What’s that we can hear opening? Oh, nothing much, just the Premier League title race…
Well, what an episode of Premier League football we were treated to over the last few days. Plenty of goals, drama and talking points as per usual and, more than likely, the ignition of a title battle between Chelsea and Spurs with the gap now at four points.
Four, meanwhile, is the key number down at the bottom of the league with it really looking that three out of Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Swansea and Hull set to go down.
Indeed, the smart money would be on either the Tigers or the Swans to escape and so, whilst we wait for that to play out, it can be time for only one thing…
It’s the Rush Football Team of the Week!
GK: Simon Mignolet
The Belgian stopper has been much-maligned on Merseyside but he’s been in superb form of late. West Brom v Liverpool may not live long in the memory but Mignolet’s save from Matt Phillips towards the end of the game might just be the remaining ember in the Reds’ supporters’ minds if that ensures Champions League football next season.
CB: Nathaniel Clyne
Clyne battled away superbly at The Hawthorns and deserves to be put in this side. West Brom tried their best to rattle the sometimes shaky Reds but they stood firm and Clyne was a big part of that. A gritty individual performance in a tenacious team display.
CB: Vincent Kompany
You don’t have to be a Manchester City fan to admit that it’s good to see the Belgian back. Easily still the club’s best defender, the captain was in great form against Southampton. He crashed home a header, was immense at the back and showed John Stones – who wasn’t playing – just how and when to spray the ball around.
CB: Phil Jagielka
If he carries on like this he’ll be Everton’s second top scorer before too long. Jagielka grabbed another goal in the Toffees’ win over Burnley on Saturday and once again led by example at the back. He’s not played often this season and has looked past it at times, too, but it seems as though he’s back on top of things.
RM: Xherdan Shaqiri
What. A. Goal. Do you need anymore than that? The wide-man doesn’t do tap-ins, that much is clear to see, and scored another cracker against Hull at the weekend for Stoke. Our only criticism is that he should be scoring more often but at least when he does he rips the net out of the ground.
CM: Emre Can
Can really has had a roller-coaster season for Liverpool. When they were struggling earlier on in the season he was getting lambasted and now that they’re winning again he’s getting huge praise. He’s evidently a talented player and bossed the midfield at The Hawthorns – now he just needs to remain consistent.
CM: Ander Herrera
Our player of the week by some way. We felt that he would be one of the main stars for United against Chelsea in our 3 Key Battles piece at the weekend and he duly stepped up to the plate. He snuffed Eden Hazard’s considerable threat out and then bagged one himself. He was brilliant.
CM: Ross Barkley
Fair play Ross Barkley. Outrageously targeted in the week for no apparent reason, the midfielder put in an exemplary performance for Everton. He’s been criticised this season by Ronald Koeman at times but in recent weeks he’s come of age and looks ready to really kick on and be the force his potential suggested he would be.
LM: Heung-Min Son
Most under-rated star of the season? He certainly deserves a shout. The South Korean has been a real nuisance for Spurs this season with the way he attacks and attacks and attacks without ever losing energy. He scores goals, too, and if Spurs do end up winning the title he deserves just as much credit as Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
ST: Marcus Rashford
Welcome back to prominence, Marcus Rashford. The Manchester United striker really was superb against Chelsea and for 80 odd minutes – until he came on – made us forget Zlatan Ibrahimovic was at the club. The young striker reminded us all of what he has through the middle and deserves more game-time in this position.
ST: Jon Walters
We know what you’re thinking but, yes, Jon Walters was actually very good at the weekend for Stoke. He immediately made an impact when he came on for the Potters, showed the presence of mind to set up Peter Crouch’s header and was a important factor in the direction of the game with Hull. A strong showing.