It was another rip-roaring weekend in the Premier League and a number of players stood out enough to make the GiveMeFootball Team of the Week.
There were some brilliant games on Saturday, but the drama was topped off in style between Manchester United and Southampton at St Mary's on Sunday evening, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side coming from 2-1 behind to win it at the death.
With so many great performances, it was a tough decision process for GMF, but we are confident we have the best starting XI from this latest round of fixtures.
GK – Vito Mannone, Arsenal
The young Italian’s future at Arsenal appeared over following a disastrous performance against Olympiacos in the Champions league last season, but injuries have given him his chance and he is taking it well. Two games, two clean sheets and he is also appearing to overcome the jitters he was prone to early in his time at Emirates Stadium. Mannone made some quality stops at Anfield against Liverpool and his form has meant the Gunners aren’t missing usual number one Wojciech Szczesny.
LB – Jose Enrique, Liverpool
The Reds Spanish full-back had a good afternoon at Anfield, despite his side being beaten fairly easily by Arsene Wenger’s men. Lukas Podolski was a threat on the Gunners left, but Enrique’s tireless running mean that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was kept quiet for most of the game on the opposite side. Enrique got forward when he could, but Raheem Sterling was very advanced and that left almost an entire flank of the pitch to take care of.
RB – Kyle Walker, Tottenham Hotspur
There is already pressure building on Andre Villas-Boas at White Hart Lane after another one-goal lead was thrown away late on, but last year’s Young Player of the Year is getting better with each game. His pace and power suits Villas-boas’ tactics well and he was very good again in the draw with Norwich on Saturday.
CB – Gareth McAuley, West Brom
The Northern Irishman seems to be thriving under new manager Steve Clarke and he was instrumental in the Baggies continuing their brilliant start to the season against an in-form Everton. He was outstanding keeping the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic at bay at the Hawthorns on Saturday, while also grabbing the goal that sealed the victory with a powerful header.
CB –Vincent Kompany, Manchester City
The Citizens’ captain was his usual imperious self in the heart of defence against QPR on Saturday and made sure there would be no repeat of the comeback Mark Hughes’ men made in the final game last season, which nearly derailed City’s title hopes. The Londoners grabbed an undeserved equaliser in the second half, but Kompany made sure his men did not throw it away this time.
RM – Hatem ben Arfa, Newcastle United
The Frenchman is a special player when on song and he most certainly was against Aston Villa on Sunday. The Toon were one down at half-time, but Ben Arfa topped a display full of skill and creative with an outstanding goal.
LM – Raheem Sterling, Liverpool
At only 17 years old, Sterling is showing everyone what an exceptional talent they have in their ranks at Anfield. It was a luckless day for Liverpool, but their young winger was easily the most impressive player in red and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. He caused lots of problems for the Gunners defence and came close to equalising in the first half, seeing his shot hit the post.
CM – Santi Cazorla, Arsenal
Arsene Wenger said Arsenal were lucky to have such a player as the Spaniard after the game against Liverpool and he was not wrong. Cazorla has hit the ground running in the Premier League and was finally rewarded for all the chances he has been creating so far. His pass set-up Lukas Podolski for the first and the German striker reciprocated for Cazorla to fire under Pepe Reina and seal the three points.
CM – Paul Scholes, Manchester United
Every time the veteran United midfielder puts in a display like this, Sir Alex Ferguson gets warned about the difficulty he will have replacing him. The Old Trafford side were struggling at Southampton when Scholes was introduced, but this changed soon after he came on. The 37-year-old was his classy self in coordinating United’s pressure in the closing stages of the game and was a calming influence in what was a sticky situation at one point for Ferguson’s men.
CF – Steven Fletcher, Sunderland
It was a successful debut for the Scottish striker at unbeaten Swansea and he showed why Martin O’Neill was prepared to pay Wolves £14million for him. Two quick goals at the end of the first half – one lovely finish and one good predatory play – got Sunderland in the lead and Fletcher proved that he is a player that belongs in the top flight.
CF – Robin van Persie, Manchester United
It doesn’t seem to matter what shirt the Dutchman is wearing, he simply deals in goals. There are no signs of teething problems for Van Persie at United and his game-winning hat-trick at Southampton was further proof of his world class ability. He showed good mental strength to put an embarrassing missed panenka penalty behind him to seal the win deep into injury time and the three goals exhibited the different facets to his game - all of which he does outstandingly.
What did you think of GMF’s Team of the Week? Who do you think should have made it into the line up?
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