Team of the Week – Defenders sparkle, Manchester City and Tottenham fire whilst Manchester United rely on Mata magic

By Benjamin Wills.

This week’s standout performers from the Manchester City team that beat West Brom and triumphant Swansea side that ended Villa’s three-match winning run, plus star men for United, Arsenal and Spurs.

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Goalkeeper: Kelvin Davis (Southampton)

Fraser Forster has been one of the Premier League’s top goalkeepers this season; so when he was stretched off with just 14 minutes played, everyone connected with Southampton would have been worried.

No need, however, as veteran keeper Kelvin Davis stepped up to the plate, making three key saves and keeping a clean sheet, as Southampton closed the points gap on fifth-placed Liverpool.

Right-Back: Seamus Coleman (Everton)

Coleman is renowned for his efforts in the opposition half almost as much as his work in his own, and Sunday was no exception.

An accurate side foot finish gave the travelling Toffees the lead at QPR’s Loftus Road, and then Coleman crossed for Romelu Lukaku, who restored Everton’s lead soon after Eduardo Vargas equalised for the hosts.

Centre-Back: Federico Fernandez (Swansea City)

As Aston Villa have gone from pathetic to potent in front of goal under Tim Sherwood, keeping a clean sheet against them has become more impressive by the week.

Even more so away from home, which is exactly what Swansea managed to do this weekend, with Fernandez the one keeping out the majority of the danger.

Centre-Back: Ashley Williams (Swansea City)

Like his centre-back counterpart, Williams was solid throughout Swansea’s impressive 1-0 away win over Aston Villa.

Villa’s 12 attempts at goal were thwarted by Swansea’s centre-back pairing, with only three of them being on target, as the Swans keep winning, despite having little to play for.

Left-Back: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton)

Davis will get the headlines for Southampton’s 14th clean sheet of the season, but defenders do their share too, and like so often this season, Bertrand impressed at the other end too.

Perhaps unfairly overlooked for the recent England squad – snubbed in favour of Kieran Gibbs, Leighton Baines, and now Danny Rose after Luke Shaw withdrew due to injury – Bertrand teed up Jason Shackell’s own goal at St.Mary’s that made it 2-0 to the home side and killed the contest.

Centre Midfield: David Silva (Manchester City)

In a game completely dominated by Manchester City from the first whistle to the last in their 3-0 win over West Brom, David Silva was standout in a perfect performance.

Silky Silva covered almost every blade of grass and dictated play; if Sergio Aguero and Frank Lampard wore their shooting boots, City would have scored a lot more than three.

Silva did get on the score sheet with an uncharacteristically untidy finish, deflecting in Stevan Jovetic’s shot, but that only put the cherry on an otherwise already superbly decorated cake.

Centre Midfield: Fernando (Manchester City)

Silva shone at Saturday lunchtime, but Fernando won the supporting actor role behind the leading man.

He bundled home City’s second goal after a defensive mix up by West Brom, but also contributed the assist for Wilfried Bony’s first strike for the club he signed for in January.

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Centre Attacking Midfield: Juan Mata (Manchester United)

Much of the talk pre-match was who would start – Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata? Louis van Gaal went for the latter, and to say it paid off would be an understatement.

The Spanish playmaker picked up the Man of the Match award for his finest display in a Manchester United shirt, scoring his side’s two goals for the rivalry bragging rights.

His first, a cultured finish with his weaker foot after Martin Skrtel played him onside, but his second was out of this world, linking up wonderfully with Di Maria before executing the finest of overhead kicks from a fairly tight angle too.

Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

Kane’s long-awaited England call came this week, and he showed why with his first Premier League hat-trick on Saturday.

It was not the prettiest, perhaps, but a tap-in, a deflection and a penalty took him to the top of the league’s scoring charts ahead of Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa, and, more importantly, helped Tottenham to a vital three points over Leicester.

Striker: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

Goals number 10 and 11 for Giroud kept Arsenal’s dreams of finishing second alive with a 2-1 win against Newcastle at St.James’ Park.

Both were the epitome of the Frenchman, who seems to pop up at just the right time, with Giroud opening the scoring via his knee and then adding his second with his head from a corner four minutes later.

Giroud now has more goals in 2015 than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Striker: Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Leaders Chelsea have made a stuttering start to 2015, and Costa is no exception; the striker who was red hot as soon as he arrived from Atletico had blown cold since the turn of the year.

Chelsea looked to have the points wrapped up inside 10 minutes, but despite a Hull comeback, Costa did enough to impress, knocking the ball on to Eden Hazard for the opener and then scored the second himself, curling in from a tight angle.

Loic Remy sealed the victory late on for the Blues.

Who would be in your team of the week?

Read more from Benjamin Wills here.

Follow @BenjaminWillsSJ

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