Fabregas, Hazard, Di Maria and De Gea run team of the week
Four Chelsea and two Man United stars make the team, one each from Liverpool and Man City
Chelsea are the only unbeaten team left in the Premier League after they beat Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and the win leaves them sitting pretty at the top of the table, five points clear of their nearest rivals Man City after only seven games. Man United would also have enjoyed the weekend, as they moved into the top four of the Premier League for the first time in over a year with a hard-fought win over Everton.
Given their excellent weekends, it should come as no surprise that those two teams provide six of this week's team of the week, with four from Chelsea. Fellow title hopefuls City and Liverpool contribute one player each. However Arsenal, like Liverpool now languishing nine points behind the leaders, have no-one in the team.
Here's our pick of the experts' picks.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Man United)On a weekend of divided opinions among the pundits the United stopper was a unanimous choice. It's not much of a surprise when you consider his contribution to United's victory. "After keeping out a penalty on the brink of half-time, he denied Leon Osman with the clock ticking down and, late into injury time, produced a world-class stop to tip Bryan Ovideo's effort over the bar," says Goal.com.
Defence: Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry (both Chelsea), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Andrew Robertson (Hull City)Chelsea full back Azpilicueta produced the "most professional" performance in the Blues defence, says Garth Crooks of the BBC. "He refused to get over-emotional in a fixture that was in danger of getting out of control at times." Alongside him was Terry who was "pretty much flawless at Stamford Bridge as his side denied Arsenal a shot on target in a top-flight match for the first time in 11 years", swoons ESPN.
Kompany helped City to a win in a "tricky away tie" at Aston Villa with what Caughtoffside calls a "captain's performance". Hull youngster Robertson was the highest-scoring defender in fantasy football and was "simply brilliant" against Crystal Palace says Winner Sports, which says he is as good a prospect as Luke Shaw.
Midfield Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard (both Chelsea), Angel di Maria (Man United), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)Fabregas set up Diego Costa for Chelsea's second goal with a sublime pass and, as Garth Crooks notes, "it must have been painful for Arsenal fans to see their former player have one of the best games of the season". If Costa and Fabregas have hogged the headlines this season "Hazard well and truly joined the party against Arsenal", says Sports Mole. "His jinking run earned a penalty, while he was the source of a constant headache for the visiting rearguard."
Once again Di Maria was the "star man" for United, says Goal.com. "The Argentine was the driving force which pushed Louis van Gaal's men forward and kept Everton away from an untested defence for long periods." The final place goes to Henderson who scored the winner for Liverpool against West Brom and, like De Gea, was a unanimous choice among the experts. "It's fair to say Liverpool aren't quite firing on all cylinders at present," says ESPN. "But as long as Jordan Henderson keeps performing like this, they'll have plenty of chances to win games."
Attack: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Papiss Cisse (Newcastle)The Black Cats two-goal hero had not scored for a year until this weekend, but Fletcher was the highest-scorer on fantasy football this week and has "rediscovered his clinical touch", according to Sports Mole. Alongside him is another much-maligned striker, Newcastle's Cisse, who is keeping Alan Pardew in a job, according to ESPN. He scored twice against Swansea. "That's four in three games for Cisse since his return from injury, and Pardew must be thanking his lucky stars he is fit and hungry again."