Premier League team of matchweek 14: Record-breaking Vardy
Lee Gormley | November 30th, 2015
Coral’s PL team of the week
Following another dramatic weekend of Premier League action; when Bournemouth grabbed a 3-3 draw against Everton, Norwich City impressively held Arsenal and Manchester United were hit by more Jamie Vardy magic, here is our team of matchweek 14.
Goalkeeper: Costel Pantilimon (Sunderland)
Two late goals at the Stadium of Light earned Sunderland a vital three points over Stoke City, but it was the heroics of shot stopper Pantilimon at the other end that helped them climb out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win.
The Black Cats goal guard made a momentous save to deny Potters forward Jonathan Walters at 0-0 before they took the lead, giving Sam Allardyce much more cause for optimism, following two successive clean sheets. Sunderland are now 11/10 to stay up and beat the drop.
Right back: Adam Smith (Bournemouth)
In an absolute thriller at Dean Court, Bournemouth were able to grab a last-gasp draw on home soil but, because of the manner in which their point was secured, it seemed more like a victory on the south coast.
Smith riffled home a 25-year thunderbolt to begin the Cherries comeback, with his goal springing Eddie Howe’s men into life in the dying moments, as they twice rallied back to secure a dramatic 3-3 draw.
Centre back: Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
In what was another game to forget for hopeful Manchester United fans in terms of performances, it says a lot about the standard of the eventual 1-1 draw with Leicester City that Smalling stood out so much.
The England defender helped prevent Vardy from adding to his early opener at the King Power Stadium, as he continues to prove why he is a vital component in Louis van Gaal’s lacklustre Red Devils machine.
Centre back: Sebastian Coates (Sunderland)
Sam Allardyce will have been extremely proud of his backline during the weekend, especially Uruguay international Coates, who showed what he is capable of in the heart of defence. The towering centre back was constantly composed and strong in the tackle during a well-rounded top-flight outing.
Left back: Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland)
Dutch defender Van Aanholt burst forward and clinically fired in Sunderland’s late opener after 82 minutes to set them on their way towards a crucial home ruling over 10-men Stoke, a strike which could prove decisive long-term.
Right midfield: Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth)
After his teammate Smith had pulled a goal back at 2-1 for Bournemouth, wicked winger Stanislas levelled proceedings on 87 minutes, sending Dean Court into hysterics. Ross Barkley looked to have spoiled the party with a 95th minute strike, but Stanislas again popped up to net four minutes later and reward the Cherries with a last-ditch draw.
Centre midfield: James McArthur (Crystal Palace)
Alan Pardew had more reason to be cheerful after his Crystal Palace side demolished former employers Newcastle United 5-1, and the previous Toon boss can thank midfielder McArthur for his superb showing.
The Scot both opened proceedings and rounded them off with a brilliant brace during the Magpies rout, with the unlikely goal scorer revealing afterwards that he hadn’t struck twice in a game since Under-13s!
Centre midfield: Ross Barkley (Everton)
Barkley is swiftly moving on from being a promising Toffees talent to an accomplished all-round midfielder, and his performance against Bournemouth was further evidence of his continuing rise to prominence.
The England midfielder struck what looked like being the winner after 95 minutes, but was involved in all of Everton’s most dangerous moves in a 3-3 stalemate. With six strikes and five league assists this term, he has been directly involved in more goals than any other English midfielder; a big summer beckons next year.
Left midfield: Robbie Brady (Norwich City)
In a man of the match performance at Carrow Road, Republic of Ireland wideman Brady was truly outstanding, providing Lewis Grabban a perfect pass for the decisive leveller in a 1-1 draw against Arsenal. The Dubliner was key to his country’s successful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and has clearly taken confidence back to domestic duties.
Striker: Odion Ighalo (Watford)
Aston Villa suffered more Premier League misery as Ighalo and co rallied to a 3-2 victory in the West Midlands. The Nigeria marksman has now netted eight top tier goals after his Villa Park opener, but can he continue to inspire a successful fight to avoid relegation this season?
Striker: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Leicester’s in-form hitman made the headlines again, with an 11th consecutive scoring performance in the Premier League breaking the record previously held by Ruud van Nistelrooy and helping his side draw 1-1 with Man Utd. The Foxes are now 15/2 for a top four finish this campaign.
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