Premier League team of the week as Leicester City trio joined by Tottenham defender

The race for the Premier League title took yet another dramatic twist as Manchester City dropped points against West Ham United ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Southampton.

Pep Guardiola’s side came from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon thanks to Jack Grealish’s effort and an own-goal from Vladimir Coufal. This means they sit four points above Liverpool before the Reds face Southampton on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur continued to crank up the pressure on Arsenal in the race for the Champions League as they earned a 1-0 win over Burnley. There were also victories for Leicester City and Brentford on an action-packed weekend of Premier League football. Chelsea and Liverpool aren’t in action until midweek after playing in the FA Cup final, while the Gunners face Newcastle United on Monday night.

But which players shone? Who came to the fore and made a difference for their side? Here’s Mirror Football’s latest Team of the Week…

Nick Pope (Burnley)

The England international was in fine form for Burnley despite his side’s narrow defeat at Tottenham. Pope made a string of excellent saves to keep the Clarets in the game, including an incredible instinctive stop from Heung min-Son. The latter fired the ball towards the near post but Pope managed to claw the ball away from danger.

Son was also denied in the 65th minute when Ryan Sessegnon’s cross found the South Korean winger – who drilled the ball goal bound – but Pope put out a strong right-hand to deny him from close-range. Pope made a total of seven saves during the game and prevented Spurs from scoring more.

Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur)

It has been an excellent week for Antonio Conte’s side, who have picked up seven points from a possible nine against Liverpool, Arsenal and Burnley, conceding just one goal in the meantime. Dier is someone who has been vital to that run, putting in some superb defensive performances.

The 28-year-old has become a vital part of the Spurs team since Conte’s arrival and he put in another impressive display in the win over the Clarets, recording one interception, and three clearances. But it was his work in possession which caught the eye, with Dier completing 90 passes with a success rate of 88%.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier.
Getty Images)

Pascal Struijk (Leeds United)

With Leeds heading for yet another defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, Struijk saved the day in injury-time to secure what could be a crucial point in the fight to stay in the Premier League. The defender headed home Joe Gelhardt’s looping cross to earn a share of the spoils at Elland Road as the Whites moved one point above 18th-place Burnley.

The 22-year-old only played the final seven minutes but his goal could be one of Leeds’ most important of the season as they battle to avoid the drop. He was in the right place at the right time at the back post to head Gelhardt’s delivery in at the near post beyond Robert Sanchez.

Rico Henry (Brentford)

Another defender on the scoresheet, Henry netted the winner as Brentford came from behind to beat relegation-threatened Everton. Christian Norgaard’s cross found the 24-year-old inside the box and he headed the ball back across goal and into the bottom corner.

It was a fantastic finish from Henry, who was also impressive throughout the entire the game. When Everton were reduced to 10-men, the Bees dominated possession and Henry managed to get into some excellent positions to score. He ended up registering three shots and 61 successful passes.

Rico Henry celebrates after scoring the winner against Everton.

Rico Henry celebrates after scoring the winner against Everton.
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Lucas Digne (Aston Villa)

The France international has had a mixed start to life at Villa following his move from Everton in January. But Digne seems as though he is getting back to his best as he grabbed his second assist in three matches in a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

He curled in a terrific cross from the left-hand side which fell perfectly for Ollie Watkins to poke the ball through Marc Guehi’s legs and beyond a hapless Jack Butland. Digne almost scored the winner for Steven Gerrard’s side in the 93rd minute but his powerful volley was kept out by Butland.

Harvey Barnes (Leicester City)

After facing some criticism from Leicester fans for some below-par performances, Barnes has responded in fine fashion over the past week. He grabbed two assists in City’s 3-0 win over Norwich City and also notched another three goal contributions against Watford on Sunday.

Leicester were in emphatic mood at Vicarage Road and Barnes was at the heart of everything they did well. He scored his first in the 46th-minute, expertly volleying home Marc Albrighton’s cross. Barnes then assisted Jamie Vardy with a perfectly weighted forward pass, before the winger netted his second of the afternoon, sweeping the ball into the bottom corner with his right foot.

Leicester City's Harvey Barnes after he scored his second goal against Watford.

Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes after he scored his second goal against Watford.
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Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United)

There has been strong claims for Bowen to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s internationals after he produced yet another impressive performance in a West Ham shirt. The 24-year-old scored his 11th and 12th goals of the Premier League season as the Hammers held Manchester City.

Bowen’s first was a trademark finish as he beat the offside trap, took the ball past Ederson before slotting the ball into an empty net despite last ditch efforts from Aymeric Laporte. His second came courtesy of a brilliant piece of hold up play from Michail Antonio, whose pass found Bowen and the midfielder calmly finished into the corner.

James Maddison (Leicester City)

Like Bowen, Maddison could be on Southgate’s England radar after notching a goal and two assists in Leicester’s 5-1 rout over Watford. Although the Hornets were all over the place at the back, Maddison still showed quality when it mattered and took his tally to 16 for the season in all competitions as he tapped home Youri Tielemans’ cut-back.

Maddison then turned provider, playing a 30-yard diagonal pass towards 35-year-old Vardy, who got to the ball before Ben Foster and just had to glance the ball into an empty net. His second assist came in the dying enviers, calmly feeding the ball into Barnes’ path who slotted home.

Christian Eriksen (Brentford)

The Denmark international pulled the strings in midfield and was pivotal to help Brentford break down a deep block in the second-half. Eriksen managed to get on the ball and ended up creating six chances for his team-mates.

One of those led directly to a goal as he he grabbed an assist when his corner was headed home by Yoann Wissa. Eriksen’s quality in possession stood out and he was the difference between the two sides, using his experience to unlock a resolute Everton defence, dropping deep to thread passes into the forward players – something Brentford struggled to do in the first-half.

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

There is no doubt Leicester have massively missed Vardy when he has been out this season. The Foxes have not looked as threatening or as potent in attack when the former Fleetwood Town man is not on the pitch. And he further demonstrated his importance to the Foxes attack on the weekend.

Vardy scored his 14th goal of the league season in just his 23rd game with a brace at Watford. A clever piece of moment allowed the forward to get in behind for his first as he headed past Foster, before netting his second in the second-half with a neat finish after being played in by Barnes.

Teemu Pukki (Norwich City)

Last but not least, Pukki has once again been a shining light in a dismal campaign for Norwich. When the Canaries were relegated in 2019/20, the Finnish international scored 11 times in 36 games. Fast forward to this campaign and Pukki has scored the exact number of goals in the same amount of matches.

This is after the 32-year-old scored in Norwich’s 1-1 draw with Wolves. Pukki ran in behind, took a couple of touches before firing the ball beyond John Ruddy. He could have added another goal to his name but squandered at least three excellent opportunities – all in the first-half.

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