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Biggest snubs in Premier League Team of the Year

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With 11 players announced for the PFA Premier League Team of the Year on Wednesday, there is plenty of debate flying around about who deserved to make it and which players were snubbed.

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Bearing that in mind, below is a look at some of the biggest snubs as five players from Man City made it in the team, three for Tottenham and one each from Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool.


Goalkeepers
David De Gea is a worthy selection in the PFA Team of the Year for the fourth-straight season, but Man City’s Ederson will have been a little disappointed. The Brazilian has made a huge difference to City’s defense and ever single defender seems more confident with him in goal, even if he takes risks with his exceptional range of passing. Nick Pope has also had a great season for Burnley after standing in for the injured Tom Heaton.

Defenders
You can’t argue with Kyle Walker at right back. He’s been solid all season long and although Antonio Valencia and Kieran Trippier have been steady, they don’t have the same attacking impact as Walker. As for central defenders, well, Nicolas Otamendi and Jan Vertonghen getting in wasn’t really a surprise such was the lack of competition in that area. Cesar Azpilicueta and James Tarkowski will feel hard done by, while Virgil Van Dijk has had a strong start to life at Liverpool since arriving at Anfield in January. Otamendi deserves it, but if Toby Alderweireld was fit and playing regularly then he may have been selected over Vertonghen. At left back there aren’t many options and if Benjamin Mendy was fit he would’ve been a strong contender. Ashley Young has been great this season and Andrew Robertson from Liverpool must have been close, such was Robertson’s strong second half of the campaign after becoming a regular.

Midfielders
The only other player you could say should’ve made this midfield is Fernandinho. His destructive style laid the foundation for Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva to be otherworldly (and get in the PFA Team), yet Christian Eriksen has been immense for Spurs and probably deserves to just edge in ahead of Fernandinho. Nemanja Matic‘s strong start should be noted, as to should N'Golo Kante plodding along nicely and Eden Hazard, on his day, ripping teams apart.

Forwards
Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane simply had to be in this team, and they are. Yet the other spot is a real tricky one. Sergio Aguero got the nod as the third striker and with the Argentine waiting seven seasons to get in a PFA TOTY, now was his time as he has 143 goals in 206 PL appearances. AKA the best minutes per goal rate in PL history. Yet when you look around the league, the likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane will feel aggrieved to not get in this team. Perhaps Sane and Sterling could’ve been in midfield over Eriksen, while Firmino and Mane have been outshone by Salah’s goalscoring but have been hugely important in Liverpool’s fine season. You can only pick 11 players and you can make a solid argument that at least seven forwards deserved a spot…

Not yet: Pogba leads Manchester Derby comeback

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  • Kompany heads City in front
  • Gundogan coolly makes it 2-0
  • WATCH: City’s goals
  • Pogba’s quickfire brace levels it
  • Alexis Sanchez involved in 3 goals
  • City fails to clinch title

It took 16 minutes for Manchester City’s day to go from celebrating the Premier League title to losing to a rival for the second time in a week.

Paul Pogba scored twice in 100 second-half seconds to put Manchester City’s title celebrations on pause, and Chris Smalling made amends for an early error to lead United to a 3-2 win over City on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium.

Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan scored to stake City to a halftime lead. City can next win the league with a win at Tottenham next week accompanied by a Man Utd loss versus West Brom.

United is now 13 points behind City and four points ahead of Liverpool and Tottenham.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The home support at the Etihad was screaming for a penalty when a sliding Antonio Valencia saw a cross bound off his hand.

United earned a corner kick when Ederson played short to Vincent Kompany out of the box. The Belgian’s pass was picked off by a surging Red Devils press.

Paul Pogba had a few timely interventions in the center of the park, though one was unaided by his teammates and led to David Silva lashing over the goal.

David De Gea made a right leg stop when Bernardo Silva got a tame in-tight effort on goal.

The poetics of Kompany getting on the board in the 25th minute aren’t lost on the blue side of Manchester, and he thundered by Chris Smalling to smoke a header beyond De Gea despite a strong tug on the back of shirt.

An ethereal turn from Gundogan put the title on their lips, as he finished a 1-2 by slipping a goal inside the far post.

Raheem Sterling skied two good chances to make it 3-0 over the goal.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

It wouldn’t have been a Manchester Derby with a drama-free second half, but Pogba made sure it was chock full of fun.

First, the United midfielder ran into the box to collect an Ander Herrera chest pass of Alexis Sanchez’s cross, and it was less than four minutes later that he deftly headed Sanchez’s cross directly to make it 2-2.

Jesse Lingard dragged a shot wide in the 60th minute as United looked to complete the comeback, but the Red Devils found their 3-2 lead through Smalling when the defender raced onto Sanchez’s free kick in the 70th minute.

Now down to a rival for the second time in a week, Guardiola introduced Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus. Then Sergio Aguero, who nearly won a penalty when Young skittered into his ankle inside the box after knocking the ball away from the Argentine.

The game descended into a foul and banter festival for about five minutes, as Martin Atkinson handed out yellow cards to Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero, and Paul Pogba.

De Gea didn’t have his A-plus game, but made an A-plus save on Aguero in the 89th minute. And he made an outstanding save when Sterling plunked a ball off the post and back toward the goal line on the ensuing corner kick.

Ben Yedder brace sends Man Utd packing

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  • Sevilla out-attempts Man Utd 20-15
  • First leg finished 0-0
  • Ben Yedder with two off the bench
  • Lukaku scores late consolation

Wissam Ben Yedder scored two goals in four second half minutes to knock Manchester United out of the UEFA Champions League as Sevilla posted a 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Romelu Lukaku scored off a corner kick in the 84th minute, but United found no more as Jose Mourinho’s decision to deploy Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, and Anthony Martial as subs could not save the day.

