Team of the Week #1 – The Scouted Hub

Frederik Ronnow:

Brought in to replace the injured Kevin Trapp, Frankfurt had a lot to thank their backup goalkeeper for in their 3-0 victory over Leverkusen.

A result that looks comfortable in hindsight, but one that could have ended a lot differently if not for an important string of saves from Ronnow to earn Frankfurt their first Bundesliga clean sheet since the opening day of the season.

The Dane produced 10 saves altogether, eight from shots inside the penalty area during a spell that, after two early Frankfurt goals, came almost with a sense of inevitability that Leverkusen would at least score one. But Ronnow thwarted the onslaught in quite spectacular fashion.

With Trapp set to be out for the rest of the year, Frankfurt’s goalkeeper duties are in more than safe hands.

SergiƱo Dest:

Having made the step up from Jong Ajax this season, the full-back has been in outstanding form in Eredivisie and the Champions League and he continues to improve week after week, as was the case against Waalwijk.

Dest has formed a quite formidable partnership with Hakim Ziyech down the right and after a stalemate first half, the American showed his attacking prowess once more, breezing past Said Bakari before crossing beautifully for Dusan Tadic to score.

Soon after, he switched to the left side of the back four following Noussair Mazraoui’s departure and he remained unfazed defensively and unrelenting going forward. His marauding run from the left saw him cut through the heart of the Waalwijk midfield, linking up with Lisandro Martinez before feeding Quincy Promes for his second assist.

Ajax were far from their best, but the 18-year-old made all the difference in the 2-1 victory. On top of his assists, he won four tackles, eight duels and completed both of his attempted dribbles.

Sebastiaan Bornauw:

After a crucial result at Schalke last week to earn their first point of the season, Koln were in desperate need of three points as they welcomed Paderborn to the RheinEnergieStadion, and their Belgian centre-back was instrumental in ensuring that.

The 20-year-old was a rock at the back for a Koln side that were yet to keep a clean sheet this season. He won eight duels from his 11 involvements as well as four tackles and three interceptions in a bullish performance that the visiting attack had no answer to.

Bornauw was efficient on the ball also, completing 90% of his passes (38/42) and 100% of his dribbles (1/1) before capping off a great performance with a goal to the seal the 3-0 win.

Mats Hummels:

Dortmund faced high-flyers Borussia Monchengladbach on the back of two defensively shaky Bundesliga displays before the international break, and after Hummels almost conceded a penalty two minutes into the game, it looked like more of the same was to come.

Fortunately for Favre, Hummels put that error behind him to produce a commanding performance at the back. Gladbach’s attack threatened throughout but wasn’t enough to break through the Yellow Wall.

Hummels won nine duels from his thirteen involvements, but his most important contribution came as a result of Gladbach’s best chance to score. Patrick Herrmann had the goal at his mercy after Marcus Thuram squared it across, but an extraordinary last ditch tackle from the German kept them at bay.

Niko Giesselmann:

Another Bundesliga inclusion and perhaps the best performance of the lot. Giesselmann was the stand out in both attack and defence in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s first win since the opening day and first clean sheet of the season.

The left-back was a constant threat going forward, completing five crosses and four key passes from the left before producing the all important assist in the 1-0 victory eight minutes from time.

Dusseldorf found it difficult to break down Mainz 10-men but Giesselmann and co. remained switched on for the counter attacks throughout, the 28-year-old won three interceptions and two tackles in helping nullify the Mainz threat.

Dani Parejo:

Valencia were met with the task of breaking down an Atletico side who hadn’t conceded a goal in five matches after conceding a first half penalty, and Dani Parejo was simply breathtaking in a game that The Oranges should have gone on to win.

The midfield maestro completed 65 of his 73 attempted passes (89%) including an astonishing 16 out of 17 successful long balls. He controlled the match single-handedly, spraying passes, weaving through the midfield (3/4 completed dribbles) and creating chances (two key passes) before taking it upon himself to score a glorious free-kick past the hapless Jan Oblak to earn his side a draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Eberechi Eze:

At 21, Eberechi Eze continues to show why he has all the qualities of a Premier League level player.

The attacking midfielder has been the catalyst for a lot of QPR’s impressive attacking work this season and this match was no different. Hull’s defence could not live with the Englishman, who waltzed his way through time and time again (six completed dribbles), winning two penalties that disptached emphatically for his fifth and sixth goals of the season.

On top of his dazzling dribbles forward, he also produced four key passes and won 12 duels as he ran the show from start to finish.

Angel Di Maria:

A near perfect winger’s performance from the Angel Di Maria saw him overwhelm Nice in PSG’s 4-1 victory at the Allianz Riviera.

The Argentine played a part in all four goals, giving his side an unassailable lead with two goals in the first 20 minutes including a sumptuous lob for his second.

He was simply too good on the day with spellbinding trickery and acceleration on the ball (four completed dribbles) and intricate passing in the final third (eight key passes).

Whilst his two goals came from the right hand side, he provided the third with a run and cross from the left and sparked a counter attack through the centre before playing a perfectly weighted pass to set up the fourth.

He’s struggled with consistency in recent times, but on days like this, he’s simply unplayable.

Hakan Calhanoglu:

After a substandard start to the season for AC Milan, Calhanoglu included, the Turkish international was back to his best against Lecce.

He opened the scoring 20 minutes in with a volley from an angle he had no right to score from but Milan failed to capitalise on their early dominance and were punished on the hour mark.

Lacking attacking ideas once more, Calhanoglu stepped up with creative and at times outrageous final third play despite little help from his team mates. He hit the post directly from a corner before embarking on a mesmeric run through Lecce’s solid back line before putting it on a plate for Krzysztof Piatek to score.

Milan failed to hold on to their lead with the match ending 2-2, but there’s no taking away from an excellent Calhanoglu performance.

Artem Dzyuba:

Zenit’s target man continued his form from the international break having scored three and assisted three in two games for Russia in spectacular fashion in a crucial top of the table clash with Rostov.

Dzyuba was presented with the perfect opportunity to open the scoring after winning a penalty that he slotted home with ease. The 31-year-old then doubled the scoring with a thumping header after Vyacheslav Karavaev helped an over hit free-kick back into the box.

The forward then turned provider with two inch-perfect assists in relentless counter-attacking transition that removed all doubt of a Rostov comeback.

He claimed the match ball soon after with another penalty, he missed the initial spot kick but made no mistake after the referee ordered a retake.

6-1 the final result – a masterful performance from Zenit’s talisman who takes his league tally to eight goals and eight assists for the season.

Jack Grealish:

Despite receiving his fair share of critique in recent times, Jack Grealish continues to showcase his ability to shine in the Premier League and the 24-year-old produced his best display yet against Brighton.

The playmaker was as busy as ever, occupying all areas of the pitch on and off the ball (five completed dribbles), drawing fouls (six fouls won) and linking play with incisive interchanges in tight spaces (six key passes). He got his reward after a spectacular first half as the break approached, busting a gut to latch onto the end of Frederic Guilbert’s cross to level things up after Adam Webster’s opener.

After a tight affair in the second half in which Grealish was heavily involved once more, he provided the all-important assist for Matt Targett five minutes into stoppage time to give Villa the three points.