Five-a-side TOTW: September 13th 2016

Picking an eleven is hard; picking just five is even harder.

Plenty of goals and just three clean sheets this gameweek – and somehow we leave out Romelu Lukaku.

Goalkeeper – Steve Mandanda

Though making just his second start for Crystal Palace, Mandanda now looks a certain starter in The Eagles’ goal. A Daniel Ayala header prevented the Frenchman from claiming his first clean sheet but a string of memorable saves earns him a place in our five-a-side selection (which is a far greater accolade). With his side a goal to the good, he prevented two attempts at a Middlesbrough equalizer – the first a Ben Gibson strike, the second a late drive by Gaston Ramirez.

The Anchor – Eric Dier

SOTP favourite Etienne Capoue put in another sterling display to help Watford topple West Ham, but in an effort to keep things fresh we turn to Tottenham’s Mr. Consistency Eric Dier. The England international saw a lot of the ball in Tottenham’s 4-0 hammering at Stoke and helped dominate a Stoke midfield far better on paper than on pitch as of late. It wouldn’t have been Dier’s hardest day’s work – but there was plenty to admire about his game.

Playmaker – Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City were briefly rattled following a mistake from Claudio Bravo but don’t let that take away from the wonderful performance of their attacking players – particularly Kevin De Bruyne. Mourinho’s United are a good side but struggled to contain the interplay of De Bruyne, Nolito and David Silva. It was in the first 45 that De Bruyne really shone – he was constantly a menace and got himself on the scoresheet with a classy finish past David De Gea.

The Runner – Heung-Min Son

Murmurings from White Hart Lane suggested Son could be on his way to Germany or Italy at the end of the transfer window. Talented but only sometimes effective, Son’s first year at Spurs was pretty ordinary. However, he was anything but ordinary on Saturday and grabbed two goals in the demolition of Stoke City. His second goal wasn’t too shabby, rifling the ball into the top of the net from the edge of the box.

The Finisher – Roberto Firmino

Hatrick hero Lukaku helped Everton to three points at flailing Sunderland – but we couldn’t resist including Roberto Firmino alongside De Bruyne and Son. Liverpool put in one of their good performances at home to Leicester – their first game at a spruced up Anfield. All of Sturridge, Mane and Lallana caught the eye but Firmino’s brace gives him the edge this week. The Brazilian has discovered his best form in a more advanced role and has been involved in plenty of Liverpool’s recent goals.

Mike Franchetti

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