It may have been a drab weekend for fans of QPR, Tottenham, Everton, Swansea, Norwich and Newcastle, but beyond the dredge those three games produced there was another fine weekend of Premier League action.
The two red cards at the Emirates took the headlines as Man City slayed Arsenal 2-0 and really Arsenal were lucky it wasn’t more. Meanwhile United extended their run of victories with a vital win over Liverpool.
The ramification of this weekend could be huge in deciding the relegation battle too with Reading, Southampton and Sunderland all bagging key victories to help their points tally greatly, though Villa faltered once more. QPR’s draw may have been unspectacular but the work their players put in has not gone unnoticed.
Anyway enough talking, here is my team of the weekend. Take a look and let me know what you think.
GK: Julio Cesar - The Brazilian hasn't had the easiest of starts to Premier League life with QPR, but finally appears to be nearing his best. Against Tottenham he made a series of excellent saves, none more so important than the diving effort to stop Jermain Defoe's early long range strike. If he can keep up this level of performance, QPR will be formidable in defence.
Unlucky to miss out: Artur Boruc
RB: Sascha Riether – Riether fully deserves his place in this weeks team of the week after an excellent all-round full back display against Wigan. Kept the left hand side of Wigan largely quiet with little threat able to pass and going forward offered an extra outlet of support. Cannot be held accountable for Di Santo’s wonderful strike as beyond him his teammates should have stepped in.
Unlucky to miss out: Nathaniel Clyne
CB: Branislav Ivanovic - Following his calamitous display against Swansea City last week, Ivanovic used the game against Stoke to prove once again just how reliable he is and silence critics. Alongside David Luiz, Ivanovic looked composed, steady and a natural leader, marshalling the defence with excellence throughout. Arguably the best centre back in the league on his day.
Unlucky to miss out: Sylvain Distin
CB: Titus Bramble –Often the butt of many a footballing gag, Bramble finally returned to form for Sunderland against West Ham to turn in an excellently assured display at the back. Managed the aerial threat that West Ham possessed with aplomb, staying resilient and strong throughout.
Unlucky to miss out: Chico Flores
LB - Fabio Da Silva – This was arguably the toughest position to choose with Fabio, Evra and Shaw all performing so excellently for their respective clubs but I plumped with Fabio purely for the manner in which he handled the threat of Lennon and Bale against Spurs. So ineffective was Lennon due to Fabio’s defending that Bale had to switch over. Again, no fortune for Spurs. Also displayed a willingness to get forward in the second half.
Unlucky to miss out: Patrice Evra
RW - Jimmy Kebe – If it wasn’t for the last ten minutes of Reading’s game against West Brom, Kebe would be nowhere near this team but his efforts in pulling the Royals towards an unexpected three points deserve tremendous credit. Grabbed the goal to get his side back in to the game and then drew the foul that handed Reading the penalty. Needs to show this side more if Reading are to stay up.
Unlucky to miss out: James Milner
CM- Stephane M’bia – Reports have come out this morning linking M’Bia with a move to Chelsea, and after his performance against Spurs who would be surprised? Spurs midfield has been one of the strongest, most fluid units in the league this season, but M’Bia and Derry’s hard industry and energy meant the visitors could barely get a foot in. Excellent display that would have pleased Harry.
Unlucky to miss out: David Vaughan
CM- Michael Carrick – Why does this man not have more England caps? The Man United midfielder was at his creative best against Liverpool, turning in a superb display of passing prowess. Working alongside young Tom Cleverley, the pair kept the ball moving forward throughout the game pinning back Allen and Gerrard to the point where the pair were nearly anonymous. Virtuoso display.
Unlucky to miss out: James Morrison
LW - Jason Puncheon – Southampton’s vital victory owed a lot to possibly their player of the season so far, Puncheon. Lively throughout, the winger had Aston Villa’s young defence in a spin with his pace, trickery and creation. Could count himself unlucky not to add his name to the teamsheet with his second half strike that hit the post.
Unlucky to miss out: Wes Hoolahan
AM - Stephane Sessegnon – The Benin international has been woefully out of form for the majority of this season, but against West Ham came to life once again, reproducing similar form to the excellence he produced last year. Buzzed around the West Ham back line like an irritating bee, pulling the defence left, right and centre. His form will hugely affect Sunderland’s final league position.
Unlucky to miss out: Franco Di Santo
CF- Romelu Lukaku – How Chelsea must wish they had this man in their squad right now rather than Messr Torres. Lukaku continued his recent fine form against Reading with a display of pure power, as is now regularly expected of the young Belgian. Grabbed the first goal for the Baggies and was woefully unlucky not to score more.
Unlucky to miss out: Robin Van Persie
image: © marcel sigg