Ramsey, Ozil, Deulofeu and Rooney run Team of the Week
Wojciech Szczesny and Everton full-backs also get call-ups as league leaders Arsenal show title credentials
ARSENAL enjoyed yet another excellent weekend as they maintained their four-point lead at the top of the table with victory over Cardiff, while rivals Liverpool, Man United and Spurs all dropped points. But Chelsea kept up the pressure on the Gunners by recovering from an early goal to become the first team to score three goals against Southampton since April, and cut the Gunners’ lead to four points.
But despite some fine performances in the latest round of games there was only a relatively small group of players in contention for a spot in this week's team of the week. Here's the pick of the experts' picks:
Wojiech Szczesny (Arsenal).
A unanimous choice from the pundits, the Gunners keeper kept Cardiff at bay with a solid display between the sticks. There was nothing too spectacular about his afternoon's work, but Garth Crooks of the BBC describes it as "the sort of performance that can win you titles", and warns Arsenal's rivals that they should be "taken very seriously".
Seamus Coleman, Bryan Oviedo (both Everton), John Terry (Chelsea), Curtis Davies (Hull).
Everton's two full-backs both scored in the 4-0 mauling of Stoke on Saturday. It was the sort of game Coleman was made for, says ESPN. With Stoke posing little threat he was able to operate as a wing-back and go forward to "devastating effect". As for Oviedo, understudy to Leighton Baines, he has been "been waiting a long time for this chance, and he seized it with both hands", says Bleacher Report. Veteran John Terry scored on his 400th appearance for the Blues. "Mr Chelsea is back," says ESPN. The final place goes to Curtis Davies who was instrumental as Hull shocked Liverpool. "It's not often you can say that Liverpool striker Luiz Suarez hardly got a kick, but that's what Curtis Davies will have been telling his mates," says Crooks.
Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil (both Arsenal), Sandro (Spurs), Gerard Deulofeu (Everton), Samir Nasri (Man City).
Arsenal phenomenon Ramsey strolls into team of the week yet again. He scored twice, but did not celebrate his goals against old club Cardiff, and was cheered by both sets of fans. It was the latest highlight in an incredible season for the Welshman. "That Arsenal are now seven points clear at the top is due in no small measure to Ramsey's insatiable appetite," says the Daily Mail. His team-mate Ozil also gets the nod and, according to Goal.com has now "returned to his very best". Everton midfielder Deulofeu is the second unanimous decision in midfield. He was The Guardian man of the match against Stoke and the paper notes his first Premier League start was "spectacular". Sandro scored a fine goal for Spurs against Man United and was at the "heart of everything worthy in Tottenham's play", according to Crooks. Nasri of Man City scored twice against Swansea and was the top fantasy football points scorer this weekend.
Wayne Rooney (Man United).
Ploughing a lone furrow up front this week is Rooney who scored both Man United's goals against Spurs. He is proving as crucial to United as Ramsey is to Arsenal and this performance "gave further credence to the theory that Rooney is flourishing now that Sir Alex Ferguson has been reduced to agitated spectator", says ESPN. ·