GMF Team of the Week: 31-2 April

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Another great weekend of Premier League action came to an end last night, with Manchester United moving five points clear at the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Blackburn.

The Red Devils capitalised on Manchester City’s 3-3 draw with Sunderland, whilst Arsenal also stumbled in third place with a 2-1 defeat to relegation threatened QPR. Spurs closed the gap thanks to a 3-1 win over Swansea at White Hart Lane.

It was a big weekend for teams at the bottom of the league, with Wigan and Bolton also getting big wins against Wolves and Stoke respectively. Newcastle, Everton, Chelsea and Fulham also got wins under their belt.

And, with all the matches now done and dusted until Friday, GiveMeFootball picks its team of the week…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)

The Spanish stopper came in for strong criticism at the start of the season, but showed his ever-growing confidence in Monday night’s 2-0 win at Blackburn.

Saves from Junior Hoilett, Yakubu and Morten Gamst Pedersen kept the Red Devils level, and enabled his side to strike late and secure a big win.

Defender: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)

Serbian defender Ivanovic showed his attacking prowess for the Blues with a crucial brace against the Villains – both instinctive finishes in the box.

The first goal was slotted home from Juan Mata’s low pass, the second a reactionary header from Fernando Torres’ flick-on. His defending was solid too.

Defender: Mike Williamson (Newcastle United)

The Newcastle defender was simply outstanding against the Liverpool attack, outshining Andy Carroll both on the floor and in the air, whilst also helping keep tabs on Luis Suarez.

Expected to be a possible weak link at the start of the season, Williamson has impressed in the top flight all season.

Defender: Antolin Alcaraz (Wigan Athletic)

It’s rare for a Wigan defender to make the team of the week, but after Gary Caldwell’s heroics at Liverpool last week, Alcaraz took it upon himself to help the Latics earn back-to-back Premier League wins.

The Paraguayan international gave his side the lead with a fine second-half header, and also played a part in keeping the Potters at bay throughout.

Midfielder: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)

When United needed a piece of magic on Monday night, it was Honduran winger Valencia who delivered the goods with just ten minutes left on the clock.

Cutting in from the right hand side, the former Wigan star beat a defender and struck low and hard past Paul Robinson. A constant pain in the side of the opposition.

Midfielder: Adel Taarabt (QPR)

The Moroccan winger has taken a long time to score his first Premier League goal with QPR, but did just that against Arsenal after beating Thomas Vermaelen and curling the ball into the right corner of the goal.

It seemed to raise the mercurial talent’s confidence, and he was full of beans throughout in a shock win over the Gunners.

Midfielder: Stephane Sessegnon (Sunderland)

A toss up between Sessegnon and Seb Larsson, but the Benin international gets the nod for playing a key role in all three of his sides goals during their 3-3 draw with Manchester City.

First, he surged in from the left to set-up Larsson for a tidy finish, and then found space on the right after a quick free-kick to provide a pin-point cross for Nicklas Bendtner to head home. Better still, he robbed Yaya Toure and dissected the defence to help create the third. A fine all-round display.

Midfielder: Steven Pienaar (Everton)

On-loan from Tottenham Hotspur, the South African has once again found his best form under David Moyes, and was at the heart of everything good from the Toffees.

An assist for Victor Anichebe’s low strike, Pienaar also created a handful of other chances and worked his socks off throughout.

Forward: Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur)

A late brace from the Togolese international secured a vital win for Spurs in their battle for a finish in the Champions League places.

Two powerful headers proved the difference against Swansea, the first unmarked from the far post and the second beating Gary Monk in the air to nod past Michel Vorm.

Forward: Fernando Torres (Chelsea)

After a period of difficulty for ‘El Nino’ at Stamford Bridge, Torres showed some of his old swagger to help the Blues beat Aston Villa 4-2.

His blocked shot was tapped home by Daniel Sturridge, and flick-on nodded past Shay Given by Ivanovic. There was still time to fire home himself, beating the Irish stopper from just inside the box.

Forward: Papiss Demba Cisse (Newcastle United)

A stunning summer signing by Alan Pardew, as the Senegalese international added to his growing reputation with another big brace for the Toon.

Cisse beat Martin Skrtel to a Hatem Ben Arfa cross to make it 1-0, and then doubled the lead with a simple finish from Demba Ba’s low pass.

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