By Benjamin Wills.
This week’s standout performers from the Crystal Palace side that took Sunderland apart and the Southampton team that kept Hull out, plus star men from Aston Villa, West Ham, and both sides of Manchester.
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Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Tim Sherwood got his much-craved win at former club Tottenham Hotspur, and while the revived Christian Benteke nabbed the headlines, Guzan is the man to thank.
Aston Villa’s all-action American kept the first clean sheet at White Hart Lane since Manchester United’s David de Gea in December, as Sherwood’s side opened up some ground away from the bottom three.
Right-back: Toby Alderweireld (Southampton)
The Saints go marching on. Southampton’s Europa League resurgence continued with a 2-0 win over a Hull side struggling at the other end of the table.
Alderweireld was a rock as the Tigers roared; Hull had 15 shots, but only four of them were on target with the away side kept caged throughout.
Centre-back: Maya Yoshida (Southampton)
Like the aforementioned Alderweireld, Yoshida did the business at the back at St Mary’s.
With his Belgian partner, Yoshida ensured Southampton maintained a clean sheet as they shot to fifth in the league.
Left-back: Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United)
Cresswell’s call for a place in future England squads continues, as the West Ham left-back put in another astute display in the 1-1 home draw with Stoke.
He curled in a free-kick to put the Hammers ahead and was decent defensively, too. Cresswell was unfortunate to concede a last-gasp goal from Marko Arnautovic in second-half stoppage time.
Right midfielder: Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace)
Without a doubt, the star of the weekend’s football. Four goals for Crystal Palace in the 4-1 win at Sunderland – Bolasie scored three of them and assisted the other.
He bulldozed Sunderland with an 11-minute hat-trick from minute 51 to 62 after initially teeing up Glenn Murray’s opener. Bolasie added goals two, three and four with a poked finish, a dink over Costel Pantilimon, and a rebounded effort after being initially denied.
Centre midfielder: Joey Barton (QPR)
A dogged QPR ultimately came up short in Sunday’s West London derby defeat against Chelsea, but despite that, Joey Barton was the standout performer at Loftus Road.
He was resolute throughout: limiting would-be champions Chelsea to only a smattering of chances, as well as often being the link before Charlie Austin fired shots on Thibaut Courtois’ goal.
Centre Midfielder: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
In-form Arsenal were not at their fluid best at Turf Moor on Saturday, although Ramsey stretched their winning run to eight with a tidy finish.
His goal separated the sides in Lancashire, and he dictated play throughout to keep the Gunners on course for second place.
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Left Midfielder: Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Having resurrected his Manchester United career at left-back throughout this campaign, it was time for Young to perform in his natural left wing position.
That he did, diving on to a loose ball to make it 1-1 at Old Trafford as well as whipping in two superb crosses. Firstly, to set up Marouane Fellaini’s header for 2-1 and then Chris Smalling’s goal for 4-1 to end the derby as a contest.
Striker: Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City)
It was so nearly an afternoon to forget for Arnautovic, but the Austrian personified ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’.
Stoke’s striker had two goals disallowed before eventually having one rightfully awarded in the 90th minute to snatch a point from Sam Allardyce’s West Ham with the seconds ticking away.
Striker: Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace)
Bolasie stole the show at Sunderland with his hat-trick, but Murray also shone at the Stadium of Light.
He tapped in to break the deadlock, and assisted two of Bolasie’s quick-fire three to keep the Eagles soaring up the table.
Striker: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Manchester City’s blue moon was taken out of orbit by Manchester United’s rising sun in Sunday’s derby, with only Aguero providing any sort of joy for the Citizens.
The Argentine opened and closed the scoring at Old Trafford on what was a miserable evening for the blue half of Manchester – but as long as they have Aguero, they have something to keep their spirits up.
Who would be in your team of the week?
Read more from Benjamin Wills here.