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TEAMtalk’s Top Men (4-1-2-1-2): Myhill, Zabaleta, Terry, Morgan, Azpilicueta, Matic, Delph, Grealish, Hazard, Benteke, Kane.
Continuing to deputise for the injured Ben Foster, Myhill produced an excellent performance which was key to West Brom’s important 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Baggies keeper enjoyed a fine afternoon pulling off a number of impressive saves to keep an in-form Palace attack at bay while hanging on for an important clean sheet.
Few Manchester City players have come out of this season in much glory, and although the Argentine has been down on his usually impeccable standards, Zabaleta returned to form after a disastrous individual performance in the Manchester derby. Sunday’s 2-0 win over West Ham, although could have been a stroll, required the 30-year-old to produce a solid defensive display.
Leicester’s heroic captain could be vital to the Foxes if they are to pull off survival and remain in the Premier League. However, three successive wins have put Nigel Pearson’s men within touching distance of Hull in 17th. Morgan was imperious in defence and held everyone together in the victory while assisting for Leonardo Ulloa’s opener.
Terry has a knack of standing up in the big games and Saturday was no different for the 34-year-old. The Blues skipper was at his commanding best against United and in particular Radamel Falcao. Terry’s dominance over the Colombian was typified with his slide tackle on the halfway line that set up Chelsea’s winner.
After picking up only 30 per cent possession in their match against Manchester United, those at the heart of the rearguard action were always likely to be singled out for praise. Chelsea’s left-back showed just how crucial he has become since he joined the club in 2012, producing a fantastic defensive performance against a confident United.
A solid performer throughout the season, Matic stepped up to the mark in another gritty Chelsea win. United’s inability to break down the Blues defence was, in part, due to the big Serbian who looked back to his early season best alongside the equally impressive Kurt Zouma.
Despite the risk of adding to Tim Sherwood’s increasing ego, the former Spurs boss has given another youngster the chance to impress and 19-year-old Grealish has taken his opportunity. Unmoved by the occasion, the Villa midfielder appeared to relish the stage, producing a classy and mature performance which caused Liverpool plenty of headaches.
With the semi-final result heralding the departure of one captain, Delph’s display announced the arrival of another. The performance of the Bradford-born midfielder dragged Villa into May’s final after he ran Liverpool ragged and scored the winning goal.
The Belgian produced the key piece of artistry to accompany Chelsea’s overriding industry against United, as Hazard produced a moment of magic to move Jose Mourinho’s men to within touching distance of the title. As well as grabbing the winner the 24-year-old was the main threat to United and a source of reprieve as the Blues spent most of the game on the back foot.
Benteke has rediscovered his goalscoring touch at the perfect time, and after steering Villa away from the immediate relegation threat, the forward was key to the team’s win at Wembley. Leading the line with his devastating power and movement, the Reds backline had a torrid time marking the Belgian whose goal changed the momentum of the tie.
Claiming his 30th goal of the season in all competitions, Kane returned to the scoresheet after a two-match drought with the third in Tottenham’s 3-1 win at Newcastle. Becoming the first Spurs player to reach the 30-up club since Gary Lineker in 1992, the 21-year-old has joined some special names in reaching the achievement.