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Team of the Week

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Mark Schwarzer

Steven Taylor 
Jamie Carragher  Michael Essien 
Paul Scholes Gary Speed
Aaron Lennon
Dimitar Berbatov
Matt Taylor
  Obafemi Martins     Kevin Davies
Rafa Benitez

Mark Schwarzer made a string of world class saves in Middlesbrough's match with Wigan to keep out Henri Camara, Josip Skonko and Paul Scharner and earn his side a share of the points.

Steven Taylor got amongst the Newcastle goals in their impressive away win at Blackburn. The defender scored his side's second and his contribution to this match helped extend Newcastle's recent good run.

The lesser spotted Jamie Carragher goal made it's first appearance for eight years on Saturday at Anfield as the big defender got on the end of Steven Gerrard's corner. Whilst moonlighting as a goalscorer he also gave his customary solid performance in the day job at the heart of Liverpool's defence.

Michael Essien is having a fantastic season for Chelsea and the big Ghanaian showed his versatility by slipping effortlessly to right-back in the second half of the match against Arsenal. It did not blunt his creative insticts though and he rose majestically to strike an astonishing equalising goal to rival that scored by.....

...Matthew Taylor, who is sure to be in Steve McClaren's thoughts if he keeps producing performances like this. He hit a brace of goals last week but the one he scored on Saturday was so good it was like TWO goals crushed together!!! He will never score a better one than the audacious dipping forty-five yard volley he belted over the despairing Tim Howard's head in Pompey's two nil win over Everton. If he does, I want to be there.

Paul Scholes' decision to cut short his international career was bad news for England but has unquestionably benefited Manchester United who are reaping some impressive rewards from their little midfield maestro this season. Scholes was hugely influential once more in the Manchester derby.

Gary Speed celebrated his 500th Premiership match by striding purposefully away with the man of the match award as Bolton took West Ham apart at the Reebok. Speed had a hand in three of Bolton's four goals and showed enough vim and vigour to suggest he's not finished just yet.

Aaron Lennon wasn't able to get on the scoresheet against a porous Charlton defence but his attacking abilities were on full display at White Hart Lane. Playing in a free role behind the strikers, he set up two goals and has emerged fully as one of the most exciting talents in the English game.

Obafemi Martins went some way to paying back a chunk of his sizeable transfer fee with a lovely pair of goals at Ewood Park. The brace made it three in two games for the Nigerian and Newcastle's fine recent run coincides nicely with his timely vein of form.

Kevin Davies scored twice as Bolton's stikers had a field day against a generous West Ham team. Davies showed the sort of predatory insticts which (amongst other things) their opponents on Saturday are so sorely lacking at the moment.

Dimitar Berbatov is enjoying a good first season in the Premiership and his goals are helping to slowly push Spurs up towards the European places once more. He hit two against Charlton and both were dispatched with the power and pace of a natural goalscorer.

Manager of the week is Rafael Benitez who picked a good time to engineer a four nil victory what with prospective new owners casting a judgemental eye over their game with Fulham. With no goals at half-time, Rafa's team talk must have been a good one as the goals were soon flowing. Even Jamie Carragher got one. Benitez has made Anfield a formidable place for opponents and their home record is the best in the land. It only it wasn't for those pesky away games.