In Depth

Ramsey, Lukaku, Butland and Ake star in team of the week

Heroes from Bournemouth, Watford and Crystal Palace muscle out the big-name stars in this weekend's selection

Arsenal are back on top of the Premier League after a weekend in which they and Manchester City both won, while rivals Manchester United lost ground after their shock defeat at the hands of Bournemouth.

Liverpool missed the chance to make up ground on the leading pack as they could only draw with West Brom and Spurs' long unbeaten record came to an end against Newcastle.

Leicester can reclaim top spot with victory over Chelsea, who languish in 16th place in the table, and the London side could conceivably spend Christmas in the relegation zone if things continue to go wrong for Jose Mourinho.

At the bottom Aston Villa and Sunderland both lost - and Villa are in danger of being cut adrift at the foot of the table.

But who were the star performers this weekend? Here's The Week's pick of the experts' picks:

Goalkeeper:

Jack Butland (Stoke City)

The Stoke keeper kept yet another clean sheet in the goalless draw with West Ham and was the top scoring Fantasy Premier League keeper. He also made Harry Redknapp's team of the weekend in the Daily Telegraph.

Defence:

Allan Nyom, Nathan Ake (both Watford), Jonas Olsson (West Brom), Simon Francis (Bournemouth)

Watford are up to seventh in the Premier League after victory over Sunderland and the two of their back four make this week's team. Nyom was a popular choice after setting up the winner for Ighalo.

The Cameroon international "marauded up the flank and provided a pin-point cross to open the scoring, and was sturdy defensively all afternoon", says Goal.com. Ake, who is on loan from Chelsea, "had a fine game on the opposite flank too and is becoming a 'key cog' in Watford's wheel," says the ESPN panel.

Olsson was "at the heart of an impressive performance for the Baggies", who drew 2-2 with Liverpool, says Garth Crooks of the BBC. He had "Christian Benteke in his back pocket all afternoon and was a threat at the other end too, heading his side into the lead late on," says Goal.com.

Bournemouth centre-back Francis also gets the nod. He "performed excellently last weekend against Chelsea and the skipper was on top form once more" says website The Boot Room. "He made nine tackles during the game, often coming at crucial moments to either stop attacking thrusts at source or rescue the situation at the last minute."

Midfield:

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Yannick Bolasie, Yohan Cabaye (both Crystal Palace)

Arsenal's Welsh midfielder was the star of the weekend, and was the most popular  pick this week for the pundits, after an imperious performance against Villa.

"Arsenal fans have been patiently waiting for Aaron Ramsey to recapture his form from 2013-14, and the wait may be coming to an end as the Welshman now has two goals in two games," says website The Offside Rule.

Alongside Ramsey in a three-man midfield are Palace stars Bolasie and Cabaye, who combined to beat Southampton on Saturday. Bolasie "delved into his customary bag of tricks and had the Saints defence on ice", says Goal.com. "Provided a brilliant assist for the decisive goal."

That goal was scored by Cabaye, who makes Harry Redknapp's team in the Telegraph and also impressed the Boot Room. "His quality on the ball is unquestionable and while he had clearly been handed out some specific tactical instructions, Cabaye still broke forward when his presence would cause Southampton’s defenders some trouble," it observes.

Attack:

Odion Ighalo (Watford), Josh King (Bournemouth), Romelu Lukaku (Everton)

Watford's front man was a "menace throughout" against Sunderland, says Goal.com and he "continued his fine goalscoring form with an early strike at the Stadium of Light".

Bournemouth striker King got one over on Man United, who released him as a youngster, by scoring the winner in a famous victory. "From the opening minutes of the game King seemed determined to prove a point to the team that let him go - and he made a number of them," says Garth Crooks of the BBC. "His energy and commitment were a feature throughout the game and his goal was well deserved for his efforts."

The final berth goes to Everton hitman Lukaku, who scored yet again in the draw with Norwich. "Could Jamie Vardy's record of being the first Premier League player to score in 11 consecutive games be under threat already?" asks ESPN. "Lukaku looks in the mood to break it, scoring for his sixth successive Premier League match in Everton's 1-1 draw with Norwich."

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