Garth Crooks' team of the week: De Gea, Rudiger, Saka, Salah, Vardy

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Garth squad  of the week

Two points abstracted the Premier League's apical 3 clubs aft leaders Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw with Manchester United connected Sunday.

Elsewhere, Arsenal continued their top-four propulsion with a 2-0 triumph over bottommost broadside Newcastle, Aston Villa made it back-to-back wins nether manager Steven Gerrard with a 2-1 triumph astatine Crystal Palace and Leicester City won 4-2 in an entertaining match against Watford.

Brentford ended their five-match winless tally with a 1-0 triumph at location against Everton, determination were goalless draws betwixt Norwich and Wolves, and Brighton and Leeds, portion Tottenham's lucifer astatine Burnley was postponed because of dense snow.

Check retired my squad of the week and past marque your ain selections towards the bottommost of the article.

 De Gea, Rudiger, Van Dijk, Tavares, Saka, Thiago, Maddison, McGinn, Salah, Vardy, Mane

Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Man Utd)

David de Gea

Two saves successful the archetypal 3 minutes by David de Gea made it wide what benignant of day Manchester United were successful for.

United got to half-time without conceding and that was down to De Gea. The aforesaid was existent connected Tuesday nighttime successful Spain against Villareal successful the Champions League. Once Jorginho made that monumental mistake it gave United the initiative.

Why Jorginho didn't simply caput the shot backmost wherever it came from, goodness lone knows. I conscionable anticipation that erstwhile De Gea has 1 of his dodgy periods (and helium will) his team-mates supply him with the enactment helium has shown them of late.

Did you know? Chelsea are present winless successful their past 8 Premier League games against Manchester United. They endured a longer tally without a league triumph against United erstwhile earlier - a tally of 10 games betwixt 1938 and 1950.

Defenders: Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Nuno Tavares (Arsenal)

Rudiger, Van Dijk, Tavares

Antonio Rudiger: He made a fabulous tackle successful the archetypal fractional which acceptable the code for his full publication to the match. Rudiger loves a conflict and the fixtures against Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City are made for the likes of him.

There are times, of course, erstwhile Rudiger is really looking for confrontations adjacent erstwhile they aren't determination - successful which lawsuit helium volition make his own. He's not averse to scoring the unusual extremity each present and past either, provided it's connected his caput and he's attacking the opposition's goal.

He was presented with a glorious accidental during the closing minutes of the crippled against Manchester United and blasted the shot high, wide and handsome. Virgil van Dijk had a akin accidental against Southampton and buried it. Two satellite people defenders and some marque my squad of the week.

Did you know? In their past 2 Premier League matches astatine Stamford Bridge, against Burnley and Manchester United, Chelsea person attempted 49 shots and had 100 touches successful their opponent's punishment area, but failed to triumph either.

Virgil van Dijk: There can't beryllium galore cardinal defenders successful the satellite who could person scored a extremity similar Van Dijk did against Southampton.

To onslaught the shot connected the volley and nonstop it towards extremity with capable gait to bushed the keeper from conscionable wrong the container was impressive. This was a locomotion successful the parkland for Liverpool.

Meanwhile Southampton, without Danny Ings up beforehand and Jannik Vestergaard astatine the back, look mediocre. If they don't code these 2 positions successful January the Saints won't spell marching connected but marching retired of the league.

Did you know? Six of Van Dijk's 11 Premier League goals for Liverpool person been assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Nuno Tavares: This kid had passed maine by but he's surely connected my radar now. I've ever admired fullbacks who are not acrophobic to effort and person an interaction connected the game.

If Tavares wasn't moving into the opposition's fractional with the shot helium was trying to enactment 1 of his team-mates successful connected goal. The assistance for Bukayo Saka's extremity was rather brilliant.

As for Newcastle, it's wide Eddie Howe has got an atrocious batch to do. However, I couldn't assistance but announcement that the caller manager has invested immoderate religion successful Jonjo Shelvey, who had a decent game. If Howe tin get Shelvey acceptable and focused for immoderate magnitude of time, Newcastle mightiness prevention themselves rather a spot of wealth successful the transportation marketplace travel January.

Did you know? Arsenal person ne'er mislaid a Premier League location crippled against the broadside starting the time bottommost of the table.

Midfielders: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester City), John McGinn (Aston Villa)

Saka, Thiago, Maddison, McGinn

Bukayo Saka: From the infinitesimal the crippled kicked disconnected Saka looked similar a subordinate who meant business.

He gave Newcastle a spot of a fright successful the game's aboriginal exchanges, but the Geordies survived. However it was lone a substance of clip earlier this superb young endowment exposed Newcastle frailties down their close flank.

Saka scored a fabulous extremity matched by a ace show of committedness and effort. I'm looking guardant to watching this lad instrumentality his adjacent penalty, conscionable to spot however overmuch he's grown since the European Championships.

Did you know? Saka has scored oregon assisted successful each of his past 3 Premier League games against Newcastle.

Thiago Alcantara: The Spaniard has ne'er wholly convinced maine that helium has acclimatised to the strength of the Premier League.

There is nary uncertainty helium tin play, but erstwhile the crippled becomes carnal oregon hectic I often consciousness his deficiency of gait limits his quality to prosecute and the crippled starts to walk him by. Liverpool's dominance of Southampton allowed them to power the crippled - Thiago successful particular.

He's masterful connected the shot and has the astir velvet touch. This is each precise good erstwhile your squad is successful power but Liverpool request the occasional rottweiler (enforcer) successful midfield and that, helium is not.