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Lukaku started an exchange with Lingard but side-footed the business end high and wide of the goal.

Sergio Rico was on hand to make his first save on Sevilla, and David De Gea was denied a chance to do the same with Luis Muriel skied over the goal.

Fellaini, a target for several crosses and knockdowns, then worked a 1-2 with Alexis Sanchez which concluded with a Rico save.

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[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Sevilla entered the second half knowing a single goal would do the trick at either 1-0 or 1-1.

Eric Bailly made an outstanding sliding tackle in the box on Joaquin Correa in the 48th minute.

At the other end, Rico got low to get a hand on a Lingard attempt. Sanchez had an attempt blocked, and Fellaini sailed one away from the goal.

Paul Pogba was introduced after the hour mark.

Rashford won a free kick from 19 yards in the 67th minute, but mailed it over the goal.

But it was Sevilla who’d score via a counter attack, with Ben Yedder freezing Bailly with a feint before beating De Gea to the near post.

That moved Juan Mata and Anthony Martial into the fray for Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia.

It had the opposite effect in an immediate way, with the fourth official signaling that Ben Yedder’s header was pushed off his own post and into the goal by De Gea.

Chris Smalling missed a back post tap-in moments later for Manchester United. Lukaku couldn’t convert in-tight off a Mata feed in the 82nd.

Lukaku did finish a chance off a corner kick in the 84th minute, rewarded for a physical night’s work but leaving United with six minutes plus stoppage time to score two more goals.

United was denied shouts for an indirect kick inside the six when a blocked Martial shot was seemingly passed back to Rico to collect with his hands. Rashford headed just wide in the 87th minute.

De Gea denied Ben Yedder his hat trick in stoppage time.

Crystal Palace 2-3 Manchester United: Red Devils roar back

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  • Townsend’s deflected shot opens scoring
  • Quick restart fools United for 2-0
  • Smalling heads in Valencia cross
  • Lukaku levels late
  • Matic wins it in stoppage

Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling scored as Manchester United made amends for a woeful start with a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday.

The win puts United back ahead of Liverpool and into second place in the Premier League. The Red Devils are a full nine points clear of fifth place Chelsea.

Andros Townsend and Patrick Van Aanholt opened up a 2- 0 lead for Palace, who remains in the drop zone with 27 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Nemanja Matic was particularly active in the first five minutes, and showed he’d be a key factor in helping to shut down Palace’s twin towers of Alexander Sorloth and Christian Benteke.

James Tomkins tried an overhead kick off a scrum for Palace’s first real chance, while Wayne Hennessey leapt high to defy an Alexis Sanchez header at the other end.

Palace went ahead in the 11th minute, as Benteke was given time and space by Chris Smalling to find Townsend. The English winger’s shot deflected wildly off Victor Lindelof‘s head and beat De Gea. 1-0.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Van Aanholt’s seen his share of relegation scraps, and zipped onto a quick restart to dribble beyond a protesting Smalling and belt a shot past De Gea. 2-0, 48′.

Smalling got one back when Tomkins and the rest of Palace left him alone at the back post to nod Antonio Valencia‘s cross past Hennessey.

United was all over Palace for the remainder of the match, and Matic thought he deserved a penalty for an incident around the time of his hitting the post.

Palace conceded the equalizer in a painful way, as Alexis Sanchez’s deflected shot fell off the cross bar to Lukaku, who waited for Van Aanholt’s block attempt before pounding it home with his left peg.

Benteke and Sorloth each came for the lead in the 77th minute, with De Gea making an outstanding save on the former.

Matic’s winner, early in stoppage, was reminiscent of his goal for Chelsea against Spurs last season, as he belted a rebound from well outside the 18.

LIVE, UCL – Sevilla vs. Man United, Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Roma

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Jose Mourinho has created a splash this morning by benching Paul Pogba despite utilizing a 3-man central midfield formation as Manchester United heads to Spain to take on Sevilla in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg meeting.

Pogba was left out of Saturday’s win over Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup due to illness, but having made the trip to Sevilla with the matchday squad, it seems his omission is instead due to tactical reasons. 21-year-old academy product Scott McTominay starts in Pogba’s place alongside Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera, with the Frenchman on the bench among the substitutes.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores

The decision is surprising given Manchester United’s 16-point deficit in the Premier League table as they trail runaway favorites Manchester City, leaving the Champions League as the best competition remaining that the Red Devils have a shot to win.

Up front for Manchester United, Alexis Sanchez carries the creative load along with Juan Mata, with both supporting Romelu Lukaku at the striker position. Meanwhile, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof continue to work as the central defensive partnership, while Antonio Valencia captains the side as full-back, mirrored by Ashley Young on the other edge.

In the other matchup, Roma heads to the Ukraine to take on Shakhtar Donetsk, who finished 2nd in Group F three points behind Manchester City. The Ukranian side has only just returned from its winter break, with just a single game played since December 10th.

Roma, meanwhile, has pulled itself out of a rut just in time for the return of Champions League play, with three straight Serie A wins coming on the heels of a five-match winless run. They have scored eight goals over those three wins, with a pair of road clean sheets among the group. 20-year-old Turkish winger Cengiz Under is on fire over the win streak, scoring four goals over that span.


Today’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 schedule

Sevilla vs. Manchester United – 2:45 p.m. ET
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Roma – 2:45 p.m. ET