EPL Team of the Week: Gameweek 26
West Brom’s Ben Foster came up trumps whenever called into action for the Baggies, as he made one brilliant save after another. Be it from a angling Glen Johnson volley, a Gerrard blast or an audacious back heel from Jordan Henderson, the England international was on hand to thwart all their efforts. In a week that saw Simon Mignolet and Wojciech Szczęsny put forth goalkeeping master classes, the save from the Gerrard spot-kick was just the seal of approval.
Nemanja Vidic put in a sterling performance at the back . Courtesy of some timely blocks, high-flying Everton weren’t able to register a single shot on goal. The other person getting a nod at the heart of the defence is Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark, who put in one of his best performances of the season, as Villa took all three points in a crucial game for the struggling Midlands team.
Cesar Azpilicueta is looking the real deal at Chelsea, and he gets the nod for the right-back spot in this week’s team. The Spaniard played in Eden Hazard with a sublime pass and then scored the fourth of the night for the Blues himself.
Nathan Baker gets the nod on the left side of the defence as he showed great heart after sustaining a nasty gash in his head early on in the game. The Villa man continued to be authoritative in the back 3 with firm tackles and aerial challenges, as he didn’t bow down to the challenges against a physical West Ham team.
The game is about glory indeed, and the sight of Gareth Bale speeding down the wings, leaving all and sundry in his trails as he zeroes in on the goal is a glorious sight indeed. The Welshman makes his third straight appearance in the Team of the Week, and this time its owed to a sublime performance against Newcastle, as he scored a brace to snatch the game away from the visiting Tynesiders.
“The worst buy this season has to be Lampard. I honestly can’t understand why Chelsea bought him” – Ross Peacock , BBC (Feb
13, 2001). Oh, how wrong sometimes people can be. 12 years on and Frank Lampard keeps redefining his importance to the Chelsea team as he keeps on scoring goals, along with it turning back the pages of history and rediscovering his menacing form. A goal against Wigan meant Lampard has scored in four successive Premier League appearances for the first time since August 2010.
Santi Cazorla may have been off-colour in some of the recent games that Arsenal have played, but was back to his early season best in the game at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. For the first 45 minutes, the Spaniard, alongside Wilshere, played some of the best football that Arsenal have produced this season. The goal was just the icing on the cake.
If you are a team in the lower half of the Premier League, up against the mighty Manchester City, you have to win the midfield battles in order to give yourselves a chance at getting anything meaningful out of the game. Jack Cork did exactly that as Southampton came away with a precious victory over the defending champions. The young English lad broke up play and looked composed on the ball as he was able to dictate play and the tempo.
Jason Puncheon may not be one of the first names that come to your mind when you think of wingers in the Premier League, but his performances are slowly but surely getting him there. The Saints wideman impressed earlier during his spell with Blackpool, and now keeps on impressing in the red and white of Southampton. Against City, Puncheon was a his spritely best, as he scored the first and set up the second for the Saints, and looked to be able to penetrate the defending champions’ defence at will.
From an attacking midfielder to a frontmen, Michu has seen his role evolve as the season has gone on, but the Spaniard looks as comfortable as ever. QPR were again reminded how horrible imbalanced their team is when Michu and co. took apart the Londoners, putting in four past a hapless Cesar, of which Michu scored two. He is now on 15 goals, only behind van Persie and Suarez in the race for the Golden Boot.
Here is how this week’s team looks like: