As featured on NewsNow: Football news

TRIBAL TEAM OF THE WEEK: Chelsea back in touch, Cech the Arsenal saviour as Defoe fires for Sunderland

Chelsea were back to their best with a convincing victory over Crystal Palace on the weekend.

Four players from Guus Hiddink's side that beat the Eagles 3-0 feature in the Week 20 Tribal XI alongside Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech, who starred for the league leaders against Newcastle United, and Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe who led the Black Cats to a much-needed victory over Aston Villa.

*4-3-3 formation


Petr Cech (Arsenal)

The Premier League's clean sheet record holder was the hero for the Gunners on Saturday.
Cech made six saves in the 1-0 win over Newcastle United, two which came in one-on-one situations when advancing at the dangerous Georginio Wijnaldum.
It was a match-winning performance from the veteran who is in career-best form as Arsenal chase an elusive title.


Ashley Young (Manchester United)

The winger was used to great effect by Louis van Gaal as a right-back as United defeated Swansea City 2-1.
Young produced a pinpoint ball for Anthony Martial's headed opener while sending in another nine crosses for the match.
30-year-old Young provided an attacking outlet for the Red Devils down the right side and also defended with confidence in what was a Man of the Match performance.

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)

The Frenchman, along with Cech, was the hero as Arsenal remained top of the table.
Koscielny was sturdy in defence against the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez and Wijnaldum while also scoring the only goal of the game with a cool volley from close range.
One of the Premier League's best centre backs, Koscielny has the ability to help guide the Gunners to this season's title.

James Collins (West Ham United)

The Welsh defender has been a pillar of strength in central defence for the Hammers in recent times.
Collins, who had made just three starts before December, has been a star for Slaven Bilic over the past month in helping the East Londoners keep three clean sheets in five matches.
In the most recent of those shutouts - Saturday's 2-0 win over Liverpool - Collins kept Christian Benteke quiet and managed to quell the influence of the other Reds attackers in what was an inspiring display.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

The Spaniard was at his best as the Blues got the better of Palace in South London.
Azpilicueta was assured at left-back, allowing Chelsea to record their second straight clean sheet, alongside John Terry, Kurt Zouma and Branislav Ivanovic.
Copped a kick from Fraizer Campbell early in the match but remained on the pitch for the entirety despite suffering a double fracture of his cheekbone.


Oscar (Chelsea)

The Brazilian midfielder was integral in Chelsea's comfortable win at Palace.
Oscar slotted home the opener from a neat Diego Costa pass before he was involved in Willian's strike to have the Blues two goals up.
Was a constant source of creativity for Guus Hiddink's side and along with his compatriot Willian, guided the reigning champions to a morale-boosting victory.

Mark Noble (West Ham United)

The Hammers skipper was influential in the win over Liverpool.
Provided a lovely ball for Andy Carroll's header to see off the challenge of the Reds while also made a key clearance off the line from Lucas Leiva's header late in the contest.
Noble also led by example with a handful of winning tackles as well as half a dozen interceptions in what was a quality display from the Upton Park great.

Willian (Chelsea)

Once again the Brazilian was the catalyst for a strong Chelsea performance.
Willian scored a stunning goal from range to give the Blues a two-goal lead over Palace before providing the goal-bound effort which was put away by Diego Costa after a rushed save from Wayne Hennessey.
The creative midfielder slightly overshadowed teammate Oscar as the Londoners rediscovered some of their title-winning form with convincing display to secure their first league win under Guus Hiddink.


Jermain Defoe (Sunderland)

Defoe showed his importance to Sunderland with a match-winning brace in the vital 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Aston Villa.
The 33-year-old fired the Black Cats 2-1 ahead in the 72nd minute when a spearing effort inside Brad Guzan's near post before putting the result beyond doubt with a classically composed finish from Ola Toivonen's pass in injury-time.
Sam Allardyce wants to play Defoe as a loan striker now and the former Tottenham man is sure to love the burden as the Wearside club get set for a real relegation battle.

Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Costa has slowly been rediscovering his form of last season with promising performances over the past fortnight.
Scored a brace in last weekend's 2-2 draw with Watford and backed that up with an assist and a goal at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
The Spanish striker played a clever, and unselfish, cut-back pass for Oscar's opener before wrapping it up in the second half when following up Willian's attempt to slot home for his sixth of the league campaign.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Martial put in his most impressive display since his first few outings when he arrived at United with a bang.
A lovely header from Young's cross gave the Red Devils the lead at Old Trafford before he supplied skipper Wayne Rooney's winning goal with a dangerous pass from the left side of the area.
The youngster is expected to mix his form as he comes to grips with the rigours of the Premier League but more displays like this will surely get him onside with the United faithful, especially if the team is winning.


Sam Allardyce (Sunderland)

'Big Sam' finally had some joy with the Black Cats as they defeated Aston Villa 3-1 to secure their first win since late November after five straight losses.
It was the first time Sunderland had scored more than two goals since the 3-0 Tyne-Wear derby win over Newcastle United in October in what was a massive sigh of relief at the Stadium of Light.
Although the Wearsiders sit second bottom on the table, they are now seven points clear of Villa, meaning bottom spot is harder to obtain...luckily.
Sunderland are now four points from safety and if they can somehow deliver similar performances over the coming weeks, then perhaps Allardyce will be able to guide them out of the mire before it gets too late.

Need a VPN? Or seeking to switch? Then support Tribal Football by clicking here to sign up with our official partners NordVPN. Not only will you receive the best VPN experience, but also great discounts by signing up via Tribal Football. Thanks for your support!

Video of the day:

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free