Premier League team of matchweek 37: King of the Foxes, Gayle goals galore
Holly Thackeray | May 8, 2016
Premier League team of the week
The Premier League title may have now been held triumphantly aloft by Leicester City, but there were still a host of unresolved ongoing battles in matchweek 37 which was, for some, the penultimate round of games.
As the Foxes celebrated their coronation and the last outing for the season at the King Power, talisman Jamie Vardy closed some of the Golden Boot gap on Harry Kane, while Sunderland stole a march on relegation safety and
So, with all this drama occurring there was bound to be a protagonist or two. Here are 11 of them, as Coral writers present their picks for Premier League matchweek 37…
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Manchester United)
Hardly called upon against toothless Norwich City, but when the Canaries occasionally took flight the Spain number one stepped seamlessly into action with a couple of crucial stops to keep a clean sheet. One of just three keepers this weekend not to concede, along with Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet and Aston Villa man Mark Bunn, though Fraser Forster deserves a nod for his saves as Southampton sank Spurs.
Right back: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
There has been little rustiness at right back about Valencia since the powerful utility man returned from injury, and he continued to prove crucial against Norwich, with his ambitious ball forward putting Wayne Rooney clear on goal to assist Juan Mata for the winner.
Centre back: Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
A typically dominant display from the defender, whose awareness helped to bag the Red Devils three points, with Smalling somehow denying a clear chance for Dieumerci Mbokani with his aerial prowess.
Centre back: Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)
It’s not often Villa’s defence have been praised, but they managed to shut out a desperate if toothless Newcastle United, in large thanks to Clark, who earned plaudits for recording a match-high of six interceptions and blocking everything that came his way.
Left back: Christian Fuchs (Leicester City)
One of the Foxes’ unsung heroes this season, Fuchs deserves to be in the Leicester limelight for a change and against Everton was astute once more, though failed to cap his performance by chalking up a strike in the final third.
Centre midfield: Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City)
Ki was key in controlling the middle of the park against West Ham United, conducting from deep in a performance reminiscent of his silky showings last season. The South Korea skipper also found time to bomb forward and chip in with the third goal in the Swans’ 4-1 hammering of their hosts.
Centre midfield: Steven Davis (Southampton)
Davis proved a dangerous option for Saints, with a brace to help the south coast club surprisingly defeat Tottenham at White Hart Lane, with his quick feet on the edge of the area turning the game for Southampton to clinch three points.
Centre midfield: Andy King (Leicester City)
Wales international King put in a regal performance, stepping in for suspended Danny Drinkwater to help N’Golo Kante anchor the title-winning team. Leicester’s longest-serving player did much more than keep things ticking over, however, with a delightful delivery for Jamie Vardy’s opener, before crowning the 3-1 defeat of Everton and King Power party with a well-taken goal of his own.
Forward: Dwight Gayle (Swansea City)
Coach Alan Pardew was quizzed on whether goal gobbler Gayle’s lively performance against Stoke City was a cry for FA Cup final selection – the speedy striker certainly couldn’t have done much more as he stretched the Potters defence with his runs and bagged a brace, with his winner a sucker-punch free-kick packed with power (enough to knock him off his feet!).
Forward: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Vardy was in vicious form upon his Foxes return from suspension, and got straight back into the swing of things with a double to sink the Toffes, the first a trademark strike after slipping through Everton’s backline and the second a sweetly taken spot-kick. The chance of a hat-trick was spurned, but that miss was a small blot on an otherwise pristine copybook.
Forward: Andre Ayew (Swansea City)
Leading the line while Bafetimbi Gomis sat on the bench, electric Ayew continued his resurgence of recent weeks, with a poacher’s goal and a clever, crisp clipped assist on the counter to help his Swans side dismantle their hosts.