Premier League Team of the Week: January 14

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Football News

Robin Van Persie once again demonstrated why Roberto Mancini feels he could be the difference in the title race this season, with a smartly taken goal against Liverpool on Sunday - his 17th league goal already.

The Dutchman was kept quiet for large parts of the match, as was Reds forward Luis Suarez, but Van Persie won that particular battle thanks to his 19th minute goal.

But Manchester City's 2-0 victory over Arsenal two hours later maintained the seven point gap atop the Premier League table.

Elsewhere, Southampton chalked up a crucial win over Aston Villa, while Queens Park Rangers battled to a 0-0 draw at home to Tottenham.

But the performance of the weekend undoubtedly belongs to Chelsea, who ended Stoke's impressive home record with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium. Special mention must also go to Reading, who scored three goals in the final ten minutes to snatch a 3-2 victory over West Brom.

Jon Walters gave the Blues a handing hand, scoring two own goals and missing a penalty, but Rafa Benitez's were superb, and thoroughly deserved the three points.

Frank Lampard was again magnificent, but good enough to earn a new Chelsea deal? Who knows. But it was certainly good enough to earn a spot in GMF's Team of the Week.

So, with Lampard in, check out who else makes the Premier League Team of the Week…

Julio Cesar - Queens Park Rangers

The Brazilian kept Harry Redknapp's side in it with a string of fantastic saves. One double save in particular, from Jermain Defoe and then Emmanuel Adebayor, was crucial.

Ashley Cole - Chelsea

A clean sheet at the Britannia is no mean feat. Chelsea managed just that, and hit four goals of their own - granted two were actually own goals - and Cole was superb as ever. Strong in defence, limiting Stoke to few chances, and aggressive going forward - a typical Ashley Cole display.

Ashley Williams - Swansea

The Wales international is rapidly cementing his reputation as one of the league's most consistent performers. Against Everton, Williams was fiercely competitive, and put his body on the line on more than one occasion.

Ryan Nelsen - Queens Park Rangers

QPR will miss Ryan Nelsen, and on Saturday the New Zealand star proved why. A monstrous performance from the soon-to-be Toronto FC Boss.

Eden Hazard - Chelsea

Hazard has been quiet of late, but sprang to life with a stunning 30-yard strike to cap a tremendous away performance.

Michael Carrick - Manchester United

The Manchester United man is quickly becoming his side's key midfielder, and against Liverpool he was the best player on the pitch. Danny Welbeck may have scooped the man of the match award, but Carrick's display was the more crucial.

Scott Parker - Tottenham Hotspur

The England international was Tottenham's best player on Saturday - and he didn't even start the game. Sandro limped off after 25 minutes, but Spurs improved after Parker's introduction. His energy, passing and well-timed interceptions added urgency to a lethargic midfield. Andre Villas-Boas will be glad to see him back, and back to somewhere approaching his best.

Frank Lampard - Chelsea

Lampard can do little more to earn a new Chelsea deal, but it just doesn't look like it's going to happen. The 34-year-old was excellent against Stoke, and edged ever closer to the club's record goalscorer tally with a second-half penalty.

James Milner - Manchester City

Milner demonstrated why he's often preferred by Roberto Mancini for the big away games. Against Arsenal he was full of his customary running, and got the ball rolling at the Emirates Stadium with a neatly taken early goal.

Robin Van Persie - Manchester United

The Manchester United striker is the difference - even Roberto Mancini concedes that fact. On Sunday he was quiet, barely involved for large periods. But when it mattered, he stepped up.

Carlos Tevez - Manchester City

Edin Dzeko took the man of the match award, but it's the return to form of Carlos Tevez which will really please Mancini. Full of industry, Tevez was exceptional, linking up the play between midfield and attack, and capitalising on Arsenal's soft centre between defence and midfield after Laurent Koscielny's sending off.

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Robin Van Persie
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