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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

The Premier League team of the week

Check out who made the cut this time around, as we single out the weekend’s most impressive performers.

Sunderland's James McClean celebrates scoring with teammates following his goal against West Ham.
Sunderland's James McClean celebrates scoring with teammates following his goal against West Ham.

Julio Cesar (QPR): The Brazilian is belatedly showing why QPR are paying him so much money, as along with the rest of his teammates, he is starting to look vastly more assured. Everything went right for him, as the club earned what could prove a valuable point against Tottenham come the end of the season.

Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City): The right-back demonstrated his usual gusto and thorough commitment to the cause at the Emirates over the weekend. His successful tackle in the build-up to City’s second goal stemmed from a loose ball he had no right to win, and thus epitomised the passion and professionalism that was invariably evident in the entire team’s display.

Clint Hill (QPR): Ever since the centre-back was given a torrid time by Luis Suarez amid his side’s comprehensive defeat against Liverpool, Hill has seemingly redoubled his efforts, and as a result, he has played a significant part in QPR’s clean sheets against both Tottenham and Chelsea.

Ashley Williams (Swansea): Michu is often lauded as Swansea’s saviour, but Ashley Williams is surely the unsung hero who is arguably an equally important element of their current success. He was magnificent again on Saturday, as the Welsh side earned a highly credible 0-0 draw away to Everton.

Patrice Evra (Manchester United): The left-back has added a substantial goalscoring threat to his game this season, and he demonstrated his attacking prowess again on Sunday, providing the cross for Van Persie’s opener and heading home (albeit with the help of a deflection) for the second. He didn’t do much wrong on the defensive side of things either.

James Milner (Man City): The ex-Aston Villa man has been in and out of the City first XI in recent months, however, if he keeps performing as he did against Arsenal at the weekend, there is little chance of his place being under threat. The winger was at his industrious best, demonstrating a typically immense work rate, matched with an end product that was emphasised by the fantastic goal he scored (see below).

YouTube credit: iFootballTVHD

Stephane Mbia (QPR): Another player who has suddenly come to life under Harry Redknapp, the Cameroonian footballer provided a steadying influence against Tottenham, helping to frustrate the visitors on numerous occasions.

James McClean (Sunderland): It’s heartening to see the Irish international back to something near his best form. He was an integral part of Sunderland’s accomplished display against West Ham, showing the energy and confidence of old, and sealing the Black Cats’ victory with a neat finish for their third goal.

Stephane Sessegnon (Sunderland): The Hammers simply could not cope with the attacker’s perpetual threat, as Sessegnon persistently troubled their defence with his pace, while providing assists for Sunderland’s second and third goals.

Robin van Persie (Manchester United): There was considerable pressure on the Dutchman’s shoulders going into the Liverpool-United game, with sections of the media portraying the match as a battle between himself and Luis Suarez. And while the Uruguayan was quiet for much of the contest, Van Persie undoubtedly delivered, producing a classy, opportunistic finish for United’s first goal.

Romelu Lukaku (West Brom): The big striker continues to show Chelsea what they’re missing, as he was one of the few positives for a West Brom side that ultimately capitulated against Reading, scoring an impressive brace that should have put the Baggies out of sight.

Subs: Artur Boruc (Southampton), Ryan Nelson (QPR), Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Steven Flectcher (Sunderland).

Flop of the week: Jonathan Walters (Stoke City).

Who have we unfairly left out? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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