Squarefootball Team of the Week - Week 34
Liverpool kept the Premier League title in their own hands as they saw off a resilient Manchester City side at Anfield on Sunday, but Chelsea are still on their tails following their hard-fought victory at Swansea - building up to one colossal match between the two a week on Sunday.
Spurs also showed their battling qualities by coming from 3-0 down to gain a point at West Brom, Newcastle's wretched run continued at Stoke and Everton jumped into the top four with a fortunate victory over relegation threatened Sunderland.
It was a weekend of big games, big goals and big talking points, but who made a big impression on me to make Squarefootball's Team of the Week?
Goalkeeper: David Marshall (Cardiff City)
There were some fine examples of top-notch goalkeeping this weekend, but Marshall just edges it. The Cardiff shot-stopper makes another appearance in the team of the week after another clean sheet, this time away in a crucial win at Southampton.
Right Back: John Flannigan (Liverpool)
This lad looks mature beyond his years. Another strong performance from Flannigan, who showed he can handle the big occasions after he struggled last weekend.
Centre Back: Juan Cala (Cardiff City)
Goals can come from the unlikeliest of places, and what a screamer it was. Cala’s excellent shot from outside the box at Southampton proved to be the match-winner and gives Cardiff a chance of staying in the Premier League.
Centre Back: Brede Hangeland (Fulham)
Fulham had to hold on for dear life against Norwich this weekend and a brilliant goal-saving tackleon Robert Snodgrass by Hangeland meant the Cottagers earned all three points in the battle against relegation.
Left Back: Erik Pieters (Stoke City)
It was a lucky goal from Pieters, but it proved to be the difference between Stoke and Newcastle. The defender’s cross found the back of the net as the Potter beat the Magpies 1-0.
Right Midfield: Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City)
Stoke only paid £2million for this guy. Only £2 million! It’s proving to be the steal of the season following another magical display by Arnautovic. The winger was unstoppable and Newcastle’s defence could not deal with him.
The captain perhaps would have scored had Joe Hart not made an excellent save, but Gerrard once again led by example in the 3-2 win over Manchester City. The outpour of emotion at the end of the match shows how much Gerrard loves Liverpool and wants the title.
Centre Midfield: Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)
Matic looks a completely different player than the one who left Chelsea three years ago, and will no doubt be crucial to their final push for the Premier League. Matic was assured and cool throughout the win over Swansea, dominating the midfield.
Left Midfield: Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
Pace. Drive. Creativity. Sterling offers all this plus much more, as showed in his wonderful performance against Manchester City. Sterling opened the scoring with a composed finish and was a threat throughout the entire match.
Attacking Midfield: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham spent a lot of money in the summer, but Eriksen has been their best signing by far. Another brilliant outing from the Dane as he led the second half comeback for Spurs and scored a well-deserved late equaliser.
Striker: Hugo Rodallega (Fulham)
Rodallega scored the all-important goal for Fulham in their 1-0 victory over Norwich, giving the home side a much needed boost and chance to avoid the drop. Rodallega’s confidence has grown since he has featured regularly under Felix Magath, as consecutive goals in the Premier League shows.
Game of the Week: Liverpool 3 Manchester City 2
The top of the table clash had it all but Liverpool showed their bottle by winning the game after squandering a two-goal half-time lead. West Bromwich Albion's six-goal thriller with Spurs though came a very close second.
Manager of the Week: Brendan Rodgers
Four more victories for Liverpool will see them crowned champions of England for the first time since 1990. A draw against City would have given the visitors the advantage but Coutinho's late strike puts the Reds in pole position. There were a few doubters when Rodgers first took over but the transformation in this team has been remarkable. Rodgers is on course to create another glittering era in Liverpool's illustrious history.
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