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Wednesday, 09 April 2014

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Week 33


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The race for the title is really hotting up, but so too is the battle for fourth as Everton pile the pressure on struggling Arsenal.

Liverpool returned to the top on Sunday following comfortable victories for Chelsea and Manchester City the previous day. Brendan Rodgers' men were made to work at Upton Park, but the Reds showed their mental strength to get the job done - with a bit of help from the referee.

Manchester United continued their impressive away form ahead of tonight's Champions League clash in Munich, while Spurs destroyed Sunderland.

There were plenty of star names on show this past weekend, but who has made it into Squarefootball's Team of the Week this week?

Goalkeeper: Ben Foster (West Brom)

It was an important win for West Brom at Norwich this weekend, pushing the Baggies further from the relegation fight. The visitors to Carrow Road owe thanks to their keeper, who produced a number of saves to keep the Canaries from taking anything from the game.

Right Back: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)

A strong outing for Ivanovic, who offered both defensive experience and attacking options for Chelsea in their 3-0 win over Stoke.

Centre Back: Martin Skrtel (Liverpool)

It was a ninth win on the bounce for Liverpool in their quest for Premier League glory and Skrtel stood strong against the threat of former Red Andy Carroll in the 2-1 defeat of West Ham.

Centre Back: Curtis Davies (Hull City)

Some have touted Davies for a late England call-up. While that may now be just a pipe-dream, the Tigers’ defender once again put in an assured display in the victory over Swansea. Davies kept Bony and the Swans’ attack almost silent in Hull’s 1-0 win.

Left Back: Joel Ward (Crystal Palace)

Ward was in fine form in the game against Cardiff, keeping the Bluebirds’ attacking outlets such as Zaha at bay with a performance worthy of the victory.

Centre Midfield: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

Captain Fantastic once again makes the team of the week after two superbly dispatched penalties by the Liverpool midfielder saw his side win at West Ham 2-1 and once again reach the peak of the Premier League.

Centre Midfield: Youssouf Mulumbu (West Brom)

A crucial defeat of Norwich by West Brom was instigated by the drive of their engine, Youssouf Mulumbu. The midfielder linked defence and attack with power and ease and was pivotal in West Brom’s protection of their early lead.

Right Midfield: Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace)

It was a game that Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær described as ‘must-win’ for the home side. But thanks to the terrific performance by Puncheon it was the away side that left Cardiff with all three points. Two excellently taken goals by Puncheon were the catalyst for a fine win by Crystal Palace.

Attacking Midfield: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)

Eriksen was easily the man of the match in Tottenham’s dismantling of Sunderland in the Monday night fixture. The Danish midfielder provided the assists for Spurs’ first two goals before claiming a spot on the score sheet himself.

Left Midfield: Juan Mata (Manchester United)

Mata just thrives in that number 10 position, doesn’t he? It was a sensational outing for the former Chelsea midfielder, who scored two excellent goals, including a tasty free-kick, and provided an assist in United’s 4-0 rout of Newcastle.

Forward: Romelu Lukaku (Everton)

Although the on-loan forward played on the right for Everton in their amazing win over Arsenal, Lukaku gets our vote up top for his powerful and dominant display. The strength and desire from the Belgium was just what Arsenal missed in this game, and Everton rightfully came out on top.

Subs: Willian (Chelsea) Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham) Steven Naismith (Everton)

Weekend Wonders

Manager of the Week: Roberto Martinez (Everton)

The Spaniard had his critics early on at Goodison but that emphatic victory over Arsenal has put Champions League qualification in their own hands. Everton hadn't beaten Arsenal for a while, but they wiped the floor with their capital counterparts.

Goal of the Week: Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace)

It was another cracking weekend for goals, with Juan Mata's brace at Newcastle instantly coming to mind, but Puncheon wins the race with a lovely curling shot against David Marshall. 

Controversy of the Week: Anthony Taylor (West Ham v Liverpool)

The referee was the centre of attention on Sunday for another poor display. Demel's goal should never have stood following Carroll's aerial challenge on Mignolet and the winning penalty was soft to say the least. No wonder his bosses have placed him as the fourth official for this weekend's FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Wigan.

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Mitch Waddon

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