Football

GMF team of the week: March 12

Rooney's brace took United back to the top (©GettyImages)
Rooney's brace took United back to the top (©GettyImages).

GK - John Ruddy

 

While Norwich enjoyed early success against Wigan at Carrow Road on Sunday, for large periods of the game they were on back foot and the fact they walked away with a point had a large part to do with John Ruddy’s performance.

 

Kept Victory Moses and Hugo Rodallega at bay with some excellent saves, and although he contributed to Moses’ equaliser, the fact Wigan’s nine shots on target yielded just one goal was largely down to Ruddy.

 

CB – Sylvain Distin

 

The perfect way to mark David Moyes’ ten year anniversary, Everton’s win over Spurs was built on a strong first-half showing and a resilient defensive effort in the second half.

 

Distin was at the heart of that second half effort as he helped to frustrate a Spurs side desperately seeking an equaliser, even blocking former team-mate Louis Saha’s effort late on with his face.

 

CB – Gary Cahill

 

Cahill didn’t exactly have the easiest of introductions to life at Chelsea with the 3-3 draw against Manchester United and the 3-1 defeat against Napoli coming in his first few games, but the former Bolton man demonstrated clear signs of progression against Stoke.

 

Any defence that remains watertight against the Potters and the aerial threat they pose has to be worthy of praise, and Cahill was particularly sturdy alongside Branislav Ivanovic. He even hit the bar at the other end as well.

 

LB - Leighton Baines

 

With Ashley Cole’s recent wobble in form, Leighton Baines has upped his game for both club and country, and once more incisive runs caused problems for the opposing team, this time Tottenham.

 

Involved in the only goal of the game, Baines found Osman who teed up Nikica Jelavic for his first goal for the Toffees.

 

RB – John O’Shea

 

Liverpool may have been fairly toothless in attack against Sunderland but O’Shea was solid and helped the Black Cats bomb forward regularly.

 

Was effective in doing his duties at the back, and made 14 clearances throughout the game.

 

RM - Junior Hoilett

 

Hoilett sent a pretty effective message to his potential suitors as his tow goals helps sink a desperately helpless Wolves side led by Terry Connor.

 

The Canadian-born winger wreaked havoc amongst the Wolves back line with his speed and agility, while also demonstrating he is equally adept in front of goal as he is out wide.

 

An acrobatic opener gave his side the advantage while his second goal was one to saviour as he drilled into the net from distance to wrap up all three points for Rovers.

 

CM – Juan Mata

 

Having proved many times this season that he should be occupying a more central starting role, Juan Mata had every right to be angered after being left on the bench for Chelsea's game against Stoke.

 

The Spaniard demonstrated his creative quality with a neat ball through to Didier Drogba who scored the match’s decisive goal. He simply has to start against Napoli if Chelsea have any hopes of making it to the quarter finals of the Champions League.

CM - David Silva

Silva was desperate in his efforts to haul Manchester City to victory against Swansea, but just failed as his side lost their Premier League lead for the first time in five months.

Silva wasn't at his finest but he still deserves his place in the team of the week based on the effort he put in while City succumbed to defeat.
 

 

LM - Wayne Routledge

 

Another small wide man stealing the show, Wayne Routledge hasn’t had the most stellar career to date having promised so much as a youngster, but he took his chance yesterday to stake a claim for a regular starting spot with Swansea emphatically.

 

Would have been mildly aggrieved not to get on the scoresheet himself, but his pin-point cross for the goal that won the game for the Swans means Nathan Dyer will be sweating on his place when he returns.

 

S - Wayne Rooney

 

Sir Alex Ferguson said it himself, Wayne Rooney’s goals will carry Manchester United to the title if he keeps scoring at his current rate.

 

Rooney’s double wasn’t one of his finest; his late jab at Javier Hernandez’s effort got the ball rolling and his second came from the penalty spot but his goals and recent form are priceless to United, taking his tally to 25 for the season.

 

S - Didier Drogba

 

Reaching a milestone as he bagged his 100th Premier League goal, Didier Drogba proved to be the difference once more in a hard-fought win against Stoke.

 

The Ivorian was calmness personified for his goal as he rounded Asimir Begovic to keep the Blues top four hopes alive, while giving Roberto di Matteo victory in his first Premier League game in charge of the club.

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Premier League

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