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Oct 4, 2009

Team of the Week

Called upon due to Petr Cech's suspension, Hilario did not have too much work to do against Liverpool but everything he did, he did with calm and poise. Dominant in dealing with crosses, the Portuguese 'keeper also produced a fine late save to deny Steven Gerrard in the dying minutes.

Gerrard also enjoyed a frustrating afternoon when facing England team-mate John Terry. The Chelsea defender helped his side keep a clean sheet as Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0 and produced one particularly stunning block to prevent the Liverpool captain from scoring in the second half at Stamford Bridge.

We could hardly ignore Portsmouth after they secured their first win of the season and Marc Wilson had a solid game in defence. His highlight, though, was a cheeky handball that somehow escaped the notice of the referee and had Wolves manager Mick McCarthy fuming. This result ensured that Paul Hart was a certainty to be named our manager of the week.

Stoke secured a 1-1 draw at Everton on Sunday afternoon and Robert Huth was in commanding form. The German scored his team's goal with a fine header and looks good value for the £5 million Tony Pulis paid for him in the summer.

Pushed into an unfamiliar role as Burnley's midfield enforcer in a 2-1 win over Birmingham, Andre Bikey gave a passable impression of Michael Essien as he ran the show for the Clarets. Bikey even scored a lovely goal following a one-two with David Nugent, not bad for a defender.

Arsenal were rampant when hammering Blackburn Rovers 6-2 on Sunday afternoon and while the Gunners boasted six different goalscorers, one man stood head and shoulders above his team-mates. Cesc Fabregas plundered four assists with a string of cute passes, scored a nice goal and hit the bar in an influential display. His predecessor as captain, Thierry Henry, must have been impressed from his vantage point in the stands at the Emirates.

Another Pompey player to impress in the 1-0 win over Wolves was Kevin-Prince Boateng. A peripheral figure at Tottenham, the midfielder has caught the eye under Paul Hart and supplied the assist for Hassan Yebda's goal with a brilliant cross.

An unfamiliar face to most Premier League fans, Lee Chung-yong made his first start for Bolton in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham and certainly caught the eye. It was his shot that was parried for Ricardo Gardner to score the opening goal and Lee also played a key role in Bolton's second, producing a neat back-heel for Tamir Cohen who crossed for Kevin Davies to score.

Some viewed Sunday's clash between Chelsea and Liverpool as a head-to-head battle between Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres. If it was, then it was a clash that the Ivorian won with ease. Although he showed the more infuriating side of his game at times, Drogba was a constant threat at Stamford Bridge and provided excellent assists for both Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda in a 2-0 win for his side.

Sunderland secured a surprise 2-2 draw at Old Trafford and would have beaten Manchester United but for a late own goal from Anton Ferdinand. Darren Bent opened the scoring for Steve Bruce's side with a well-taken finish - his seventh goal in eight Premier League games for the club.

Hull defeated Wigan 2-1 at home to relieve some of the pressure on Phil Brown and the manager would have been particularly pleased with a first goal for new signing Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink as he claimed a typical poacher's header and was a threat throughout.

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