There were 4 games with an important impact on the top four race on Tuesday and Wednesday. This is a team of the best performers, a star-studded group this time.
From now on my Team of the Week selection will be displayed in the colours of the actual Team of the Week.
Team of the Midweek: Chelsea
A professional and very comfortable win for Chelsea against Fulham was impressive just a few days after defeat in the FA Cup semi-final.
Joe Hart – Manchester City
Hart kept an important clean sheet as an unimpressive City struggled to overcome Wigan. With 3 saves compared to just 1 for Wigan keeper Joel, Hart made an important contribution to keep City comfortable in second.
Rafael – Manchester United
Rafael was at his rampaging best, surging forwards from right back and making a big difference for a United side who struggled to impose themselves against an up-tempo West Ham. Rafael provided width and attacking intention on the right flank and even added an extra dimension when wondering in field. He was solid defensively too.
Nemanja Vidic – Manchester United
Vidic was at his best in his ding-dong battle with Andy Carroll, and you get the sense that he enjoys the physical battle most. He made one excellent defensive header to take the ball out of Carroll’s path to stop a goal and got in the way of the numerous crosses that West Ham pumped in to the box. He kept his head and made sure those around him kept theirs.
David Luiz – Chelsea
Chelsea kept a fairly untroubled clean sheet, in which Luiz looked generally comfortable, but he really makes this team for his incredible goal. There are not many attackers who could strike a ball in the manner that he did, let alone defenders. Having loped forwards into an area about 30 odd yards out, he caught it sweetly with pure technique and it went like a missile into the top corner.
Sheamus Coleman – Everton
Coleman is shunted over to left-back for this team but he out-performed his teammate Leighton Baines against Arsenal. His outstretched leg which tipped the ball away from Giroud a yard away from goal preserved the point for Everton. The Gunners got nowhere down the Everton right wing and that was because of Coleman’s tenacious defending and non-stop running. He also offered a real outlet in attack.
Momo Diame – West Ham
Diame saves his best for the big clubs at Upton Park. His 3 goals have come against Arsenal, Chelsea and now Manchester United. He spun the out of position Rooney and arrowed a laser beam into a part of the goal that David de Gea didn’t have a chance with. He made life uncomfortable for Rooney and Carrick, who had enjoyed a stroll in the wind at Stoke on Sunday, and his all-round pressure stultified United.
Frank Lampard – Chelsea
Notice this, Chelsea. At the weekend, no Lampard, no leadership, loss. Against Fulham, Lampard, leadership, easy victory. Lampard used the ball well and looked at ease at all times, and it’s literally no coincidence that when he plays Chelsea play. Sign him up.
Marouane Fellaini – Everton
Fellaini had been in bad form before his two-game suspension, but maybe sitting out has re-energised him. He played deeper at Arsenal than he has done for most of the season, back in his old midfield destroyer role, and he showed his best. His physical presence was more than Arsenal could cope with, and he got all around the pitch stopping their attacks. He looked tidy on the ball and provided an excellent shield.
Kevin Mirallas – Everton
Mirallas maintains his position from the last two teams as he continues his surge in form. He didn’t produce any goal returns this time but he gave the Arsenal defence kittens. They found him most difficult to deal with when he was roaming across the middle of the field in to areas they really didn’t want him to be. He dribbles at speed and with fleet feet and this unpredictability that he offers gives Everton an extra dimension.
Andy Carroll – West Ham
Carroll is in fine fettle right now and continued his form with an extraordinary display against Manchester United which sees him win the Player of the Week. This is the kind of performance that makes teams pay £35m for you. He set up the first West Ham goal with an excellent header, should have scored from close range and nearly volleyed in spectacularly from 30 yards. He really is a menace when at his best.
Carlos Tevez – Manchester City
Tevez hasn’t really got going with any consistency this season, but he has saved City on more than one occasion. In fact, but for his early season goals they might well be in the battle for fourth rather than cruising to second. He lit up a bad City performance with a moment of meandering mazy magic before drilling the ball home.Published 18 Apr 2013, 22:37 IST