Check out our latest Team of the Week and then let us know your top XI using the story comment facility at the bottom of the article.
TEAMtalk’s Top Men (3-4-3): Courtois, Jones, Alderweireld, Vlaar; Young, Arnautovic, Fellaini, Bolasie; Benteke, Murray, Aguero.
Another impressive display from the Belgian against QPR kept Chelsea in the game, single-handedly at times, before Cesc Fabregas popped up to steal a late winner. A bruising encounter for the Blues defenders saw the physicality of Bobby Zamora and Charlie Austin on top for long periods of the game, Courtois was the last line of defence but a host of top saves denied desperate Rangers.
Starting to find his feet under Louis van Gaal and now showing signs of living up to his early promise – as long as he remains at centre-back. The Manchester derby has usually been a source of nightmares for United’s defenders, but Sunday saw Jones at his very best. Handling Manchester City’s attacking threat exceptionally well – Sergio Aguero’s brace was more down to the clinical finishing of the Argentine rather than major defensive lapses – Jones was more than equal in dealing with the striker’s movement.
A key component to Southampton’s tight backline, Alderweireld maintained his very high standards with another Saints shut-out against Hull on Saturday. The on-loan defender has been consistent throughout the season with the likes of Sony Aluko and Dame N’Doye never really offered sniff for the Tigers. However, the Belgian’s performances have not gone unnoticed, with parent club Atletico Madrid seemingly impressed with Alderweireld and eager to take him back to the Vicente Calderon.
After a miserable return to the Villa defence against QPR last week, in which the Dutchman saw his side concede three goals, the skipper enjoyed a more fruitful day at White Hart Lane. Tim Sherwood’s return to his former club may have dominated proceedings, but it was Vlaar’s resolute performance under pressure from a Tottenham side still in the hunt for Champions League places that helped the Villans to a crucial 1-0 win.
Key to United’s impressive form and keeping Angel Di Maria out of the starting XI. A statement few would have ever dreamed of saying just a few months ago, but it’s a huge endorsement of how good the winger has been recently. The 29-year-old proved to be too much to handle for Man City with the majority of the Red Devil’s attacks coming down Young’s flank, cutting through Manuel Pellegrini’s side, with the former Watford ace capping off an excellent display with a well-taken goal.
Failed to nail down a spot for the Potters this season and forced to making substitute appearances, the Austrian’s goalscoring display put down a marker as he rescued a point for Stoke in their 1-1 draw against West Ham. The 25-year-old was a constant source of creativity for Mark Hughes’ men and almost had a hat-trick at Upton Park but was judged to have been offside twice after putting the ball in the net, however, he did strike when it mattered with an impressive injury-time equaliser.
One of David Moyes’ misfits and another who looked to be on his way to the football scrapheap, but Fellaini has been instrumental in United’s turnaround, and no more so was that apparent than against City. The Belgian was at his destructive best on Sunday and a constant source of pain for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, in particular Yaya Toure, who failed to deal with his opposite number. Fellaini’s movement and aerial prowess battered City into submission with his headed goal summing up United’s all-round dominance.
Regarded as a livewire lacking end product, everything seemed to click on Saturday for Bolasie, who has been a key performer for the Eagles since Alan Pardew took the reins at the club. With frustration generally outweighing glimpses of excellence, Sunderland possibly underestimated the DR Congo international as he ripped through the Black Cats. The 25-year-old’s pace and strength was far too much for the likes of Santiago Vergini and John O’Shea who cut terrified figures with Bolasie demolishing the pair on his way to an 11-minute hat-trick.
A dismal day for the blue half of Manchester but Aguero continued to show his lethal edge with two well-taken goals while feeding on scraps. While all around him failed to deal with the United runners, the Argentina ace was the only source of relief for City supporters, grabbing his 100th Manchester City goal in just 158 games. Typically clinical from whatever comes his way, Aguero finished off two of his side’s three shots on target.
Successive Team of the Week appearances shows a striker who is in red hot form. After an impressive performance against Man City last week, Murray followed up with another centre-forward masterclass against Sunderland, in which Bolasie was the main beneficiary. The 31-year-old led the line exceptionally, assisting twice for Bolasie and scoring a typical thumping header at the back post, taking the Cumbrian’s tally to six goals in six games.
Tim Sherwood pretty much pinned all his hopes on Benteke as the Villans bid to avoid relegation, but it looks like it’s paying off. Sherwood’s sprinkle of goal dust has helped the big forward rediscover his unstoppable form with eight goals in six games lifting Villa six clear from the relegation zone. The striker’s precise header was enough to secure the three points, while his general link up play gave a sense that he is back to his best.