Five of the Premier League's best midfield partnerships, including Scholes and Keane


These midfield duos were a joy to watch over the Premier League years.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard in action against Liverpool's Steven Gerrard

​The Premier League has been lucky enough to have not only some of the greatest midfielders to ever play the game, but also some of the best midfield pairings to run across a pitch.

The impacts of some of these pairings have encompassed the construction of title winning teams and the core of sides that have achieved great things on the pitch.

In honour of this, here is a selection of some of the best central midfield partnerships in Premier League history.

5. Claude Makelele, Michael Essien and Frank Lampard

​In the 2005/06 season Chelsea coasted to their second Premier League title in as many years, and the partnership of Lampard, Essien and Makelele was a vital part of what made another league triumph possible.

Makelele was the anchorman in defensive midfield, cutting attacks short on a regular basis, while Lampard bombarded the box with unbelievable attacking prowess. Essien was very much the balance between his teammates, able to cover the defence but also to advance further up the pitch, in a role as a box-to-box midfielder.

The partnership worked to devastating effect during Jose Mourinho's first spell at the club.

4. Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso

Reuters / Picture supplied by Action Images *** Local Caption *** RBBORH2005052501184.jpg

Xabi Alonso was arguably Steven Gerrard's greatest midfield partner at Anfield, and the two had an almost telepathic relationship during the five years in which they played alongside each other.

Both had phenomenal passing ability, but Gerrard took it much further with his all-round game, with the Englishman able to contain attacks in the middle whilst also bombing forward and grabbing a goal.

Alonso provided tough but accurate tackling, tremendous vision to pick out a pass and could strike the ball ferociously.

The pair were on song with each other when Liverpool challenged for the Premier League title during the 2008/09 campaign and the Reds midfield has not been the same since the departure of both men.

3. Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva

​Any midfield pairing that featured in a team that went an entire season unbeaten deserves to be acknowledged.

In 2003/04, Arsenal captain Vieira and Gilberto were on a par with each other and contributed greatly to the Gunners unprecedented season.

Gilberto, nicknamed "the invisible wall", was an exceptionally talented defensive midfielder, often going unnoticed for the rate at which he broke up attacks, while Vieira was an energetic, tenacious, almost complete player with brilliant all-round attributes who dominated the middle.

These two provided the spine of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' side.

2. Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit


​Vieira appears again on this list, but for his partnership with compatriot Emmanuel Petit which played an integral role to Arsenal's double-winning season of 1997/98.

With Vieira performing the same function as six years later, Petit was the midfield enforcer with a steely, no-nonsense style of play that shut down opposition attacks just above the defence, also allowing Vieira to roam further up the pitch.

The two Frenchmen were integral to the Gunners' Premier League and FA Cup triumphs in Arsene Wenger's second season in charge.

1. Roy Keane and Paul Scholes

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​In a lot of ways, this was the complete midfield partnership in the Premier League, standing on its own as a truly great pairing.

Roy Keane provided tenacity as a defensive midfielder, with a tough tackling approach that made him one of a dying breed of no-nonsense midfielders.

Meanwhile Scholes was the creative force in the middle of the park, with superb vision, passing and goal scoring abilities.

This pairing went untouched throughout the 1990s and formed the foundation of a Manchester United side that coasted to numerous titles, including the famous treble of the 1998/99 season.

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