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Premier League Team of the Week: Arsenal stars march on as Haaland rediscovers scoring touch

Who starred from the latest round of fixtures?

Four of the traditional top six met over the weekend as a showstopping clash between Arsenal and Manchester United ended a weekend that had begun with Chelsea and Liverpool sharing a dire goalless draw at Anfield.

It was one of three 0-0 draws in a Premier League weekend low on goals, though Manchester City continued their title charge with a comfortable win over Wolves and West Ham picked up a vital win over Everton to increase the pressure on Toffees boss Frank Lampard.

We took a look at who starred over the weekend’s games.

GK: David Raya (Brentford)

In a game low in quality between Brentford and Leeds United, David Raya ensured that his side held onto a point away from home courtesy of an excellent display. The Spaniard, who according to reports could be moving onto bigger and better things at the end of the season, made five saves to preserve his clean sheet in an otherwise ordinary Bees performance.

RB: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)

Another who starred in a 0-0, Trippier continues to prove vital to Newcastle United as they extended their unbeaten run against Crystal Palace. The English defender created a massive eight chances for his teammates from right-back against the Eagles, and won 8 of his 15 duels heading the other way too.

CB: Thiago Silva (Chelsea)

With 0-0′s a theme this week, once more Thiago Silva stood as a beacon of quality and composure in a scrappy affair between Chelsea and Liverpool. Neither side deserved to win the game, though Chelsea edged the better chances. The 38-year-old has a calming quality that he brings to the Blues backline even as he continues to defy his age, and hit the post in the early minutes in the opposite box too.

CB: Nayef Aguerd (West Ham)

The Moroccan won 8 of his 10 duels and 3 of his five tackles as he helped Moyes avoid the executioners axe, and push Frank Lampard firmly under it.

LB: Pervis Estupinan (Brighton)

After Brighton’s impressive 3-0 win over Liverpool at the AMEX last weekend, a result against a struggling Leicester side seemed to be something of a foregone conclusion.

But it didn’t pan out that way, with the Seagulls having to fight back twice to earn a point. Estupinan was vital in doing so, providing two assists including a cross for Evan Ferguson to nod home an excellent late equaliser.

RM: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

What more is there to say about this man that hasn’t already been said? Up against arguably the most in-form full-back in the Premier League, Saka made a mockery of him, while his long-range efforts (one which went in, the other hitting the post) showed that he is still capable of adding new things to his game. If he continues to improve at such a rapid rate, England are set to have a superstar on their hands for Euro2024.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)

Pep Guardiola issued a stark warning to his Manchester City stars after their win over Tottenham, claiming that they stood no chance in a title race with Arsenal in current form.

The Cityzens strived to put this right against Wolves, running out comfortable 3-0 winners with Ilkay Gundogan a key part in this. The German won the penalty and put in an excellent all-round performance in midfield for his side.

CM: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)

Of all the Arsenal players under Mikel Arteta, no one has had a bigger turnaround in fortunes as Granit Xhaka. On the verge of leaving the club three years ago, he has become a key cog in the Gunners system after being deployed further up the pitch this season, and continues to excel alongside Gabriel Martinelli and Oleksandr Zinchenko on the left-hand side.

The Swiss midfielder grabbed an assist and could have added a goal in an all-round excellent performance against the Red Devils.

LM: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)

Bowen has been woefully out of form this season but showed signs of sparking into life with a well-taken brace to lift West Ham clear of the relegation zone at Everton’s expense.

Previously linked with a move to Liverpool, he will need to hit the same heights as last season if he is to ensure his side don’t get sucked into a relegation dogfight in the months to come, with goals currently at a premium for the Hammers.

ST: Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal)

Arsenal’s newest no.14 continues to prove doubters wrong in emphatic fashion, this time by grabbing a 90th minute winner against Manchester United to hand Arsenal a vital three points.

Amid all the question marks surrounding the absence of Gabriel Jesus, Nketiah continues to score and is still spearheading Arsenal’s title charge.

ST: Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

Just days after questions over whether Manchester City were a better side without the Norweigian, Erling Haaland reminded everyone of his qualities as he bagged a 15 minute hat-trick against Wolves.

With 25 goals to his name in 19 Premier League games, the striker is currently on course to smash just about every record the Premier League has seen in his first season in the top flight, and could well be the difference in the title race with Arsenal in the coming months.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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