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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…

Top 10 moments: Man City’s PL title-winning season

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Though Manchester City clinched the 2017-18 Premier League title on Sunday, thanks to Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion, Pep Guardiola‘s squad still strives to reach the 100-point mark before season’s end.

[ MORE: PST’s latest coverage of Man City’s title win ]

While their quest to be dubbed the best PL side of all time will continue next weekend, we stop to appreciate and relive the top 10 moments of their title-winning season (so far)…

10. 96′ vs. Bournemouth — Aug. 26 — Sterling’s late winner — Raheem Sterling scoring late, game-winning goals (all in the 84th minute or later) would become a recurring theme of the first half of the season.

9. 84′ vs. Huddersfield — Nov. 26 — Sterling does it again

8. 95′ vs. Southampton — Nov. 29 — Sterling, again… again

[ MORE: Ranking the impact of each City player this season ]

7. 16-0 in back-to-back-to-back weeks — Sept. 9-Sept.23 — An unstoppable force — Liverpool (more on that game a little later), Watford and Crystal Palace were on the wrong end of City’s most dominant, ruthless run of a the season: a three-game stretch which saw them soar by a combined score of 16-0 (it would then be extended to 24-2 over the three ensuing games, thanks in large part to a 7-2 thrashing of Stoke City three weeks later).

6. Newcastle United 0-1 Man City — Dec. 27 — 18 straight wins — City’s PL-record 18-game winning streak began on Aug. 26 and didn’t end until New Year’s Eve (a span of 127 day before points dropped). The unbeaten start would go on another two weeks before ending at 22 games with a thrilling defeat away to Liverpool two weeks into the new year.

[ MORE: Twitter reacts to City winning Premier League title ]

5. Chelsea 0-1 Man City — Sept. 30 — Title credentials established — Ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge, City entered the weekend top of the table but level on points with Man United and only three ahead of their Week 7 foes, Chelsea. The overall performance was utterly dominant (17 shots to 4; 6 on target to 2), but the result remained in doubt for more than an hour, until Kevin De Bruyne bagged the game’s only goal, a fantastic solo effort, in the 67 minute.

4. Tottenham 1-3 Man City — April 14 — The final win — In total control from the first to final whistles, City breezed past Tottenham to move to within three points of the title.

3. Man United 1-2 Man City — Dec. 10 — Derby delight at Old Trafford — Winning away in the Manchester derby would have been the defining moment of City’s season in years and decades gone by. Now, it’s little more than a footnote in a throughly brilliant season.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to United’s loss, City’s title win ]

2. Man United 0-1 West Brom — April 15 — Friendly neighbors — A day after beating Tottenham, and a week after blowing a 2-0 lead against their neighbors in red (for just their second loss of the season), all Man United need was a point against last-place and all-but-relegated West Bromwich Albion, but Jose Mourinho’s men fell flat on their face. Thus, City were officially champions.

1. Man City 5-0 Liverpool — Sept. 9 — Destruction of the Reds — Liverpool looked like genuine title contenders through their first three games (the trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino had just combined to thrash Arsenal to the tune of 4-0 one game earlier, and Philippe Coutinho was yet to even make his 2017-18 debut), but the Reds’ trip to the Etihad Stadium brought about an entirely different reality: City were of another universe entirely. They did it against 10 men following Mane’s early sending-off for a boot to the face of Ederson, but they were never more ruthless than that day in early September.

Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth: The trident delivers

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  • Salah scores 40th
  • Fourth 40+ goal season from LFC player
  • First African to score 30 PL goals in a season
  • Mane also scores

Mohamed Salah made history sandwiched between Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as Liverpool’s trident delivered a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday.

According to Opta, Salah is the third Liverpool player to score 40-plus goals in all competitions in a single season after Roger Hunt (1961-62) and Ian Rush (1983-84 and 1986-87).

Sadio Mane also scored for Liverpool, who moves to 70 points. They are three points ahead of Spurs, and have played two more games ahead of Tottenham’s 2:45 p.m. ET match with Man City.

