Garth Crooks’ team of the week: Schmeichel, Van Dijk, Welbeck, Greenwood

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Garth Crooks’ team of the week: Schmeichel, Van Dijk, Welbeck, Greenwood


Manchester City were the biggest winners of the week with a5-0 victory over Newcastle,while championsLiverpool won 3-1 at Brighton.

Manchester Unitedeasily beat Aston Villa 3-0,Chelsea edged Crystal Palace3-2 in an entertaining match,while a last-minute goal sawSheffield United beat Wolves 1-0.

Arsenal and Leicester drew 1-1,withWatford defeating Norwich 2-1.

Southampton got a 1-1 draw at Everton,Tottenham were held to agoalless draw by Bournemouth.andBurnley won 1-0 at West Ham.

Garth Crooks’ team of the week

Goalkeeper – Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester)

Emiliano Martinez made two excellent saves from Kelechi Iheanacho to keep Arsenal in the game against Leicester. The Argentine has looked solid since he took over from the injured Bernd Leno but it’s Kasper Schmeichel who makes my team of the week. The one-handed save from Alexandre Lacazette was first class and so was his tip over the bar when he was almost deceived by Hector Bellerin, who shaped to cross but hit a shot that almost crept in.

It was Schmeichel’s interventions that not only kept Leicester in the game but earned them the point. The Denmark international has proven himself to be a top-class keeper over the years, but if I was pushed on my all-time Danish XI his father Peter would get the nod. Now he was world class.

Did you know?Schmeichel made six saves against Arsenal. In only two Premier League matches has he made more this season (nine v Manchester City in December, seven v Southampton in January).

Defenders – Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Craig Dawson (Watford), John Egan (Sheff Utd)

Van Dijk:He looked back to his imperious best against Brighton. Since the restart Liverpool have looked a little shaky at the back. There were two moments where Van Dijk showed his class and both were against Aaron Connolly. The Republic of Ireland striker came on and understandably tried to impose himself on the game. Van Dijk either dispossessed him, outran him or outplayed him. I hope Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had a quiet word with the Irishman after the game and told him not to worry – Van Dijk does that to everyone.

Did you know?Van Dijk has started Liverpool’s last 85 Premier League games in a row. This is the longest run of consecutive starts ever made by an outfield player for Liverpool in the competition.

Dawson:He’s done it again. He’s pulled another goal out of nowhere and given Watford a Premier League lifeline. Craig Dawson scored a spectacular overhead kick against Leicester City recently and now added to his tally with a nice far-post header against Norwich. Not bad for a centre-back who is neither prolific nor clinical when it comes to scoring goals. Boy, did Watford need this victory. Defeats against Southampton and Chelsea were bad enough but the victory against Norwich has put the Hornets back in business.

Did you know?Dawson has scored two goals in five Premier League appearances since the June restart. He hadn’t found the net in 20 league appearances for the Hornets this season beforehand.

Egan:What a way to win a football match. A set-piece, a thundering header with no time for Wolves to respond. Two goals in as many games for John Egan took Sheffield United above Arsenal and Tottenham. If I was the chairman of either north London club I would be fuming considering the difference in wage bills compared with their Yorkshire rivals. Credit where credit is due, Blades boss Chris Wilder did say he couldn’t wait to shake up the Premier League a little. He’s done much more than that, he’s frightened the life out of one or two.

Did you know?Egan scored only Sheffield United’s second ever 90th-minute winner in the Premier League, following in the footsteps of fellow defender Phil Jagielka in September 2006 against Middlesbrough.

Midfielders – David Silva (Man City), Willian (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Watford)

Silva:A great era is slowly coming to an end. David Silva will be leaving Manchester City at the end of the season but I sense not before he adds yet more silverware to his cabinet, as he still has an FA Cup semi-final to contemplate and the possibility of lifting the Champions League trophy. He strolled around Etihad Stadium against a tormented Newcastle like an emperor. With more than 300 Premier League games, 59 league goals and 11 domestic trophies under his belt with City, he can do whatever he wants.

Did you know?Silva has now reached 10+ assists in all competitions in all 10 of his seasons with Manchester City, with his second against Newcastle his 121st in total for the club.

Willian:I think Yaya Toure’s done it, Steven Gerrard’s definitely done it and I know Kevin de Bruyne and Virgil van Dijk have done it. All have made my team of the week on three consecutive occasions. In fact Van Dijk might even have made it on four.

Willian now joins this outstandingly consistent group of players. The Brazilian was at the heart of yet another successful performance by Chelsea, this time against Crystal Palace. Frank Lampard needs to think long and hard before letting Willian leave Stamford Bridge. I don’t thing Ross Barkley, Mason Mount or Ruben Loftus-Cheek are ready to replace him so he’d better have someone in mind who can.

Did you know?Since the Premier League resumed in June, Willian has either scored (four) or assisted (two) six league goals in five matches – as many as he was involved in across his previous 19 league appearances beforehand.

Henderson:Barely eight minutes had gone and the game was over. Liverpool punished Brighton for having the audacity to think they could outplay the champions. If the Seagulls thought their visitors had come to the south coast to quietly see out the season, such ideas couldn’t have been further from the truth. Jordan Henderson, my player of the season, epitomised Liverpool’s ruthlessness with an excellently taken goal. By the time Brighton realised the mood Liverpool were in, the game was over.

Did you know?Liverpool captain Henderson has scored more Premier League goals in 2

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