Premier League team of the week
Alex McCarthy makes it to the team of the week after a sensational performance at Loftus Road which helped Reading scrape a much needed point away from home. In a second half which was played on such tight margins, the Reading goalkeeper made crucial saves off a Granero freekick and a Taarabt shot that confirmed a deserved point from his side.
Rafael da Silva and Patrice Evra feature in the list on the back of dominating both the flanks in the big game against Arsenal at Old Trafford. In the past two weeks of the Premier League, Sir Alex’s emphasis on the wing has allowed United to build attacks with alternate overlapping runs from both his full backs. While Rafael was crucial in constructing the first goal with his cross that led to an error from Vermaelen, Evra was rewarded with a goal for his most consistent 90 minutes this season.
Manchester City must thank Matija Nastasic for being the standout performer for their defence, being a focal figure in negotiating with the Hammers at Upton Park. He dealt with a formidable aerial threat in the name of Andy Carroll, while his clearances and vital interceptions meant City had a clean sheet in their bag. These are encouraging sign for Mancini, who has been found shielding the Serbian for the past couple of months. Nastasic hasn’t enjoyed the best of introductions to the English game and his manager must be really pleased of what he saw this weekend.
Ashley Williams, who has been largely deemed as a fading influence for the Swans this season, was back to his best with a commanding performance that limited the riotous Chelsea attack to a single goal and ultimately a single point.
Leon Osman and Ben Watson were critical in engineering enough opportunities from the midfield to guide their respective sides to some critical points away from home this weekend. While Watson was found dominating the Tottenham midfield, which was missing demolition-man Moussa Dembele in this fixture, Osman’s tireless shift made sure Everton had enough possession to create numerous chances at Craven Cottage.
Kevin Mirallas was also instrumental to Everton’s fighting display at Fulham as he combined well with other attacking elements of this Everton side, which David Moyes has called his ‘best ever’ unit at the Merseyside. Mirallas was always a threat on the wings and he also created a goal for Fellaini that earned his side another point – enough to keep his side in the top four for another week.
Pablo Hernandez was another player this weekend that attacked relentlessly for the Swans and eventually got his second Premier League goal against Chelsea. Pablo was the key to whatever Laudrup’s side created in the attacking third against the Blues.
Marouane Fellaini’s dream run continues as he shook the Fulham defence time and time again. It’s not just his aerial abilities that he’s using so effectively, but also his finesse as a potent attacking threat for the Merseyside club that has prompted Moyes to sing praises of his Belgian talisman.
On the other hand, most Liverpool fans would agree with me that it is this Luis Suarez from the game against a solid Newcastle side which they expect to see every single week. It wasn’t just his phenomenal equalizer that reminded everyone of his sheer genius but also his contribution to the whole game. It was the sheer talent of the Uruguayan that led to Coloccini’s dismissal in the dying moments of the game.
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