Team of the Week
Plenty of candidates to be our custodian this weekend but after facing 29 shots on his goal at Old Trafford we've plumped for Newcastle's number 27 Tim Krul. The Dutchman has been mentored by Edwin van der Sar, and that proved costly for Manchester United as he repelled a string of efforts, most notably from a Ryan Giggs flick and a point-blank Nemanja Vidic header.
That Krul saw the ball cross his line only once was thanks to a heroic rearguard effort from his four defensive colleagues. Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini played a full part but Danny Simpson was tireless on his return to his former club, miraculously clearing Javier Hernandez's header from the goalline with Krul beaten.
Another man making a return to his former club this weekend was Philippe Senderos. Alongside Brede Hangeland, he ensured that the Premier League's man of the moment, Robin van Persie, was limited to only a handful of opportunities to add to his impressive goal tally in 2011. Quick to deny the striker any space, and resolute in the air, Senderos proved he has the characteristics to cut it in the top flight.
Completing our back three is a man who has shown an instinct for goal in his fledgling Premier League career, Russell Martin. In the battle to beat the drop, games against the other promoted sides are key, and Martin added to his strike against Swansea with another in the defeat of QPR, firing a loose ball into the net from a corner.
Juan Mata was the first name on our team sheet after he ensured Chelsea got back to winning ways against Wolves at Stamford Bridge. The Spaniard bossed proceedings from start to finish, effectively settling the game inside 45 minutes. First he laid on the opener for John Terry with a corner, before teeing Daniel Sturridge up for the second. And he got his name on the scoresheet with a majestic finish from Ashley Cole's fierce cross.
He once was a much maligned figure at Anfield, now Lucas is one of the first names on Kenny Dalglish's team sheet and his display against Manchester City proved why. The Brazilian was the shield in front of Liverpool's back four, disrupting City's wealth of midfield talent and releasing his side's offensive players into space wherever possible.
There's no better way to celebrate nailing your colours to the mast than with a goal, and Marouane Fellaini's opener for Everton at beleaguered Bolton will have felt even sweeter in the wake of his new five-year deal. Apart from diverting Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's cross into the net, the Belgian was the cornerstone in midfield as the Toffees bossed the ten-man Trotters.
It is no surprise the clash between Swansea and Aston Villa was a subdued affair as news of Gary Speed's tragic death filtered through an hour before kickoff. On what was a difficult afternoon for all concerned and especially Shay Given, who was a close friend of the Wales manager, Gabriel Agbonlahor emerged with the man-of-the-match award. Agbonlahor drew two smart saves from Michael Vorm and was the game's most enterprising player.
James McArthur is the first of a pair of super-subs that muscle their way into our Team of the Week by virtue of their decisive contributions from the bench. After surviving an onslaught in the first half at Sunderland, Wigan proved far more solid in the second and grabbed their first away win of the season deep into stoppage time as McArthur pounced on an errant touch from Wes Brown to rob the ball and square the perfect pass for Franco Di Santo to tap into an empty net.
If Russell Martin laid the foundations for Norwich's win over Queens Park Rangers, it was the Canaries' super-sub Grant Holt who delivered the vital blow. The Norfolk hero found the net from the bench for the third time in his last five games as he turned home Wes Hoolahan's cross to seal a vital three points against fellow Premier League new-boys QPR.
After a mini drought Emmanuel Adebayor is back on the goals trail, adding another brace at West Brom to the two goals he notched in the win over Aston Villa last week. The Togo striker's partnership with Jermain Defoe gelled instantly, as both threatened the Baggies' net with increasingly regularity. After missing a first half penalty, Adebayor tucked home the rebound, set Defoe away for Spurs' second with a neat flick, then settled the game with a coolly taken third.
At no stage in the opening half at the Stadium of Light did it look like Wigan's afternoon would be a cause for anything other than another morale-sapping beating. But after riding their luck in the first 45 minutes the Latics proved far more durable in the second, underlining the spirit and resolve Roberto Martinez has managed to foster in a squad that pretty much everyone thinks is nailed on to go down. Wigan's stoppage time win was their first on the road all season and dragged them off the bottom of the table, and for that, the Spaniard is our gaffer of the week.