Premier League Team of Week for October 18-20: Tadic, Baines Impress
Welcome to the eighth installment of our Premier League Team of the Week for the 2014-15 season.
Here we analyse every game and pick out a star XI from the weekend's fixtures, choosing the best players to form a viable formation (in this case, a 4-4-2).
With apologies to Graziano Pelle, Gabriel Obertan, Stewart Downing, Joe Hart and all the other solidly impressive performers this weekend, there are only so many slots.
Who did we select this week? We'll give you a hint: There aren't any Sunderland players. As ever, we'll update the selection depending on the outcome of the West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United fixture this evening.
GK: Simon Mignolet, Liverpool
Simon Mignolet often gets a bad wrap but give credit where credit is due: He was phenomenal against Queens Park Rangers and had a vital hand in somehow pulling out a victory.
He made four excellent stops as the hosts peppered his goal with shots, and he came up big at the end, palming goal-bound headers clear and dealing well with an aerial bombardment.
More of this and the Reds are in business.
RB: Seamus Coleman, Everton
Seamus Coleman netted a goal against Aston Villa, stealing in behind Aly Cissokho and converting from close range. It means it's two in two for the Irishman, who also scored against Wolfsburg in the UEFA Europa League before the international break.
Villa had a tough time defending him all day, and in a week where top-tier right-back displays came at a premium, the Everton right-back makes it three out of four Toffees defenders in our XI.
CB: Phil Jagielka, Everton
So apparently Phil Jagielka didn't use up his seasonal goal quota against Everton; it's been extended to two, and Aston Villa are the team to suffer.
The England international led a strong line against a returning Christian Benteke, helped Antolin Alcaraz through a potentially tough game and scored the opener to break the deadlock.
That's not a bad day's work, you might say.
CB: Michael Dawson, Hull City
Summoning his inner Braveheart, Michael Dawson stood out in a really gutsy, tightly contested game at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
Hull City were delighted to escape with a draw and a point, despite leading Arsenal as they entered the dying moments, and Dawson's all-action display typified the performance from Steve Bruce's side.
Small-time revenge for the FA Cup final collapse?
LB: Leighton Baines, Everton
Leighton Baines destroyed Aston Villa from a creative perspective this week, picking up two assists during his side's 3-0 victory. As Bleacher Report's Matt Cheetham notes, the Englishman is on fire right now with regard to serving up chances.
Baines right at his creative best at the moment. 6 chances vs. Villa (+2 assists). Most by an Everton player this season (and for 22 games).— Matt Cheetham (@Matt_Cheetham) October 18, 2014
He also helped keep a clean sheet and bottled up Charles N'Zogbia very well.
CM: Stewart Downing, West Ham
Squeezing Stewart Downing in a little deeper than perhaps usual is worth it. His display against Burnley was excellent once again.
At the tip of Sam Allardyce's midfield diamond, he excelled in spraying passes left and right. He also hit the woodwork with a fine strike cutting in from the right, outlining his dominance over an ailing Clarets midfield.
CM: Oscar, Chelsea
Oscar continued his strong recent form at Selhurst Park this weekend, netting the opening goal inside 10 minutes and assisting Cesc Fabregas' wonderful second later on.
He remained flexible and pliable throughout, adapting seamlessly to going down to 10 men and working a defensive shift, and he looks, genuinely, like a man reborn following a dismal summer with Brazil.
RW: Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez is just too much sometimes. He twists and turns to great effect, and defenders can't keep track of his feet, getting left behind in a (figurative) cloud of dust.
His slick goal against Hull City, giving the Gunners the lead, was a lesson in how to turn a full-back inside out before wrong-footing the goalkeeper from an acute angle.
He really turns it on at home.
LW: Dusan Tadic, Southampton
Dusan Tadic was in absolutely ridiculous form on Saturday, playing the role of chief creator for Southampton as they destroyed Sunderland 8-0.
The Serbian picked up four assists and scored his first Premier League goal, curling a 30-yard effort around the fingertips of Vito Mannone after a hospital pass out from the back.
He's tied for most assists in the league with seven, per WhoScored.com.
ST: Bobby Zamora, Queens Park Rangers
Believe it or not, Bobby Zamora bossed Liverpool's defensive line and made Dejan Lovren look like a League Two player.
Eduardo Vargas will steal the limelight after netting two late goals, but it was Zamora who gave Brendan Rodgers all sorts of problems and ensured Jose Enrique's return to the XI was one to forget.
He's still got it!
ST: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
Manchester City's victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday quickly turned into the "Sergio Aguero Show," as the Argentine scored four goals and missed a penalty to make it five.
The former Atletico Madrid man is, frankly, unplayable on his day, and poor Federico Fazio—coming in for his Spurs league debut—got sent off trying to deal with his clever runs and movement.
He's a killer in the final third.