In Depth

Alli, Eriksen, Lingard and Lukaku star in team of the week

Spurs duo joined by United, Everton and Leicester stars plus West Brom defender Craig Dawson who sank Arsenal

Chelsea's procession to the Premier League title continued with a routine victory over Stoke on Saturday, but things are hotting up below them in the table.

Arsenal's nightmare season showed no sign of improvement when they lost for the fourth time in five league games against West Brom. The Gunners are now in danger of slipping out of the top six, let alone top four, after they were overtaken by Manchester United, who beat Middlesbrough on Sunday, and are level on points with seventh-placed Everton, who beat Hull.

Spurs are still Chelsea's closest challengers after beating Southampton on Sunday but they are ten points behind the league leaders. Below them Man City and Liverpool fought out an entertaining 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon, which did little good for either side.

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

Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)

Leicester beat West Ham largely thanks to "two of the best saves you will see from Kasper Schmeichel", says Garth Crooks of the BBC. They were "reminiscent of his father Peter Schmeichel at his best", he says. "The save from Andy Carroll's header was immense and the shot stop from the same player was even better."

Defence: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Craig Dawson (West Brom), John Stones (Manchester City), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace)

"If you ignore Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Valencia has arguably been United's player of the season, and probably the best right-back in the league," says The Independent. "Against Middlesbrough, he was deployed a bit further forward and thrived. His willingness to chase down Victor Valdes in the 90th minute was rewarded with a deserved goal."

With two goals against Arsenal, Craig Dawson was the highest scoring Fantasy Premier League player this week. He's a unanimous choice "as he helped Tony Pulis execute West Brom's game plan to perfection", says Jason Burt of the Daily Telegraph.

City defender Stones was "was on top of his game" against Liverpool, says Crooks of the BBC. "As the game unfolded, and the skiddy conditions became a nightmare for defenders, Stones seemed to become more assured... [he] is growing into an excellent central defender."

Palace defender Sakho was on excellent form again as his side moved clear of the relegation zone with victory against Watford. Jamie Redknapp of the Daily Star is among those impressed with his contribution.

Midfield: Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen (both Spurs), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

United academy graduate Lingard was handed just his second top-flight start of 2017 against Boro and helped prove that "United's squad is the strongest in the league with a fine attacking display", says the Daily Mirror. "Lingard took centre stage and capped his performance with a superb long-range effort."

Alli was on target yet again as Spurs beat Southampton. The youngster "is well on the way to succeeding Frank Lampard as the Premier League's ultimate midfield goalscorer", says the Independent. He is joined by team-mate Eriksen who also scored against Saints. "It's not so much the goal," says Gab Marcotti of ESPN. "It's the way he scurries and finds space where there is none, making his quality count."

Mahrez was on target for the Foxes against West Ham. The Algerian "let his standards slip horrifically following Leicester's surprise title success but, like the majority of his teammates, he's miraculously upped his level since Claudio Ranieri was sacked," says the Mirror.

Attack: Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Benik Afobe (Bournemouth)

"Lukaku endeared himself further to Everton's fans with a brace against Hull but at the same time proved why he's not going to be signing a new contract at Goodison Park," says the Mirror. The striker needs to be playing in the Champions League, says the paper.

Afobe is Lukaku's strike partner this week with a fine performance against Swansea. "Josh King laid down the gauntlet last weekend with a hat trick against West Ham, and fellow Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe responded to that challenge with a goal and a shot that led to another, as Eddie Howe's side moved to within touching distance of safety," says ESPN.

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