3): Dubravka; Porro, Pinnock, Tarkowski, Kiwior; Fernandes, Doucoure, Xhaka; Jota, Kane, Sulemana

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2Manchester CityMan City1392233132029
4Aston Villa1391331181328
5Newcastle UnitedNewcastle1482432141826
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs138232517826
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd148061617-124
8Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton136432823522
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham136252323020
12Crystal Palace134361318-515
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves144371925-615
15Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest143471622-613
17Luton TownLuton142391326-139
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1412111139-285

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