Team of the Week
Age shows no sign of catching up with Aston Villa veteran Brad Friedel, just shy of the veteran goalkeeper's 40th birthday on Wednesday. After Villa's early two-goal blitz at Arsenal, they were firmly on the back foot but the stopper from the States was calmness personified, commanding his area well as cross after cross came into the box, and saving smartly from Robin Van Persie and Kieran Gibbs.
Kicking off our no-nonsense back four is Brede Hangeland. The defender was predictably solid at the back, given Birmingham's paucity of striking options, but he was far more important at the other end, showing Fulham's wasteful strikers how to find the net. After the likes of Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey and Bobby Zamora had all squandered glorious chances, Hangeland was clinical, nodding home a corner for number one before volleying home impressively for number two.
Steven Taylor has grabbed his chance to cement a first team place at Newcastle after Mike Williamson's season was curtailed through injury. The 25-year-old can also boast an impressive scoring record after his late equaliser for Newcastle made it two goals in two games. He defended stoutly all afternoon, shackling Torres, Anelka and Drogba, and wriggled off his marker like a particularly slippery eel to nod home from close range in the 92nd minute to earn his side a point.
As Sunderland fans know full well, Jody Craddock is not a footballer lacking spirit. The defender has typified the grit and determination needed if Wolves are to beat the drop and after finding the net four times last season, he finally broke his scoring duck this term when his club needed it most. His expert volley put them in front at the Stadium of Light, and laid the foundations for a much needed victory.
You wouldn't have guessed Ledley King was making his first Tottenham appearance for two months at Anfield on Sunday, judging by a performance that oozed class. Plagued with a persistent knee injury that prevents him training, King slotted right back into the hustle and bustle of the Premier League without a hitch, playing a key part in a result that puts European football firmly back on the agenda for his team.
If Wigan do stay up Charles N'Zogbia might well be afforded the freedom of the town after his two goals against West Ham kept the Latics' Premier League dream alive for another week at least. Temperamental he may be, but his talent is not in question, nor his eye for goal. A thunderous free-kick began Wigan's fight back from 2-0 down and though his winner owed much to Rob Green's error, it was fitting N'Zogbia was the man to boost Wigan's survival hopes.
Just like he has been for most of the season Yaya Toure was the driving force behind Manchester City's FA Cup triumph, helping to end their 35-year trophy drought. It's clear why the club saw fit to make him one of the country's best paid players when coaxing him to England from Barcelona. Toure ran the show against Stoke, rifling home City's winner and linking play with all the intelligence that comes with his tiki-taka training.
After a blemish at Wolves last week, West Brom were back to winning ways against Everton and Youssuf Mulumbu was back to his outstanding best in the heart of their midfield. The 24-year-old has been revitalised under Roy Hodgson, coupling a quality range of passing with intelligent positioning at both ends of the field. He notched the winner too, his seventh goal of the season, after slotting home Peter Odemwingie's cross.
Blackpool's seven-goal thriller against Bolton ranks as one of the games of the season and one glorious swipe of Charlie Adam's left foot was all it took to tip the tumultuous tie in the Tangerines favour. The skipper had already teed up a goal for DJ Campbell, and created numerous chances with his expert set-piece delivery, but it was his supreme finish from Gary Taylor-Fletcher's cut back that proved the game's decisive blow.
If Adam has been Blackpool's heartbeat, DJ Campbell has been their chief goal poacher. The striker moved to 13 for the season with his double over the Trotters, first crunching home a volley after Taylor-Fletcher's header, and secondly ghosting into the area to tuck home Adam's pinpoint cross. With Campbell in their ranks at Old Trafford, Blackpool will believe they can get a result.
Rounding off our regimented 4-4-2 formation is Aston Villa striker Darren Bent, who matched Campbell's feat by scoring twice against Arsenal. More than a few eyebrows were raised when Villa splashed out £18 million for him in January but goals pay the bills and Bent's tab is most definitely clear. Both his finishes at the Emirates were deadly, as he first chested down Kyle Walker's pass before swivelling and volleying home, then timed his run expertly to slot Ashley Young's pass into the net.
The clubs from Manchester may have secured honours this weekend, but we have shunned silverware to crown Roberto Martinez manager of the week. Staring down the barrel of relegation after trailing 2-0 to West Ham at half time, Martinez's introduction of Conor Sammon and Victor Moses proved inspired, as he changed tactics to essentially deploy a front four to rescue the game. That they did, thanks to two strikes from Charles N'Zogbia and a first ever Premier League goal from Sammon. Usually a cool cucumber on the touchline, Martinez exploded when N'Zogbia late winner hit the net, and salvation is now a real possibility.