Kane, Alli lead Team of the Weekend – ESPN FC (blog)

Sports 01 May 2017
Kane, Alli lead Team of the Weekend – ESPN FC (blog)
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Manchester United Rob Dawson Read By ESPN FC Staff Share Tweet Harry Kane, Dele Alli lead Premier League Team of the Weekend

Tottenham kept their title hopes alive with a win in the last North London Derby to ever be played in White Hart Lane.
Craig Burley reflects on the good and the bad from Tottenham's 2-0 win over Arsenal in the North London derby.
Craig Burley reflects on the good and the bad from Tottenham's 2-0 win over Arsenal in the North London derby.
Arsene Wenger surprises a reporter by ending his post-match interview early after Arsenal's loss at Tottenham.
Mauricio Pochettino says he's proud of Spurs' derby win over Arsenal, but disappointed they couldn't cut Chelsea's lead.
Tottenham kept their title hopes alive with a win in the last North London Derby to ever be played in White Hart Lane.

After each round of Premier League fixtures, ESPN FC brings you its Team of the Weekend. Our panel of experts carefully select 11 star performers along with a manager.

Do you agree or disagree? You can have your say on those picked or overlooked in the comments section at the foot of the article or on Twitter, using the hashtag #ESPNFCTOTW.

TOTWApril30
ESPN FC's Premier League Team of the Weekend.

Goalkeeper: Often when a team is battling relegation, you can pick out an individual moment that secured a crucial point with games running out. Hull City goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic produced just such a moment at Southampton on Saturday, when, in injury time, he dived to save Dusan Tadic's penalty and earn the Tigers a rare and precious point on the road. Gab Marcotti praises him for "a massive penalty save, which allowed Hull to get a point and stay on track for the minor miracle," and he gets Paul Mariner's vote too.

Right-back: Middlesbrough produced a fine performance at home to Manchester City, keeping the survival flame flickering in a match they will feel could have brought more than a point. 'Boro had to withstand long spells of pressure as City attacked down the flanks in the second half, and right-back Fabio was central to that resistance, also making his way forward to swing in crosses as his side conjured up the sort of attacking intent often lacking from them this season.

Centre-back: Marcotti, Mariner and Shaka Hislop are unanimous in choosing Burnley defender Michael Keane, who showed just why he is so sought-after with a commanding performance in the win at Crystal Palace. Keane rarely allowed Christian Benteke a second in which to do anything, and his calm organisation at the heart of the defence underpinned his team's first Premier League away win of the season. "Used his brain and athleticism to help minimise the threat of Benteke and the Palace wide men," Marcotti said, while Mariner added: "Clean sheet, three points, job done."

Centre-back: Talking of calm defensive authority, Gary Cahill exuded it, as Chelsea not only won but also did so with something to spare at Everton. Everyone knows about the threat Romelu Lukaku poses, but Cahill ensured that he struggled to do that here before popping up at the other end to score the second goal in a 3-0 win. "It's his eighth goal of the season in all competitions, and the way he led the back three which shut down Lukaku deserves praise," Marcotti said, with an admiring Hislop echoing those sentiments.

Left-back: It's probably fair to say that Ben Davies is one of Tottenham's more unsung players, but his performance in Sunday's 2-0 win over Arsenal demonstrated the sort of solid quality that gave the Gunners very little joy. Resolute in his defensive duties, he also engineered some eye-catching combinations down the left with Son Heung-Min in the first half. Selector Marcotti said he "gets the nod in the back four and fulfills the task with intelligence and athleticism."

Pedro's stunning goal got Chelsea on track for a comfortable 3-0 win at Everton.

Right Midfield: When you're embroiled in a tight, tense match with chances at a premium, what could be better than a moment of individual brilliance to provide the breakthrough? The man with the magic for Chelsea at Everton was Pedro, who opened the way to a three-goal second half with a superb goal after 66 minutes. He picked up possession, turned into space and fired an outstanding finish into the top corner from 20 yards — according to Marcotti, it was "a classic wonder strike from the former Camp Nou livewire who is enjoying the ultimate bounce-back season."

Central Midfield: Leicester's revival had stuttered a little before their trip to West Bromwich Albion, but the show is back on the road, thanks to a determined team performance driven by the influential Wilfred Ndidi. Ndidi provides both attacking threat and defensive cover in the Leicester midfield, and he was at his best at The Hawthorns, in the thick of the action as the champions took the points through Jamie Vardy's goal. "Covered a lot of ground," Mariner said, while Marcotti wondered "whether Leicester's season might have been different if he'd been there all year."

Central Midfield: No wonder Tottenham fans boom out songs in praise of Dele Alli on such a regular basis. After all, he is here, there and everywhere and was outstanding again, as Spurs kept the pressure on Chelsea and ensured that they will finish above Arsenal by beating the Gunners in the last North London derby to be played at White Hart Lane. Alli never gave Tottenham's biggest rivals a second's peace, and his determination was to the fore as he pounced to open the scoring having missed a good chance earlier on. "It's not just the talent," Marcotti said. "It's the hunger and intensity he displays every minute."

Left Midfield: Swansea City remain in the relegation zone with time ticking down toward the end of the season, but they went for it against Manchester United at Old Trafford and deserved the point that keeps their hopes alive. Central to their performance, as he is so often, was midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, selected by both Hislop and Marcotti. Eleven minutes remained, and the Swans were 1-0 down when they won a free kick 25 yards out; up stepped Sigurdsson with a sublime, curling strike. Marcotti's verdict? "He showed he's still Swansea's best option to produce magic."

Kane, left, and Alli scored the goals to give Tottenham their long-overdue revenge on Arsenal.

Striker:Bournemouth secured survival and condemned Sunderland to the drop with a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light that was secured by one of their unsung heroes, Josh King. King capped another tireless afternoon on behalf of Eddie Howe's side when he was in the right place at the right time to turn home a cross and plunge David Moyes' team into the Championship. "Another vital goal for Bournemouth," Mariner said, while Marcotti praised King for "consistently producing over the past few months."

Striker: If you could have predicted the player to score the last goal for Tottenham against Arsenal at White Hart Lane, you'd probably have gone for the man who got it: Harry Kane. Kane showed his intent from the opening seconds of an historic afternoon, drawing the first save of the match with less than a minute on the clock and constantly threatening as Spurs dominated. Moments after Alli opened the scoring, Kane won and scored the penalty that sealed the points, with his nonstop performance drawing praise from Hislop.

Manager: Three different choices for our manager of the week: Mariner hails Burnley's Sean Dyche for his "fantastic victory" at Palace, Hislop goes for Swansea's Paul Clement after the draw at Old Trafford and Marcotti picks Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino. After steering his side to victory on a derby day brimming with emotion, Pochettino gets the vote. His side were calm and composed and had too much for Arsenal; they're also now just one game away from completing an unbeaten home campaign in their final White Hart Lane season. "Last derby at the Lane, and they went out with a bang," said Marcotti, who stressed that the result means Tottenham "are still alive" in the title race.

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