Premier League Team of the Week: December 14-16

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Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth)

After five successive defeats, Bournemouth returned to winning ways at Stamford Bridge to condemn Chelsea to a fourth defeat in five league games. It could have been very different, though, had Ramsdale not denied Emerson from point-blank range with the game still goalless. As it is, the Cherries have only a second win since September.

Joe Gomez (Liverpool)

Gomez’s return to the Liverpool line-up has resulted in three consecutive clean sheets for the Reds. Against Watford he won seven aerial duels (a match high) and won three tackles, bettered only by Craig Cathcart.

James Tarkowski (Burnley)

Burnley’s inconsistency will be giving Sean Dyche cause for alarm, but they ran out winners over an injury-hit Newcastle side. The hosts kept the Magpies from managing a single shot on target, thanks to ten clearances and four interceptions from Tarkowski.

Ben Godfrey (Norwich)

Norwich became the first team to take points from Leicester since early October with a hard-earned draw at the King Power Stadium. Young Godfrey’s stats may not have caught the eye, but that fact that Foxes striker Kelechi Iheanacho was substituted before half time speaks volumes for his performance.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)

Despite having been handed the unenviable task of handling Adama Traore, it was Vertonghen who had the last laugh with a late winner at Molineux. The skipper’s header could not have been better placed and handed his side a fourth win in five league games.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

If it wasn’t clear before kick-off at the Emirates that De Bruyne was easily the best midfielder in the Premier League, by half time it had practically become a fact. Granted, a sorry Arsenal did little to impede the Belgian’s brilliance, but two well-taken goals and an assist inside the first 40 minutes ended the game as a contest. He has now been directly involved in 16 Premier League goals this season, bettered only by Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.

Dan Gosling (Bournemouth)

Gosling’s first goal of the season was enough to see off Chelsea on Saturday as the pressure lifted on manager Eddie Howe. His hooked effort beat Kepa Arrizabalaga and Cesar Azpilicueta on the line. Cue jubilant celebrations in the away end.

John Fleck (Sheffield United)

Two second-half goals from Fleck gave the Blades back-to-back wins for the first time since their promotion to the Premier League in the summer. The Scotland midfielder now has four goals in his last seven league games – only Lys Mousset has more goals for United this season.

Adam Traore (Wolves)

Like many other teams have already discovered, Tottenham realised on Sunday that the best way to stop Traore is to simple foul him. In the space of 14 second-half minutes three Spurs players were booked for fouls on the Mali winger, by which time had already equalised with a powerful strike. In all competitions, 21 players have received yellow cards for fouls on him this season.

Mo Salah (Liverpool)

Salah continued his fine run of form against Watford with a goal in either half on Saturday, extending the Reds’ lead at the top of the table. He opened the scoring when he finished a fine counter attack with his weaker foot before sealing the three points in the dying minutes with an improvised flick. He now has eight goals in five games against the Hornets.

Michail Antonio (West Ham)

Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to move Antonio to centre forward against Southampton paid off as the Irons recorded their second win in 11 league games. He completed six dribbles (a match-high) and won seven aerial duels as the Saints’ defence were denied a moment’s rest. He was unfortunate not to add his own name to scoresheet as a fantastic strike was ruled out for handball.