The game of the week was at The Etihad as the top two sides in the table went head-to-head. It wan’t any top of the table clash; the Manchester Derby meant more than mere scrap for the position on the table. This game was one for the ages.
Meanwhile, Arsenal seemingly recovered with a home win against West Brom while at the stadium of light Fernando Torres’ brace lead Chelsea to their first league win since October 20th against Spurs. This seemed to be the third resurgence that Torres has inspired within a single year after meddling with our thoughts due to a brilliant start to the season and a stunning summer at the Euros.
Dominating performances from midfield leads us to make this a 3-5-2 this week. Here is the team of the week.
Robert Green (QPR)
Green will always get stick for his howler at the World Cup but he was on hand to ensure QPR could scrape a point from their game against Wigan. The good Green seemed to be on the field at the DW as he was on hand to thwart thunderous efforts from Gomez, Boselli and twice from Jones.
Honourable Mention: David DeGea (Manchester United)
Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)
It was a game of possession vs counter-attack and a big reason the Citizens didn’t go home with a win was a startling performance from Rio Ferdinand at the centre of the defense. The United stalwart wanted this badly and it showed in his performance. He handled Aguero well and even put his body on the line for a vital block in the second half.
Brede Hangeland (Fulham)
The Fulham defence really looks a different with Hangelaand back, organizing things for the Londoners. Their dreadful run ever since the Norwegian saw red against Sunderland came to an end as Hangelaand gave a colossal display at the back as he kept Ba and company at bay. The giant Fulham skipper also brought a sense of calmness at the back.
Luke Shaw (Southampton)
The Southampton teenager’s performance at the weekend showed maturity beyond his years. He may be yet another gem coming out of the famed Saints’ academy. His fine form has coincided with Southampton losing only one of their last six. The youngster won 66% of his tackles, made six interceptions and ten clearances on his way to a deserved place on our team.
Honourable Mention: Ryan Nelson (QPR), Per Martesacker (Arsenal), Rafael (Manchester United)
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
The Arsenal faithful seem to have their faiths restored after the Wilshere’s performance against the Baggies. The Gunners surely did have lady luck smiling upon them with two penalties but Wilshere’s display at the heart of the midfield was nothing by chance. Neat , clinical passing and a commanding box-to-box display from the England international.
James McCarthy (Wigan)
Wigan seems to be the place to go for up and coming midfielders. While Palacios and N’Zogbia struggled after leaving the DW, the likes of Diame have shone elsewhere. James McCarthy, scored twice and put in another telling shift in the middle of the park with an 85% pass completion. He sure is becoming quite a name with the January transfer window arriving.
Jason Puncheon (Southampton)
Puncheon has been another star for the Saints in recent times. He seems to be doing it all, popping in left and right, scoring goals with both feet and causing the defenders trouble on either flank. The goal was just the icing on the cake.
Robert Snodgrass (Norwich)
Norwich are now unbeaten in their last nine. Their latest scalp came north of the border as Swansea became their latest victims. The victory was set up by a brilliant display from their Scottish winger Snodgrass. 1 goal coupled with 2 assists and 96% pass completion from the Canaries’ midfielder gets him into the team.
Jonathan De Guzman (Swansea)
A powerhouse display in a losing effort. The Dutchman is slowly but surely getting the hang of the Premier League’s pace. 1 goal, 1 assist and 92% pass completion in the middle of the park.
Honorable mentions: Michu (Swansea)
Fernando Torres (Chelsea)
Torres has the Blues believing in miracles again as the Spaniard scored his second brace in as many games. His confidence seems to be back as he took the responsibility of the penalty and coolly slotting it home. The confident Torres is a joy to watch and here is hoping he pops up in a few more team of the weeks.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
The catalyst for the United’s victory over their very loud neighbours. Rooney is still the spiritual leader of the side and he leads the team by example. What better example to set than two early goals of a nervy derby. The Englishman was always a threat on the counters and dropped deep on occasion to prevent the midfield from being overrun.
Honorable mentions: Grant Holt (Norwich), Robin Van Persie (Mancherster United)
This how this weeks team shapes up to be:Published 13 Dec 2012, 15:04 IST