It’s been another unpredictable weekend of fixtures in the Barclay’s Premiership with QPR upsetting Arsenal and Wigan winning again, piling the pressure onto Blackburn who face a difficult game against league leaders Manchester United. But which players stood out this weekend?
Adam Bogdan (Bolton) – Wolves dominated the first half of their clash with Bolton and if wasn’t for a fantastic display of shot stopping the game may have already been over by half time. Instead Bolton stole a victory in the second half as Bogdan continued to produce the performances which are reducing the experienced Jussi Jaaskelainen to nothing more than an interested spectator.
Tony Hibbert (Everton) – A typically unglamorous and solid defensive performance sees Hibbert make what I’m sure will be a rare appearance in the weekend’s dream team. The midfield was packed by both Everton and WBA in their game creating space for the full backs, which Hibbert managed to exploit. He also passed the ball from a wide position to Osman for the shot which produced the opening goal.
Antolin Alcaraz (Wigan) – Alcaraz so far this season has been more likely to be found in the league’s worst XI of the season rather than the best but he finally came good in his sides win over Stoke. He produced an assured performance at the back as Stoke’s chances were kept to a minimum and also produced the opening goal to settle any Wigan nerves.
Brede Hangeland (Fulham) – As always the big man was solid, composed and reliable as his Fulham side edged a close game with Norwich. A typically booming clearance from Hangeland to Ruiz finished in Dempsey’s opener, and the centre back’s ability to turn defence into attack swiftly is one of the features of his play that has seen him linked with a host of top clubs in the past.
Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) – Always a threat in the opposing box and this was once again proved with 2 goals against Villa. His usual commitment in the defensive third laid the platform for Chelsea to avoid any slip-ups against a young and enthusiastic Villa side.
Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) – Two fine finishes from the former Gunner looked like leading Sunderland to three points against title chasing City before a late show of character from Mancini’s men. However that must not detract from a fine display from the Swedish international who was a threat all afternoon.
Scott Parker (Tottenham) – Tottenham conveyed the master plan of how to stop Swansea on Sunday with an incredible display of pressing and closing down their opposition. As you would expect Parker set the tone for this and ran tirelessly throughout.
Adel Taarabt (QPR) – In the game that saw QPR upset the Premeirship’s form side Taarabt finally threatened to show the ability that saw him light up the championship last season. He produced a goal to match his potential and if he continues with such skillful performances he may just keep his side in the division.
Gareth Bale (Tottenham) – Bale used his pace to at times destroy the Swans, not even doubling up defensively on the Welshman was enough to stop him. He also ran powerfully through tackles and into the box on several occasions and produced a display rem instant of his showing in the San Siro last campaign.
Papiss Cisse (Newcastle) – Alan Pardew has unearthed yet another gem here, shown by 4 goals in his last 4 games. The Senegalese striker produced two fine finishes here, and contrasted against the display of Andy Carroll it looks shrewder business with every passing week.
Bobby Zamora (QPR) – Arsenal could simply not cope with the former Fulham front man in the air. He posed a threat all afternoon against a previously in-form centre back pairing and a few more displays like this could see him make a late push for inclusion in England’s squad for Euro 2012.
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