After last week's Capital One Cup goal-fest, this weekend's Premier League fixtures were always going to struggle to live up to expectations.

With just 16 goals across nine games, it was predominantly defence that prevailed over attack, as a number of the division's most prolific marksmen struggled to find the back of the net.

Robin van Persie was not one of them, though, as he took just three minutes to break the deadlock against his former club, helping Manchester United to a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford.

The win meant United reclaimed their place at the top of the Premier League table, after Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, and reigning champions Manchester City played out a goalless draw with West Ham at Upton Park.

Tottenham went down 1-0 to Wigan Athletic at White Hart Lane, while Fulham and Everton took part in a pulsating 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage. Aston Villa edged past Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light, and Norwich won their second consecutive game at Carrow Road, following their narrow 1-0 victory over Stoke City.

On Sunday, Liverpool and Newcastle drew 1-1 at Anfield, and basement boys QPR and Reading recorded the same scoreline at Loftus Road.

Looking back over the best of the weekend's action GiveMeFootball brings you it's Premier League Team of the Week…


GK: Alex McCarthy | Reading

The 22-year-old is rapidly building a name for himself, after another inspired display for the Royals. After excellently tipping an Esteban Granero free-kick onto the crossbar, he ensured the visitors left with a point with another inch-perfect save to deny Adel Taarabt in the closing stages.


RB: Rafael | Manchester United

Another assured performance from the young Brazilian, who has arguably been Manchester United's most improved player this season. His attacking ability has never been doubted, but the 22-year-old was as impressive in defence as he was going forward against Arsenal on Saturday.


CB: Branislav Ivanovic | Chelsea

In the absence of the suspended John Terry, and injured David Luiz, the Serbian stopper was recalled to the centre of defence alongside Gary Cahill. His reading of the game got Chelsea out of danger on more than one occasion against Swansea, and his physical prowess added some much needed steel to the visitors' back line.


CB: Per Mertesacker | Arsenal

Whilst Thomas Vermaelen struggled to deal with the threat of his former team-mate, Robin van Persie on Saturday, Mertesacker impressed in an otherwise uninspiring Arsenal defence at Old Trafford. Good in the air and strong in the tackle, the German is improving with every game.


LB: Leighton Baines | Everton

A constant threat down the left-flank for Everton, he gave Fulham's defenders a torrid time at Craven Cottage. Always a danger from set-pieces, Baines created a number of chances from wide positions, and was helpless to prevent the hosts' late equaliser.


RM: Shaun Maloney | Wigan Athletic

The main fulcrum of Wigan's attacking play, everything positive that the visitors created seemed to go through Maloney at White Hart Lane. A menace on the ball, he gave Tottenham's defenders no time for a break, forming a great understanding with Di Santo and Kone, setting up numerous opportunities for the forward pair.


CM: Marouane Fellaini | Everton

With the 6ft 4in Belgian in your side, you can guarantee problems for opposing defenders. Fellaini's eye for goal and ability to link between midfield and attack, makes him absolutely invaluable to Everton. His two goals against Fulham were just rewards for another impressive display at Goodison Park.


CM: Pablo Hernandez | Swansea City

The Spaniard was at the heart of Swansea's attacking threat, constantly probing with intelligent passing and movement. Hernandez created a host of Swansea chances before taking it upon himself to net the equaliser with just two minutes left on the clock, following a well-taken finish from the edge of the box.


LM: Wes Hoolahan | Norwich City

The Norwich City playmaker has always had the talent to play at the top level, but his inconsistency has often proved problematic. However, against Stoke he was near his mercurial finest, pulling the strings as he drifted effortlessly from one side of the pitch to the other.


ST: Robin van Persie | Manchester United

Van Persie took just three minutes to remind Arsene Wenger why is absence is a massive blow to Arsenal's lofty ambitions this season, when he capitalised on an uncharacteristic error by Thomas Vermaelen. His clever movement and constant attacking intent caused the visitors endless issues in defence.


ST: Luis Suarez | Liverpool

The Uruguayan striker dug Brendan Rodgers' side out of another hole, with an exquisite equalising goal against Newcastle United. Full of craft, and skill, Suarez appeared unplayable at times, and will haunt Magpies skipper Fabricio Coloccini after his trickery ushered him into a clumsy challenge, which resulted in an early Anfield bath for his fellow South American.

Topics:
#Premier League
#Marouane Fellaini
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