Premier League Gameweek 9 – Hazard, Shaqiri, and Arter feature in team of the week

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Premier League Gameweek 9 – Hazard, Shaqiri, and Arter feature in team of the week

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Amlan Majumdar

10/24/2016

From Xherdan Shaqiri and Eden Hazard's dazzling performances in the attack to Cesar Azpilicueta and Winston Reid's solid show at the back—the Premier League fans were treated to some amazing individual performances this weekend. Here is the SportsCafe team of the week.

Goalkeeper

Petr Cech (Arsenal): There were a lot of good performances between the sticks this week, but it is former Chelsea custodian Petr Cech who takes the cake. While Arsenal struggled to break down Middlesbrough, it was the visitors who looked more dangerous in front of the goal. They have to thank Cech for getting a point out of the match as he denied Gaston Ramirez, Adama Traore, and Alvaro Negredo to keep his clean sheet.

Defense

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea): Azpilicueta version 2.0, who is a center back now, is turning out to be a brilliant new acquisition for Chelsea. It was another satisfying performance at the back for the defender against Manchester United as he kept things pretty simple. Close spaces. Clear danger. Repeat.

Winston Reid (West Ham United): Defensively, West Ham United have been one of the worst sides in the league this season, but things are starting to look up. With Winston Reid at the heart of the defence, they have now kept two clean sheets in a row. To add to that, the New Zealand international also scored the late winner against Sunderland.

Gary Cahill (Chelsea): He wore the armband, and he led from the front. The Englishman has not been at his best this season, and he has come under a lot of criticism recently. However, against Manchester United, he scored the 2nd goal from the corner and then guided his team to a clean sheet. In the absence of John Terry, Chelsea needed someone to step up, and finally, Cahill is taking up the responsibility.

Christian Fuchs (Leicester City): Fuchs produced one of the sweetest left-footed strikes you are going to see this season. The goal against Crystal Palace rounded up a solid performance at the back for the former Austrian international. Leicester City are in need of such performances on a more regular basis in the Premier League this season.

Midfield

Oriol Romeu (Southampton): The former Chelsea midfielder made more passes than any other Southampton player on the pitch and also topped the tackling charts with eight challenges as the Saints held league leaders Manchester City to a 1-1 draw. It was an extremely gritty performance from the Spaniard.

Harry Arter (Bournemouth): Bournemouth are a side on the rise at the moment, and Harry Arter represents the kind of heart that Eddie Howe has installed in his team. He was the most inspiring player on the pitch for the home side, breaking down attacks, intercepting passes, and winning numerous tackles, as Tottenham were held to a 0-0 draw.

N'Golo Kante (Chelsea): The midfielder received a lot of criticism for his showing against Arsenal or lack of it rather. However, against Manchester United on Sunday, he had perhaps produced his best performance since signing for the London club. To add to his dominating display in the middle, that drop of the shoulder before scoring the fourth goal was a thing of beauty.

Attack

Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City): When Shaqiri is on song, he is one of the most exciting talents to watch in the Premier League. The other thing about Shaqiri is he almost refuses to score ordinary goals. He found the back of the net twice with two immaculate strikes and was at the heart of nearly every move Stoke made in the 2-0 win over Hull City.

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City): Leicester City have found it hard to deal with the dual challenge of the Champions League and the Premier League. Ranieri has been forced to shuffle his squad, and on Saturday, it was Okazaki who led the line. The Japanese international scored a goal and was a constant threat with his energy and directness as the defending champions, finally, showed a glimpse of their form from the last season.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea): Chelsea’s talisman is back to his best. He kept running at the United’s defense throughout the night. His pace and directness were too much for the visitors to handle at times, and in the second half, he was the outlet for Chelsea on the counter attacks. A treat to watch when he is in this kind of form, Hazard scored a delightful goal to round up a wonderful night for the Blues.

Special mentions:Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Pedro (Chelsea), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Scott Arfield (Burnley), and Adama Traore (Middlesbrough)

Team of the week (4-3-3):

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