Premier League Team of the Week
How fitting one of David Moyes' most important signings for Everton played a major role in repelling a second half onslaught from Tottenham at Goodison Park on Saturday. Tim Howard was in sound form as Tottenham peppered his goal with 24 shots, Howard twice saving smartly from Jermain Defoe to ensure Harry Redknapp's side went the same way as the two visitors before them, Chelsea and Manchester City, on the eve of Moyes' tenth anniversary at the club.
Gary Cahill has endured a curious start to his Chelsea career - signing for a manager who refused to play him, and who then presided over a miserable run of form and was eventually sacked. But under Roberto Di Matteo, Cahill has started both games and led Chelsea to consecutive clean sheets. Sturdy at the back when faced with the aerial threat of Stoke, he was also potent at the other end, hitting the bar with a header and forcing Asmir Begovic into a smart save from a fierce long-range drive.
In Harry Redknapp's own words, Tottenham "battered" Everton in the second half at Goodison Park on Saturday evening, but Howard's fine display was backed up by an inspired Sylvain Distin. From the moment he cut short Gareth Bale's first foray forward early in the game he was faultless, displaying the fortitude and determination that has been a key ingredient of David Moyes' ten years at the club. Late on, he even blocked one goalbound Louis Saha shot with his face.
Tim Ream has been parachuted into a desperate fight for Premier League survival but the big USA international hasn't looked out of place. In a game that was dominated by the goal that wasn't, Ream provided one for Darren Pratley at the other end with a pinpoint cross and took part in some heroic last-gasp defending in front of his own net.
These are troubled times for Wolves. Blackburn's victory was Wanderers fifth straight home defeat, and chief architect in their downfall was Junior Hoilett. The flying winger exploited the almost criminal uncertainty amongst Wolves' flock to grab a goal in each half and provide a welcome boost to Blackburn's own survival prospects. His first was a smart volley after he pounced on a loose ball in the box and his second was a powerful low shot after a mazy run.
Kudos to Di Matteo - he quickly realised after 40 minutes against Stoke that more invention was needed to unlock the Potters' defence, and accordingly, Juan Mata was introduced. It proved an astute switch as Mata picked out the pivotal pass in the second half to allow Didier Drogba to grab the winner, and his 100th Premier League goal.
Had Nathan Dyer not seen red at Wigan last week, Wayne Routledge would most likely have been warming the bench against Manchester City, but the much-travelled winger made the most of a rare start to inflict severe damage on Roberto Mancini's title aspirations. Swansea should have edged ahead when Routledge drew Joe Hart into a clumsy tackle and won a penalty but Scott Sinclair spurned the chance. Routledge wouldn't be denied though, crossing for Luke Moore to grab a late winner.
Ryo Miyaichi will have to fight over a spot on the flanks with Routledge and Hoilett, after he offered more evidence that he will prove a Premier League force in years to come. The on-loan Arsenal midfielder has sparkled since nailing down a regular starting spot at Bolton, under the tutelage of Owen Coyle. A constant threat to QPR all afternoon, his turn and pass laid on a vital winning goal for Ivan Klasnic late in the game.
A plethora of attacking options are on offer to this week's TOTW gaffer with Wigan's Victor Moses making up our dynamic midfield five. Consistently Wigan's most creative player, Moses latched onto Shaun Maloney's through ball with 20 minutes to go to round John Ruddy and fire into an empty net. The equaliser was just reward for a spirited second half display from the Latics, in which Moses was predictably prominent.
When asked what he would bring to Everton upon signing from Rangers, Nikica Jelavic replied "goals, goals, goals", and he lived up to his word in his first home start with a quite stunning strike. Busy at all times, and clearly desperate to make an impression, Jelavic scored the game's only goal with a technically brilliant finish from Leon Osman's pull back - one worthy of settling any game.
With four goals in four days it seems Wayne Rooney's fine scoring run is set to continue. After a tap in and a penalty against Bilbao on Thursday, Rooney repeated the feat as West Brom were sent packing at Old Trafford. The striker got a decisive touch on Javier Hernandez's shot to notch the opener, then slammed a penalty into the bottom corner after Ashley Young had been fouled. A timely return to goalscoring form.
A large TOTW nod to David Moyes who celebrated his decade at Everton with a 1-0 win over Spurs but Swansea's victory over Manchester City convinced us to shun sentimentality and hand the gong to Brendan Rogers. Winning plaudits for playing neat football is all very well but it is victories that count, and the Swans' success over City surely counts as their greatest Premier League triumph to date. You'll find few neutrals disappointed that they look all but certain to be around next season.