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Premier League Team of the Week XXXV feat. Leicester and Chelsea stars

Chelsea

Premier League Team of the Week XXXV feat. Leicester and Chelsea stars

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Cesc Fabregas: Playing in the role that some would describe as emulating a Quarter-back, Cesc Fabregas ran the show for Chelsea in midfield, pulling the strings and ensuring that the game was played at his pace. In many ways, the Spaniard’s performance helped to make Eden Hazard’s return to the starting line-up as smooth and free of problems as possible. Indeed, Fabregas supplied the Belgian with a beautifully weighted pass off the heel to assist one of his goals, this being one of three times that Chelsea’s number four assisted a team-mate against Bournemouth. He also created three additional chances, although he is probably not too disappointed that these did not transform into goals. Incredibly for someone who is still only 28 years of age and has not been in the Premier League for the entire of his career, only two players can boast more assists than the Spanish international, and those are the top flight legends of Frank Lampard and Ryan Giggs.

Riyad Mahrez: The stand-out performer of the Premier League season to date has been below par in recent weeks; by his exceptionally high standards at least, but shot back to the top of his game against Swansea. He began the match in fine fashion, capitalising on an error by Wes Morgan before producing a calm finish into the bottom corner of the net that sent Leicester on their way to a comfortable three points. From then on, he was back to his brilliant best that has made him almost unstoppable for the vast majority of Premier League defences this year. Mahrez’s dazzling left foot worked its magic and when the Algerian played with his head up, defenders were left mesmerised as he either picked out a pass or glided past them instead, as he took on opponents six times and created three chances in the ninety minutes. However, it was the defensive work of Leicester’s number 26 which was arguably the most impressive aspect of his display, putting in four tackles and showing great positional sense to make five interceptions. It was quite timely that this performance came on the same day as the PFA Player of the Year Awards party, as Mahrez is most people’s favourite to lift the main prize.

 

Eden Hazard: Eden Hazard bagged a brace on his return to the Chelsea side, being a thorn in the side of Bournemouth all game long on both flanks. He beat an opponent on five occasions, demonstrating the sort of fluid movement that made him almost unstoppable 12 months ago. The two strikes against Eddie Howe’s men were Hazard’s first Premier League goals of the campaign, after having such a storming run last season. The six candidates for the PFA Premier League Player of the Year Award were announced recently; with the overall winner being revealed on Sunday night, and it is startling to think of how dominant the Belgian was in securing this accolade in comparison to his complete failure in 2015/16. Could he be on the way out of Stamford Bridge in the summer, meaning that his performance against Bournemouth may well have been Eden Hazard playing for a move? The whole of the Premier League must hope that this in fact simply marked him returning to form that will be on show in England for some time to come.

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Dusan Tadic: In a bizarre atmosphere at Villa Park that was rife with vitriol directed at the home team, Dusan Tadic took centre stage with two goals on the day. The technically gifted midfielder was able to pick apart Villa’s defence, pulling the individual members of the opposition around seemingly at will and operated expertly in the space left between the midfield and defensive lines. In addition to the two strikes of his own, he created a couple of chances for team-mates which may well have been converted on another day, demonstrating that he is approaching something close to his best form. Ronald Koeman will definitely hope that he can maintain this for the final weeks of the campaign and carry it forward into the 2016/17 edition of the Premier League.

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