Premier League

Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane, Keylor Navas

Sports Mole

Sports Mole picks its Premier League Team of the Week, including Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane and Keylor Navas.

It is as you were in the Premier League title race following the latest round of fixtures, as Arsenal remain five points clear at the top of the table despite suffering just their second league loss of the season in a 1-0 defeat to Everton.

The Gunners were indebted to North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur as the Lilywhites beat champions Manchester City by the same scoreline, while Manchester United maintained their grip on third place by beating Crystal Palace 2-1.

Newcastle United remain in the Champions League places despite being held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham United, as Brighton & Hove Albion remained in contention for a top-six finish with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth.

Brentford also boosted their European charge by easing past Southampton 3-0, and Fulham remain above West London rivals Chelsea after holding the Blues to a goalless stalemate.

Elsewhere, Liverpool‘s alarming plight continued with a 3-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City ran out 4-2 winners over Aston Villa in a thriller, and Nottingham Forest scraped a 1-0 success over Leeds United.

Here, Sports Mole picks its Premier League Team of the Week for the latest round of fixtures.


James Tarkowski celebrates scoring for Everton against Arsenal on February 4, 2023© Reuters

Signing three-time Champions League winner Keylor Navas was quite the coup for Nottingham Forest, and the Paris Saint-Germain loanee produced a fine home debut in the Premier League, making four crucial saves against Leeds as the Tricky Trees’ purple patch continued.

The presence of Pedro Porro evidently spurred Tottenham wing-back Emerson Royal on to have one of his finest performances yet in North London, as the Brazilian ran the show against Man City, coming up with six clearances, two tackles and two interceptions, as well as winning five fouls in a dogged showing that will give Antonio Conte food for thought.

The whole of North London was celebrating on Sunday night, but those in red and white were not at Goodison Park, largely thanks to the efforts of James Tarkowski. Sean Dyche‘s reign in charge began with his former Burnley stalwart outmuscling Martin Odegaard with ease and heading home the only goal against Arsenal – one of three aerial duels that he won on the day to keep the Gunners at bay.

Strong centre-half performances were the norm in this gameweek, with Ben Mee and Max Kilman both honourable mentions, but Tim Ream was a staunch figure in the Fulham backline at Stamford Bridge, blocking David Datro Fofana‘s goalbound effort and completing seven of his nine long ball attempts to play his part in a well-earned clean sheet.

Navas was not the only Premier League debutant to enjoy a fine maiden performance in the top flight, as Leicester left-back Victor Kristiansen remarkably won all eight of his ground duels at Villa Park – making six tackles and completing both of his dribble attempts before an emotional celebration with his loved ones.


Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring against Arsenal on January 22, 2023© Reuters

It is seemingly always the turn of one of Brentford’s front three to carry the day, and the plaudits went to Bryan Mbeumo after their win over Southampton, as the Cameroon winger provided an inch-perfect cross for Mee before getting in on the act himself with a simple finish in front of the home crowd.

Needing a calm, composed and somewhat controversial presence after going down to 10 men against the champions, Tottenham got all that and more with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Having already intercepted Rodri‘s pass to set up the only goal on the day, the Dane contributed to the defensive effort with three tackles, two interceptions and a dose of gamesmanship which went down a treat with the home crowd – going down with an apparent head injury after a free kick, but not before making sure that Pep Guardiola‘s men still had the ball first.

Wolves needed no such tactics to ensure victory over a declining Liverpool side, whose midfield was overrun by the Ruben Neves-led hosts. With just under 20 minutes remaining, the Portugal international sped into the box before slotting home the game’s third goal, while he also won all three of his aerial duels and made two blocks versus his reported admirers.

Cool heads were not in plentiful supply at Old Trafford, where Man United had to navigate a late red card to Casemiro, but Marcus Rashford‘s efforts prior to that late fracas proved to be game-defining. The revitalised Englishman firstly sent in the cross which wo…

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