There is a disappointing lack of Arsenal and Man City in the Premier League’s worst XI, but Liverpool, Southampton, Aston Villa and Leeds really stunk the place out this this weekend.
Here is the worst XI from Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s matches, according to WhoScored ratings…
GK: Gavin Bazunu – 5.52
It was hardly a vintage weekend for the Premier League’s goalkeepers, with World Cup winner Emi Martinez (5.57) narrowly edged by Bazunu, while Nick Pope and Ilan Meslier also earned sub-six scores. To be fair to Bazunu, he wasn’t directly at fault for any of Brentford’s three goals but neither did he make any saves. He rarely does.
RB: Adam Smith – 5.92
Another appearance in the worst XI for the Bournemouth right-back, who scored slightly below Trent Alexander-Arnold (5.97). Smith won only three of 11 duels against Brighton and was dribbled past on four occasions.
CB: Tyrone Mings – 5.81
Four of Villa’s back four and keeper failed to scrape a six, with only Ashley Young (6.77) earning a creditable score. Mings lost all but one of his six duels while Villa shipped four at home to Leicester. Tried to carry the ball out from the back but never looks comfortable.
CB: Joel Matip – 5.91
Matip, Mings… the centre-back partnership in this weekend’s worst XI and also an apt summary of the Liverpool centre-back’s current form. He was awful at Wolves, putting through his own net after taking an age to fathom that Joe Gomez – equally wretched – might need some cover when he went on a walkabout, before failing to clear the danger before the hosts’ second goal. He was little better on the ball, giving it away a dozen times.
LB: Lucas Digne – 5.77
Restored to the line-up, Digne lasted only 45 minutes on the left of Villa’s defence having struggled to contain Leicester new boy Tete in the first half. Alex Moreno came on in his place, an arrangement Unai Emery seems set to stick with.
CM: Romeo Lavia – 5.82
“Was Romeo Lavia running the game? Was he out-battling or dominating their team? If he was, they were watching a different game to me.” That was Nathan Jones’ response to criticism from Southampton fans of his decision to substitute the midfielder and, to be fair, the manager had a point. One made very clumsily but a point all the same.
RM: Naby Keita – 5.87
Playing off the right, Keita attempted five shots, none of which troubled Jose Sa in the Wolves goal. One effort, at the start of the second half which could have given Liverpool a platform for recovery, was particularly poor. Subbed just after the hour, with the whole of Liverpool’s midfield replaced at various points in the second half.
LM: Will Hughes – 5.41
Gave it the big one after waving off Casemiro but that’s pretty much all the Palace midfielder offered against Manchester United. When the Eagles sensed their opportunity, Hughes was hooked by Patrick Vieira.
Love Will Hughes 😍 pic.twitter.com/cM37FF2i0F
— Five Year Plan (@FYPFanzine) February 5, 2023
RF: Jack Harrison – 5.82
Last week, Harrison looked Leicester-bound and his mind seemed elsewhere during Leeds’ defeat at Forest. His touch was certainly missing; the winger lost possession 23 times, with three-quarters of his eight crosses or long balls finding a red shirt.
CF: Patrick Bamford – 5.78
Rusty. Very rusty. Which is no use to a Leeds side already struggling in the big moments, both in defence and attack. Bamford had one great opportunity but fluffed his lines horribly. The centre-forward will find it difficult to gain any momentum while Jesse Marsch is desperately clinging to his job.
LF: Mo Salah – 5.72
Salah has been turning up too often in this time recently, and here is again after a miserable 200th Premier League appearance. The Egyptian’s ruthless appears to have deserted him and what chances he was allowed by Wolves were snatched at. Lost possession 14 times.
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