Premier League 2019-20: Team of the Week from Matchday 20
They say Christmas is a time for giving, unless it is VAR and the Premier League, when the whole year is a time to take away goals when the majority think they should have been allowed to stand.
Matchday 20 was dominated by controversial VAR decisions, with Norwich’s Teemu Pukki, Wolves’ Pedro Neto, and Brighton’s Dan Burn among the players having seemingly perfect goals ruled out by technology.
Elsewhere, Liverpool continued to close in on the title, with a 1-0 win over Wolves, who will feel hard done by given some of the decisions that went against them at both ends.
In East London, it was the end of Manuel Pellegrini’s time in charge of West Ham, as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to a much weakened Leicester City side. The Chilean’s time in charge lasted just 18 months, during which he won just 24 of 64 games.
At Everton, Carlo Ancelotti made it two wins out of two as they claimed victory over Newcastle at St. James’ Park, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin netting twice.
It was heartbreak for Norwich City, who were denied three vital points by Tottenham, with VAR controversially ruling out Pukki’s first half goal in a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road.
With all that in mind, here is the Premier League team of the week for matchday 20.
Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace have seen their defence ravaged by injuries in recent weeks, much to the extent that it could be argued that none of the back four that they fielded against Southampton are amongst their first choice defenders. However, during this period, they have been able to rely on goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, and it was very much the case again against Southampton. He made crucial second half saves from Moussa Djenepo, Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse to preserve Palace’s point.
Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
There have been many questions asked of Harry Maguire since his move to Manchester United this summer, particularly given the £80 million fee. We did see the best of Maguire this weekend at Burnley though, as he dealt well with the threat posed by Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood, and helped to keep the Clarets to just a single shot on target.