It's back, the team of the weekend and we have been treated this weekend to a number of excellent goals. Matthew Lowton, Kevin Mirallas and Loic Remy all fired home special strikes but none feature in the team perhaps to some surprise.
So Man City are back and have fired out a warning shot to their rivals with last nights victory in the Manchester derby. Though it has little impact on the title race early indicators have now been laid down to suggest a closer battle for supremacy next season, and players are now beginning to step up.
Elsewhere the race for top four took another twist as Spurs failed to beat Everton allowing Arsenal to creep closer still and Chelsea to leapfrog the North Londoners. Whilst Chelsea do to feature this week, both Spurs and Arsenal represent well due to a number of excellent individual performances.
Meanwhile in the relegation battle, the Championship looks to be sucking QPR and Reading back in with little hope for both sides of pulling it back barring miraculous circumstances. With Southampton now pulling away, the fight between Wigan, Sunderland, Stoke and Villa is going to make for a cracking end to the season. Anyway, enough, here is this weeks team of the weekend.
GK: Julio Cesar - You simply have to feel for Cesar, cruelly denied a deserved clean sheet by the cowardly actions of Adel Taarabt. Cesar produced a number of fine saves and managed his area excellently showing his experience to keep QPR strong at the back but could do nothing to stop Shaun Maloney's excellent free kick, a free kick that realistically shouldn't have made it over the wall in the first place though.
Unlucky to miss out: Tim Krul
RB: Kyle Walker - Matthew Lowton will deservedly have received all the plaudits this weekend for his stunning strike but it was the performance of Kyle Walker that really caught the eye in this position. Walker's had a poor season compared to last but against Everton he was back to his best defending effectively and causing Leighton Baines constant problems all game. The less said about the haircut the better though.
Unlucky to miss out: Matthew Lowton
CB: Laurent Koscielny - Against West Brom Koscielny found himself under a lot of pressure but showed exactly why he is seen as such a promising talent across the footballing community. Largely untested during the first half, his job was made tenfold more difficult in the second half with the dismissal of Per Mertesacker but the Frenchman rolled his socks up and turned in a gritty display to ensure Arsenal picked up all three points.
Unlucky to miss out: James Tomkins
CB: James Collins - Stopping Liverpool and a certain Mr Suarez has been a problem for most teams this season but West Ham did exactly that thanks to an inspired defensive display, of which Collins particularly stood out. As we now come to expect from the Welshman, he dominated aerially against any aerial threat and looked composed in his role. Marshalled West Ham defence well to pick up another point towards ensuring league survival.
Unlucky to miss out: Matija Nastasic
LB: Gael Clichy - He's had his critics in his time at Man City and hasn't always stepped up to the plate, but against cross-city rivals Man United on Monday evening he proved exactly why City have shown faith in him. Got up an down the left hand side penetratively and dangerously to offer an extra attacking outlet and maintained his defensive responsibilities to quell United's right sided attacks.
Unlucky to miss out: Nacho Monreal
WG: Gylfi Sigurdsson - With Gareth Bale out of the Everton game, a lot of the creative responsibilities fell onto the shoulders of the Icelandic international. Despite such heavy pressure, Sigurdsson displayed yet another strong performance to maintain his recent good run of form. Looked comfortable in possession at all times and was the hub of most of Tottenham's good attacking play. Deserved goal gives Spurs hope in race for top 4.
Unlucky to miss out: James Milner
CM: Ashley Westwood - The former Crewe man has had mixed success in his debut Premier League season, very much thrown into the deep end. Against Stoke though he produced his best performance of the season so far. Unfazed by the powerful Stoke midfield, he controlled the game throughout to pull the strings and wasn't afraid to get stuck in when the need arose. More performances like this and Lambert has grabbed himself a bargain.
Unlucky to miss out: John Obi Mikel
CM: Tomas Rosicky - If Jack Wilshere's injury was meant to weaken the Arsenal team they are doing a good job of hiding it, largely down to Rosicky's recent form for the Gunners. In one of his best displays in an Arsenal shirt Rosicky ran the show grabbing two vital goals, enough to secure yet another key victory. Always looked comfortable on the ball as well as off and even showed his defensive skills with a superb clearance off the line.
Unlucky to miss out: Jonathan De Guzman
WG: Andros Townsend - Since the January transfer window QPR have looked a lot more potent an attacking force and a large amount of the credit for this must go to Townsend. Given the freedom from Redknapp to express himself on games he has done just that and continued to do so against Wigan. Completed an incredible thirteen dribbles and always looked dangerous with his raw pace and guile.
Unlucky to miss out: Santi Cazorla
ST: Jay Rodriguez - Earlier in the season Rodriguez struggled to justify his price tag and it looked like he could become another high money transfer flop but his recent form has belied that possibility. Against lowly Reading on Saturday alongside Lambert the two hassled the Reading centre backs all game, though Rodriguez particularly. Grabbed another deserved goal and must now be grabbing the attentions of Roy Hodgson for England.
Unlucky to miss out: Christian Benteke
ST: Emmanuel Adebayor - Having watched Adebayor a lot this season, I never thought he'd make it into the team of the weekend. However after an excellent display up top for Tottenham on Sunday it was almost impossible to leave him out. Grabbed an early goal which seemed to raise his confidence and proved a handful for the rest of the game displaying great strength and awareness of his teammates. Needs to play like this more often.
Unlucky to miss out: Loic Remy
image: © adam.haworth