2014-15 Premier League season review: PST’s Best XI of the Season

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All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2014-15 Premier League season. From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows in the 380 games as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.

[ ARCHIVE: All of PST’s PL season reviews ]

For the full archive of our review content, just hit the link above. Now, we crown our Best XI of the Season.

Here’s what our writers had to say about their selections…

Joe Prince-Wright selects…

David De Gea; Nathaniel Clyne, John Terry, Jose Fonte, Ryan Bertrand; Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, Philippe Coutinho, Nemanja Matic; Harry Kane, Diego Costa

Had to selects De Gea who had a phenomenal season for United. Three of Southampton’s back four get the nod, while John Terry leads the back line. His reading of the game and leadership is something that just can’t be taught. I’ve gone for a loaded midfield with Nemanja Matic sitting in to allow Hazard, Sanchez and Coutinho to attack. Up top, Sergio Aguero is unlucky to miss out but I think Kane and Costa would be one heck of a partnership. Bruisers.

Nick Mendola selects…

David De Gea; Ashley Williams , Martin Skrtel, Jose Fonte; Santi Cazorla, Yaya Toure, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic; Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane

I considered trumping my own XI from a month ago by inserting Daley Blind and/or David Silva in place of Fabregas and/or Toure, but the fact is that second-guessing is often the wrong route. John Terry, Philippe Coutinho and Alexis Sanchez fall victim to the numbers game, and Wilfried Bony’s move to Manchester City costs him here.

Kyle Bonn selects…

De Gea; Fonte, Terry, Ivanovic; Hazard, Coutinho, Matic, Cazorla, Alexis; Aguero, Kane.

Tough on Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, but there’s more than renough Chelsea blue to go around. The two Gunners on here also had seasons to remember, and should be the focal point of their title challenge next year.

Andy Edwards selects…

Thibaut Courtois; John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Pablo Zabaleta, Nathaniel Clyne; Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic, Santi Cazorla; Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane

Kyle Lynch selects…

David De Gea; Ryan Bertrand, Jose Fonte, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic; Santi Cazorla, David Silva, Nemanja Matic, Eden Hazard; Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero

De Gea was a rock for Manchester United, while the Southampton and Chelsea back lines continuously shut down opposing attackers. Cazorla, Silva and Hazard are all wizards in the midfield, while Matic sneakily could have been Chelsea’s most important player. Up top, it’s the men who scored more goals than anyone else.

Duncan Day selects…

David De Gea; Nathaniel Clyne, Jose Fonte, John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta; Alexis Sanchez, David Silva, Ander Herrera, Eden Hazard; Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa

A Chelsea-heavy lineup, and Harry Kane would be the dangerous substitute at forward. Fabian Delph is also on the bench, ready to go early perhaps, based on how the midfield performs.

Bilbao’s Williams: ‘I suffered racist insults’ at Espanyol

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams says that he was a victim of racial abuse from fans while playing at Espanyol in a Spanish league game on Saturday.

Williams said after the 1-1 draw that “I suffered racist insults, something that no one wants to hear and has no place here.”

Williams, who is black, played 82 minutes of the match before being substituted.

“People should come to enjoy themselves, to help their team. This is a sport about friendship,” Williams said.

More AP soccer https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

FA Cup: Chelsea survive trip to Hull, advance to 5th round (video)

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With their 2-1 victory away to EFL Championship side Hull City, Chelsea joined Leicester City, Sheffield United and Norwich City as Premier League sides to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

[ FA CUP ROUNDUP: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance ]

Frank Lampard‘s side got off to a flying start courtesy of Michy Batshuayi‘s deflected finish in the 6th minute, and the Blues were well on their way to a first half of total dominance.

Hull looked more prepared for a fight after halftime, but it mattered very little after Fikayo Tomori was gifted a free header two yards off the goal line. Ross Barkley‘s free kick was well placed at the back post and there was nothing that anyone could do to stop it.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Hull pulled the game back to 2-1 in the 78th minute, and they were more than a little fortunate in how they managed to do so. Kamil Grosicki smacked a free kick with plenty of power and got the deflection of all deflections to wrong-foot Willy Caballero and find the back of the net.

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

FA Cup roundup: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance (video)

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round (early) action…

[ MORE: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

West Ham United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

West Ham were the lone Premier League side to be knocked out by a lower-division side on Saturday, as David Moyes‘ side failed to find the back of the net and were beaten 1-0 by EFL Championship leaders West Brom.

Conor Townsend scored the game’s only goal in the 9th minute, and though the Hammers controlled possession the rest of the way, they created very little in terms of scoring chances and finished the game with just three shots on target. West Brom finished the game with 10 men, but West Ham could do nothing with their 18-minute advantage following Semi Ajayi‘s second yellow card in the 72nd minute.

Millwall 0-2 Sheffield United

Sheffield United’s dream season continued with a comfortable 2-0 victory away to Championship side Millwall. Both goals came inside the final half-hour, but the Blades were unquestionably the better side even before breaking the deadlock.

That came in the 62nd minute, when Muhamed Besic placed a stunning curler inside the far post for 1-0. Not long before full-time, in the 84th, Oliver Norwood drove his effort hard and low and into the corner to make it 2-0.

Burnley 1-2 Norwich City

Norwich and Burnley were largely inseparable for the majority of Saturday’s clash at Turf Moor, save for a four-minute period early in the second half in which Norwich scored twice and booked their place in the fifth round.

Grant Hanley made it 1-0 in the 53rd and Josip Drmic added to the advantage in the 57th minute. Erik Pieters pulled Burnley back to within a goal in the 73rd, but that’s as close as the Clarets would get.

FA Cup fourth-round scoreboard

Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur — FULL RECAP
Newcastle United 0-0 Oxford United
Portsmouth 4-2 Barnsley
Coventry City 0-0 Birmingham City
Reading 1-1 Cardiff City

RB Leipzig beaten, Bundesliga title race thrown wide open

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BERLIN (AP) Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Bundesliga leader RB Leipzig 2-0 to throw the title race wide open on Saturday.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Frankfurt defender Almamy Toure scored a brilliant goal just after the break and Filip Kostic sealed the win in injury time to deal Leipzig its first defeat since a 2-1 loss at home to Freiburg in October.

Borussia Monchengladbach cut the gap at the top to two points with a 3-1 win at home over Mainz, thanks largely to goals in each half from French striker Alassane Plea.

Bayern Munich has the chance to cut the gap to one point with a win at home over Schalke in the late game.

[ FA CUP: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

Borussia Dortmund is just four points off the top after its 5-1 win over Cologne on Friday.

Also Saturday, Union Berlin defeated Augsburg 2-0 at home, Hertha Berlin came from behind to win 2-1 at Wolfsburg, and Paderborn moved off the bottom with a 2-0 win at Freiburg.