• West Ham trio of Emerson, Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paquetá selected for performances in win over Leeds United
• Virgil van Dijk earns top challenge grade for Premier League matchday-37 but can't help Liverpool avoid draw with Aston Villa
• Evan Ferguson's star continues to shine for Brighton & Hove Albion with brace against relegated Southampton
Goalkeeper: Stefan Ortega, Manchester City
PFF shot-stopping grade: 74.2 (position rank: 3/18)
Only in two games has Ederson faced more shots on goal than his stand-in Stefan Ortega (7) did for Manchester City versus Chelsea.
Ortega saved all seven to keep a clean sheet in his second Premier League appearance for the champions, generating a shot-stopping grade of 80.4.
Right-back: Kenny Tete, Fulham
PFF Challenge grade: 87.0 (position rank: 2/45)
Kenny Tete narrowly missed out on setting a season-best challenge grade with his production in defence for Fulham in their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace. His 87.0 grade was a shade off the 87.1 that came against Newcastle in January.
All told, Tete has finished with 80.0 or higher challenge grades in ten matches this season.
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool
PFF Challenge grade: 91.4 (1/45)
The Liverpool defender has been back to his best form to aid his team’s push for that fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot in recent weeks.
An elite 91.4 challenge grade generated from winning 13 of his 18 events is a just reward for a defensive performance that held Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins to zero shot attempts on goal from open play and a season-low shot grade of 43.1.
Centre-back: Levi Colwill, Brighton & Hove Albion
PFF Challenge grade: 88.3 (2/45)
Levi Colwill came in hot on the heels of van Dijk in our challenge grading as a result of winning seven of his ten aerial duels and being faultless on two 50-50 challenge events.
The Chelsea loanee also displayed a progressive passing range with ten line-breaking pass attempts in the win over Southampton. This was the tied-fourth most by a central defender as Colwill finished top-five in passing at his position with a grade of 75.0.
Left-back: Emerson, West Ham United
PFF defending dribbles grade: 93.2 (position rank: 1/30)
With Premier League safety secured, Emerson can now look forward to West Ham’s Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina next month after an impressive display in the league versus Leeds.
His 93.2 defending dribbles grade was the best among all players this past weekend, one segment that contributed to an overall challenge grade of 85.5. This was not the only facet in which Emerson excelled with his performance against Leeds, as his 89.4 ball carrying grade was also the best among all players in the Premier League.
Midfielder: Casemiro, Manchester United
PFF challenge grade: 76.8 (position rank: 9/51)
Match-winner Casemiro generated grades which surpassed the 70.0-mark in three facets in Manchester United’s win away at Bournemouth: challenge (76.8), shooting (74.2), and passing (73.2).
The midfielder was particularly successful in winning tackles against opposition ball carriers, earning a 74.4 grade in this specific aspect of our challenge grading after coming out top in six of his nine tackle events.
Midfielder: Douglas Luiz, Aston Villa
PFF challenge grade: 86.7 (position rank: 1/51)
Another commanding performance from Aston Villa’s Brazilian midfielder, whose superb cross assisted Jacob Ramsey to give the visitors to Anfield the lead.
A crossing grade of 77.7 ranks sixth-best among all players this week on top of a challenge grade of 86.7, which no other midfielder could better.
Perfect cross. Clinical finish. ????@DGOficial ???? @JacobRamsey41 pic.twitter.com/NODTyrg9zi
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) May 20, 2023
Right wing: Jarrod Bowen, West Ham United
PFF crossing grade: 82.3 (position rank: 2/40)
Jarrod Bowen met high volume with high quality on his nine cross attempts, the route by which he was able to assist Declan Rice for West Ham’s equaliser and earn an overall crossing grade of 82.3.
Bowen then gave West Ham the lead in the second half and finished with a shooting grade of 75.4, the fifth-highest among wingers and attacking midfielders.
Attacking midfielder: Lucas Paquetá, West Ham United
PFF passing grade: 80.4 (position rank: 7/65)
Paquetá makes it a hat-trick of West Ham players to earn a place in the XI this week. He is also the fourth Brazilian to be included largely thanks to his four goal-scoring chances created.
A passing grade of 80.4 and ball carrying grade of 78.6 both see Paquetá rank inside the top ten at his position.
Left wing: Bryan Mbeumo, Brentford
PFF shooting grade: 74.7 (position rank: 6/38)
Two goals and an assist for the Brentford winger helped to keep Thomas Frank’s side within contention for qualifying for Europe next season, and make it ten points earned from a possible 12 in the games without Ivan Toney recently.
Mbeumo’s six shots were the most by a winger or attacking midfielder this week. The players at the position who graded higher in the facet attempted no more than two shot attempts, as Mbeumo took his goal contributions for the season to 16 (nine goals, seven assists).
Striker: Evan Ferguson, Brighton & Hove Albion
PFF shooting grade: 82.6 (position rank: 2/23)
Evan Ferguson’s goals per-90 rate of 0.6 for the season sees him keep company with the likes of Newcastle’s Alexander Isak, Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Brentford’s Ivan Toney. Two more against relegated Southampton will bring even more attention to the 18-year-old who is being touted as a player worthy of a £100m price tag.
His 82.6 shooting grade was the second-best grade among strikers this week and the fourth time this season Ferguson has generated a grade over 80.0 with his production in front of goal.