Did you know? Liverpool person scored 39 goals successful 13 Premier League games this season, their highest extremity full astatine this signifier of a top-flight campaign.

James Maddison: A extremity by Maddison - and helium acceptable up a mates arsenic good successful appalling conditions - gave Leicester the impetus they needed to instrumentality the crippled beyond the scope of Watford.

It was the champion crippled I've seen Maddison person for immoderate time. It was conscionable arsenic good due to the fact that the Hornets, rejuvenated nether the watchful oculus of Claudio Ranieri, had a existent go.

Watford surely cognize however to people goals but if Ranieri could thatch his defenders however to support past they mightiness beryllium a squad we commencement taking seriously.

Did you know? Maddison scored and assisted successful a Premier League crippled for the archetypal clip connected Sunday, successful what was his 111th quality successful the competition.

John McGinn: It mightiness beryllium 2 wins retired of 2 for Steven Gerrard but it was the show by McGinn that clinched the triumph astatine Selhurst Park for Villa.

McGinn was unlucky not to person scored earlier successful the lucifer erstwhile helium chopped successful from the close and bent a left-footed changeable conscionable past the acold station with Vicente Guaita beaten.

This was a disappointing show by Palace who had been playing good recently. With Michael Olise back, Christian Benteke among the goals again and Wilfried Zaha looking menacing, it looks similar Patrick Vieira mightiness beryllium connected the verge of creating a truly decent squad successful south-east London.

Did you know? Aston Villa's McGinn has equalled his champion extremity tally successful a Premier League play successful conscionable 12 appearances this campaign. He scored 3 successful some 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Forwards: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Salah, Vardy, Mane

Mohamed Salah: Some of my readers volition beryllium a small amazed that Diogo Jota is obscurity to beryllium seen among my selections this week. That's due to the fact that I thought his show (two goals oregon not) was mean successful examination to Sadio Mane and particularly Salah.

The Egypt planetary is simply a joyousness to ticker astatine the moment. There isn't a amended striker successful the connection than Salah erstwhile helium is playing for the squad and not simply chasing goals. Against the Saints helium was superb.

What amazes maine astir Salah is his strength. He is lightning speedy and highly beardown connected the ball. However, Liverpool person a problem. They suffer some Mane and Salah to the African Nations Cup successful January. I wonderment what interaction that is going to person connected their rubric chances.

Did you know? Salah has been straight progressive successful 25 goals successful each competitions this season, with 17 goals and 8 assists - much than treble that of immoderate different Premier League player.

Jamie Vardy: Vardy was having different 1 of those parties again.

The erstwhile England planetary hasn't made my squad of the week for immoderate clip present but specified was his show against Watford the centre-forward enactment maine successful an intolerable position.

Vardy, to his credit, plays the crippled with specified passionateness and enthusiasm it's infectious. His link-up play with Maddison was a spot peculiar against Watford and it's bully to spot bully players playing good astatine the aforesaid time.

Did you know? Vardy has equalled Ian Wright's grounds of scoring 93 Premier League goals aged 30 oregon older. Only Harry Kane (108) and Mohamed Salah (106) person much goals successful the contention than Vardy since his archetypal crippled successful January 2017.

Sadio Mane: This was Mane astatine his best. The Senegal superstar was everyplace against a Southampton broadside that ne'er came to presumption with the demands of Anfield.

When Mane is astatine his champion helium is not conscionable scoring goals but affecting the play. He was desperately unlucky to person a brilliantly headed extremity ruled offside aft being connected the extremity of an atrocious situation by Jan Bednarek, who was fortunate to stay connected the pitch.

Last week I criticised Jurgen Klopp for getting progressive with Mikel Arteta and inflaming the assemblage implicit a situation that was tame successful examination to Bednarek's tackle connected Mane. Fair play to Klopp, helium didn't effort to power the referee's determination successful immoderate mode but Bednarek should person gone.

Did you know? Liverpool person present scored 2 oregon much goals successful 17 consecutive games successful each competitions. They are lone the 2nd English top-flight nine to execute that, aft Sunderland successful 1927.

Pick your XI from our database and stock with your friends.

The Crooks of the Matter

The humiliating departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from Manchester United begs the question whether helium should person been fixed the occupation successful the archetypal place.

The board, having unceremoniously booted retired a United legend, person erstwhile again enactment their caput connected the chopping artifact with the fans who importune they appointed a manager worthy of their nine and the players they demand.

They person gone for Ralf Rangnick. Ralf Who? I tin astir consciousness the disapproval and contempt for the assignment buzzing astir Old Trafford already, and that's earlier the caller interim manager has taken up his position.

The occupation with teams similar Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United is they are a victims of their past arsenic overmuch arsenic they are their success. What's more, determination tin lone beryllium a fistful of managers successful the satellite with reputations large capable to negociate those clubs - fto unsocial support power of those dressing rooms.

I wholly recognize wherefore Zinedine Zidane would crook the occupation down. Why would helium travel retired of status and enactment his credentials connected the enactment having achieved the intolerable and won 3 Champions League titles with Real Madrid?

There is simply excessively overmuch to bash astatine United. Neither bash I spot immoderate consciousness successful Mauricio Pochettino leaving PSG. If helium can't triumph the Champions League with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar helium tin surely hide winning it with United.

So who? The world is United person boxed themselves into a monumental corner. There were managers disposable but they person dithered and procrastinated and paid the terms for both.

They are present faced with the unenviable task of taking different hazard or, amended still, trying to find different Alex Ferguson. Whichever it is, I don't envy them 1 small bit.

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