Bournemouth remains 11th with 38 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mohamed Salah provided two chances for a Liverpool opener in the first five minutes to no avail.

The Reds went up through Mane’s rebound finish after his initial header was saved by Asmir Begovic.

Salah then forced Begovic into an 18th minute save, and his first touch betrayed him when a scooped 39th minute pass from Mane put him 1v1 with the keeper.

He got it in the 69th, heading a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross over the leaping Begovic.

Firmino finishing the scoring in the 90th minute, cutting across his body to beat Begovic inside the near post. It was a finish that was harder than it looked, for sure.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Liverpool knocks Man City out of UCL

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Manchester City is out of the UEFA Champions League, as Liverpool defeated the Premier League leaders for the third time in four tries, this time a 2-1 set back at the Etihad Stadium that puts the Reds into the semifinals.

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino scored for a 5-1 aggregate win, with Gabriel Jesus scoring Man City’s goal early.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Heads whipped up to the clock. It read just over two minutes, and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus had just shaped a shot around the splayed Loris Karius to make it 3-1 on aggregate.

Sadio Mane saw yellow for a studs first challenge that perhaps unintentionally slipped into Nicolas Otamendi’s groin.

A dangerous free kick near the end line was next, but City could not cut the deficit to one.

Bernardo Silva chested down a diagonal ball and played to the top of the box for Kevin De Bruyne, who’s low shot was not a problem for Karius. It remained 1-0 (1-3) in the 27th minute.

City continued to control play, and Silva curled a 20-yard shot that took a slight turn off Dejan Lovren and onto the far post at the dawn of the 42nd minute.

Leroy Sane then saw a goal controversially pulled back for offside.

And then this:

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Salah seemingly put the tie to bed with an away goal in the 56th minute, a moment after the Reds perhaps should’ve been awarded a penalty for a foul on Mane.

Sterling tore past Georginio Wijnaldum and Van Dijk to earn a free kick in the 66th minute. Sergio Aguero replaced David Silva before play restarted in Manchester.

Liverpool issue injury update on key players

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Jurgen Klopp will have spent most of his weekend sweating on the fitness of key players ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City on Tuesday.

Leading 3-0 from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, Klopp and his squad are in a pretty good place. But with Mohamed Salah and Andrew Robertson both missing the Merseyside derby through injury at the weekend, there are injury concerns for Liverpool as they look to reach the UCL semifinals.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s clash with City, Klopp gave the following update on top scorer Salah, plus left backs Andrew Robertson and Alberto Moreno.

“With Mo, Robbo and Alberto, we have to wait a little bit but of course [we have] big hope they will be back,” Klopp said.

Asked in more detail about Salah’s injury, with the Egyptian winger left out of the clash at Everton on Saturday with a groin problem, Klopp was cautious but was quoted as saying “everybody thinks he will be ready” for the City game.

“We have to see,” Klopp said. “We have to wait for the reaction tomorrow. Then we’ll make a decision. That’s it.”

The German coach added that he was still uncertain about the fitness levels of most of his squad and would wait until later on Monday to assess them fully.

“No real clue in the moment because we have to wait a little bit. You can imagine, in this short period between games, it is quite difficult so I have to wait each minute I can and that’s what I’ll do. There’s nothing new in the moment, we will see. We will see in five hours until we train and we’ll know who is involved in that. I don’t know in the moment 100 per cent, but I am quite hopeful we will have a bigger squad than we had at Everton.”

One player who will not be fit is Emre Can as the German midfielder continues to struggle with a back injury. Klopp didn’t set a timeline for Can’s return.

“That is not in the best place. [He is receiving] treatment and we’re still hoping it will be a little bit quicker than maybe we thought in the first moment. But we cannot say anything else,” Klopp added.

As for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who all started on the bench during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Everton in the Merseyside derby, Klopp revealed they are all in good shape and ready to roll.

So, a real mixed bag for Klopp.

The main man everyone wants to know about is Salah and at this point it seems likely he may not start against City with Liverpool 3-0 up and the likes of Sadio Mane and Firmino around.

Why would Klopp risk further damaging his star player who has scored 38 goals in all competitions this season?