In Depth

Gerrard, Mata and Lukaku are the stars of team of the week

Chelsea trio also get the nod as the top three contribute six players to this week's XI

WITH the top three all winning this weekend it is as you were at the summit of the Premier League. Liverpool are out in front with Chelsea second and Man City lurking in third with two games in hand and a huge clash with the Reds on the horizon next weekend. The main headlines came from Everton's victory over Arsenal, which takes European qualification out of the Gunners' hands. They will have to hope Everton drop points if they are to finish in the top four. So, who were the star performers in a week when Man United once again proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with away from home, and Fulham gave themselves hope of survival? Here's our pick of the experts' picks: Goalkeeper: Ben Foster (West Brom)

His performance against Norwich probably cost Canaries boss Chris Houghton his job as West Brom kept a clean sheet for the first time since New Year's Day. He was the highest-scoring keeper of the weekend on Fantasy Premier League. Defence: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton)

A three-man defence, partly because the experts were so divided about who deserved a place at the back that only a few players got more than one mention. Ivanovic was one of them after he produced an "excellent display" for Chelsea against Stoke and was "desperately unlucky" to have a goal ruled out for offside, according to Garth Crooks of the BBC. Liverpool centre-back Skrtel did a good job of keeping Andy Carroll quiet at Upton Park. "Skrtel was tough in dealing with his former team-mate, crashing through him early on and then taking the ball cleanly from crosses and corners thereafter," says Bleacher Report. Everton youngster Stones impressed again against Arsenal and showed he has "unbelievable potential", says website FanatixMidfield: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Juan Mata (Man United), Willian,  Mohamed Salah (both Chelsea), Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace)

Another brace of penalties from Gerrard helped Liverpool overcome West Ham. "His passing was incisive from open play and both of his penalties were dispatched nervelessly," says Goal.com. He has never won the Premier League, but this could be his year. Mata scored two and created one as Man United continued their fine away form with a 4-0 win over Newcastle United. Mata's contribution earned him 19 fantasy points. He was, says The Guardian, "excellent" and Newcastle could not handle him. Willian and Salah both scored for Chelsea against Stoke. Willian's goal was "fabulous" says Crooks of the BBC, who adds: "This lad looks better every time I see him". Salah, meanwhile, also scored a stunner and was Daily Mail man of the match. Palace forward Puncheon scored twice as Palace downed sorry Cardiff. He "put in a performance which not only won the game for Crystal Palace, but also likely put the seal on his team staying safe this season, Says Bleacher Report. Attack: Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City)

Arsenal could not handle Everton striker Lukaku on Sunday. He played on the right, which confused the Gunners, and the result was an assist for the first goal and a stunning strike to make in 2-0. "Lukaku's role was planned well by his manager and executed magnificently by the player himself," says Bleacher Report. Alongside him is City striker Dzeko who scored one and made one as the title favourites thrashed Southampton. He was an "influential" figure and man of the match according to the Guardian.

Recommended

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag
View from the terraces

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United

Premier League: what we learned from the opening weekend
Erling Haaland scored both goals on his Premier League debut for Manchester City
View from the terraces

Premier League: what we learned from the opening weekend

Football club accidentally names stand after Rose West
rose-west.jpg
Tall Tales

Football club accidentally names stand after Rose West

Online abuse in football: ‘the dark side to the beautiful game’
Man Utd’s Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo are two players regularly targeted
Talking point

Online abuse in football: ‘the dark side to the beautiful game’

Popular articles

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 19 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 19 August 2022

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 17 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 17 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner