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Premier League team of the week: Match Day 17
Another weekend of exciting Barlcays Premier League Football, and all of us here at football.co.uk have put together a Team of the Week. The team is based on individual performances for their respected sides and how their performance aided the result.
In a weekend which has seen Manchester United maintain their six point lead over rivals Manchester City, QPR move off the bottom of the Premier League table with their first win this season and Aston Villa put 3 past Brendan Rodgers Liverpool.
Roberto Martinez' Wigan slipped into the relegation zone after losing to high flying Norwich who now sit in 7th place, one point above Arsene Wenger's struggling Arsenal.
Everton walk away from the Britannia with a point. Although midfielder Marouane Fellaini could be in hot water after head-butting Stokes Ryan Shawcross, with his own manager calling for the FA to take retrospective disciplinary action.
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart
Although Manchester City came out on top against Newcastle, Joe Hart had to make some top drawer saves in the early parts of the match to stop Newcastle from taking the lead against the current Premier League champions. After a recent spell of uncertainty Hart now looks back to his best and demonstrated that against a powerful Newcastle side.
Kyle Walker - Kyle Walker edged out Pablo Zabaleta for a spot in the team this week thanks to his defensively assured display. There aren't many who've managed to keep Wayne Routledge quiet this season and his pace was a real asset in the recovery game. Tottenham kept their first clean sheet in forever and Walker had a rasping shot just about saved by Gerhard Tremmel. It would have been some goal — it's rare to see a ball struck so hard.
Ashley Williams - Vertonghen's winner robbed the excellent Ashley Williams of a deserved clean sheet. In a defiant defensive display, Swansea's captain marshalled his back line expertly, as time and time again they executed goal-saving, last-ditch tackles from the likes of Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor. Williams, alongside Chico, hardly put a foot wrong aside from a lapse that left the Belgian free in the penalty area, but replays suggested they may have been unfortunate not to see the assistant's offside flag go up.
Ciaran Clark - Ciaran Clark looked like a seasoned veteran whilst dealing with Liverpool's three-pronged attack on Saturday afternoon. He was dealt the unenviable task of marking Luis Suarez, but kept to his duties superbly to stifle the Uruguayan and co. The Irish defender has adapted to the 3-5-2 formation better than expected and has become a genuine leader in the absence of Ron Vlaar. This guy has a massive future.
Jan Vertonghen - Tottenham's battle with Swansea was settled by one elegant swing of a boot. The versatile Jan Vertonghen, switched to centre-back against Swansea, performed his defensive duties admirably and showed off his expansive range of passing on several occasions, but his most meaningful involvement came with a delightful half-volley from a deflected free-kick that found the bottom corner and sent Spurs joint-third in the table.
Adel Taarabt - Adel Taarabt was the driving force behind a stunning Queens Park Rangers performance, and Harry Redknapp will be delighted his new charges managed their first win of the season. The Moroccan was all over the pitch, but did his deadly work "in the hole" behind the striker, scoring one deflected and one sublime goal. His second, an effortless stroke of the ball, was a genuine world-class finish.
Yaya Toure - Yaya Toure clearly likes the crisp north-east air, for he has registered game-settling goals on the two times he's visited. After a bright Newcastle start, one sublime pass undid all their good work, as Toure unlocked their defence for the opener. Sometimes overrun in midfield, Toure was always within range of the home side's creative talent, breaking forward more and more as the game progressed and he duly wrapped up an important win with a predatory poked finish.
Tom Cleverly - Another week, another suitably impressive performance from Tom Cleverly. He's just pipped Alejandro Faurlin to make the team this week, and his goal was an absolute cracking strike after a beautiful one-two with Michael Carrick. His overall performance was so convincing, someone felt to need to make a video highlighting his individual contributions through the game.
Wes Hoolahan - Norwich's fifth straight home win in the Premier League came courtesy of a masterful display from Wes Hoolahan, who signed a new contract prior to the game. It looks to be an astute slice of business. The Irish midfielder's persistence set up the first for Anthony Pilkington against Wigan and his cross nearly allowed Robert Snodgrass to sneak a second before half time. And after the Latics had levelled, Hoolahan made sure of the win with a powerful header, reminiscent of colleague Grant Holt.
Attack: Christian Benteke, Robin van Persie
Christian Benteke - Darren who? Christian Benteke is fast backing up his manager's decision to marginalise the club's record signing as a series of barnstorming performances like the one against Liverpool on Saturday underline what a raw talent the Belgian is. Scoring two and setting one up on your first visit to Anfield is no mean feat and if his goals showcased his range - a long shot and mazy dribble - his assist for Andreas Wiemann highlighted his skill, as he back-heeled perfectly into the Austrian's path.
Robin van Persie - Twelve goals in your first 17 Premier League games for a new club seems like a reasonable return doesn't it? Even if you do have a £20 million price tag on your head. In Manchester United's victory over Sunderland Robin van Persie was instrumental, capitalising on John O'Shea's mistake to notch the opening goal. And in an ominous sign for Premier League defences everywhere, he again linked with Wayne Rooney to secure a third. Quite the little partnership they are forming.
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