HITC Premier League Team of the Weekend

Jussi Jaaskelainen places the ball

Conor Jipps rounds out a fantastic weekend of footballing action by looking at the performances that stood out.

Wins for Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton shook up the race for top four places as Chelsea slipped back into the mix following surprising defeat to Southampton who now look almost clear of the drop zone. Meanwhile QPR and Reading both suffered yet another defeat and now look consigned to the Championship barring a minor miracle.

Many attacking players shone, and so strong was the competition that excellent performances from Olivier Giroud and Dimitar Berbatov could not even attain mentions in this weeks team. Instead the side features many players who have not had the greatest of seasons but really stepped up for their teams this weekend.


GK: Jussi Jaaskelainen
- Even in West Ham's low points this season, Jaaskelainen has largely shone for the Hammers so it will have pleased him greatly to have taken a relative backseat in their victory over West Brom. Made a number of excellent saves to thwart West Brom's early threat and had to stay alert throughout the game despite West Ham's dominance. Could do nothing to prevent the penalty.

Unlucky to miss out: Simon Mignolet


RB: Nathaniel Clyne
- In a position where England look fairly weak, more performances like this from Nathaniel Clyne could elevate the young full back into international reckoning sooner rather than later. Not afraid to go forward, Clyne took on Chelsea's left back Ryan Bertrand time and time again with relative success and remained strong defensively to largely contribute to a wonderful victory.

Unlucky to miss out: Dwight Tiendalli


CB: Jan Vertonghen
- Another complete performance from the Belgian import, proving again that ultimately Spurs cannot be labeled a one man side. Started the game with a excellent goal of drive, control and composure and despite the constant pressure of Swansea's attacking threat, stayed composed for the majority of the game making a number of important tackles, clearances and interceptions.

Unlucky to miss out: James Collins


CB: Antolin Alcaraz
- One of the players of this weekend's action displaying all the attributes expected of a top centre back. Completed 100% of his attempted tackles successfully, seven clearances, three interceptions and a vital block. With Wigan's system there is more emphasis placed on the importance of the central defenders and Alcaraz certainly stepped up. More performances like this and Wigan stay up.

Unlucky to miss out: Vincent Kompany


LB: Alex Buttner
- Buttner stepped in for Patrice Evra and will be very happy with this weekend's action as his strong performance was in stark contrast to Evra's jittery showing against Chelsea in yesterday's FA Cup loss. Got up and down the flank with regular bursts of energy but never took his eye off his defensive duties. Adam Johnson has had a poor season but Buttner made him look simply dreadful.

Unlucky to miss out: Jose Enrique


WG: Samir Nasri
- Whilst Silva, Aguero and Tevez have taken all the plaudits for Manchester City's attacking play over the last eighteen months, Nasri has slowly faded away in the background. However that was not the case against Newcastle on Saturday as the Frenchman took the game by the horns and played arguably his best game in a City sort to date. Created a hatful of chances and retained possession with ease throughout.

Unlucky to miss out: Kevin Mirallas


CM: Gary O'Neil
- It's been a long time since O'Neil has truly taken charge of a Premier League game, but against West Brom he was back to his near best form that we often saw in his Portsmouth days. O'Neil was tenacious in the midfield displaying the energy and bite to prevent West Brom's midfield getting on top before grabbing a lovely looping goal. His impressive performance was high listed by Yusuf Mulumbu's frustration late on.

Unlucky to miss out: Jack Cork


CM: Michael Carrick
- Not so much for his FA Cup performance against Chelsea, but more so for his controlling showing against Sunderland in the Saturday lunchtime kick off. The Englishman has been in fine form this season and looked to continue to do so against Sunderland, comfortable in possession and always looking to move United forward. A 91% pass success rate always looks impressive at this level.

Unlucky to miss out: Steven Gerrard


WG: Gareth Bale
- Another week, another fine goal. Bale produced yet another excellent performance for Spurs to lead his side to a vital victory over Swansea on Saturday afternoon. Set Spurs on their way with a fine chipped pass into the path of Vertonghen to strike home before swivelling on the spot to strike a thunderbolt into the top left hand corner from a stand-still position. Simply phenomenal once again.

Unlucky to miss out: Santi Cazorla


ST: Gervinho
- Finally Arsenal fans are beginning to see bits of the Ivorian that ripped up Ligue Un with Lille in 2010/11. Looked a menace throughout against Reading wreaking havoc around the Royals penalty box. Showed killer instinct to position himself in the right place for the opening goal and also contributed two assists into the mix as well. Many questioned Gervinho's selection over Podolski but Wenger's call has been justified.

Unlucky to miss out: Luis Suarez


ST: Andy Carroll
- Not many this season would have thought it likely that Gervinho and Carroll would be leading the line in a team of the week but following an excellent attacking performance from Carroll, he simply could not be left out. Took his headed goal with power and vigour before finishing the game off as a contest with a fantastic volley having timed his strike superbly with great accuracy.

Unlucky to miss out: Jay Rodriguez


Who's in your team of the weekend?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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