Lloris and Alli make Team of the Weekend after shining for Spurs
After each round of Premier League fixtures, ESPN FC brings you its Team of the Weekend. Our panel of experts carefully selects 11 star performers, along with a manager.
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Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris edges out Joe Hart as our Team of the Weekend goalkeeper having played a big part in Tottenham's 3-1 win at Crystal Palace. Both made heroic saves in their respective matches, but the Frenchman has the backing of Gab Marcotti and Steve Nicol, while England's No. 1 can only rely on Paul Mariner's vote. Nicol says Lloris made some huge saves at 1-1 while Marcotti adds: "Keepers get bigger, but there's still room for smaller, athletic types like him."
Right-back: This is more like the Branislav Ivanovic we know and fear. He's one of many to be restored to his former self under the wise tutelage of Guus Hiddink. As well as showing a resolute edge in his defensive duties, all three of our panelists highlighted his brilliant cross for Diego Costa's winner in Chelsea's 1-0 win at Arsenal.
Centre-back: My, it is harmonious this week. Craig Cathcart gets a clean sweep too after scoring the winner in Watford's 2-1 triumph over Newcastle. Marcotti thinks he is an "unsung hero of a solid defensive crew." Mariner says he was "powerful in both boxes," and Nicol trumpets the defender's finish for the decisive goal.
Centre-back: Alongside Cathcart is a man who has emerged a key figure in the new reign of Swansea coach Francesco Guidolin; Ashley Williams. To be fair, he's a key man in pretty much every Swansea manager's reign. He got the winner against Watford last Monday and was imperious in the Swans' 2-1 success at Everton on Sunday. Both Mariner and Nicol agree that Williams led from the back.
Left-back: Patrick van Aanholt's performance united our pundits once again, Marcotti and Mariner extolling his attacking capabilities and his handling of the pressure Sunderland find themselves under. His strike just before the break handed Sam Allardyce's men a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth and led Nicol to label the 25-year-old a "goal machine".
Right-forward: Roberto Firmino is a man unleashed under Jurgen Klopp. After showing flashes of brilliance earlier in the season, the Brazilian now has four goals and an assist in his last three matches. Both his goals were neatly taken in Liverpool's incredible 5-4 win over Norwich and his assist for Jordan Henderson's strike oozed class. Marcotti says Firmino was instrumental in most of Liverpool's attacking moves and Nicol applauds the coolness of both his finishes.
Centre-midfield: According to Mariner, Danny Drinkwater had a "magnificent game" in Leicester's resounding 3-0 win over Stoke City, one that took them back to the top of the Premier League. Marcotti has been a fan all season and after Drinkwater's goal and assist at the King Power, our panelist said: "N'Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy get the attention but Drinkwater has been just as important. He showed there's much more to Leicester than those three."
Centre-midfield: That Dele Alli likes a volley doesn't he? The Spurs teenager is playing as well as any midfielder in the Premier League at present and his strike in the victory at Crystal Palace was the goal of the season so far, according to Nicol. Marcotti and Mariner both picked Alli too.
Left-forward: Another two-goal hero slots in behind the focal point of our attack, in the shape of Enner Valencia. Marcotti thinks the West Ham flier might be the fastest man in the Premier League and Mariner agrees that his pace caused plenty of problems for Manchester City's defence. Nicol calls Valencia the "quiet assassin" after his two smart goals saw the Hammers claim a point in their 2-2 draw on Saturday evening.
Forward: It is a straight shootout between Norwich's Steven Naismith and Swansea's Andre Ayew. Both scored and won penalties for their team this weekend, Marcotti saluting the Scot's gorgeous finish for his new club Norwich. But Ayew was a tad better in Swansea's win at Goodison, Mariner underlining his tireless work for the team.
Forward: That's four goals in two games for Sergio Aguero, the man who seems to be keeping Manchester City in this title race. He added another brace at West Ham, a coolly slotted penalty and a clinical finish that rescued a point. Mariner and Marcotti wonder where City would be without him while Nicol calls him "lightning in a bottle".
Manager: Marcotti has a soft spot for Francesco Guidolin, whose impact at Swansea has been immediate, but the other two have plumped for Ronald Koeman. Mariner says it was a near perfect week for the Dutchman, signing Charlie Austin then watching him get the winner as his Saints side got one over Manchester United and his old adversary Louis van Gaal. Nicol agrees.