- Team of the Week
Wilshere and Mata walk into Team of the Week
Chelsea may have suffered their first defeat of the season as they were beaten by Manchester United, but that did not stop Juan Mata making it into our Team of the Week - again. Arsenal duo Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere both made an impact after returning from long-term injuries as the Gunners squeaked past QPR.
Amid talk of feeling homesick and a move to Real Madrid, David De Gea managed to put in a world-class performance against Chelsea to remind everyone just why Manchester United paid such a vast sum for his talents. He pulled off a string of top saves helping his side to a very important three points. And to think, he will have to rotate with Anders Lindergaard when the Denmark international returns from injury.
Carl Jenkinson has been one of the revelations of Arsenal's stuttering season, performing so well that England have made a move to ensure he chooses to represent them rather than Finland. It says a lot about Bacary Sagna, then, that someone who has been out since last season can walk straight back into the team when fit, at Jenkinson's expense. After several months out it looked like he had never been away.
Should Roy Hodgson ever decide that someone who slags his bosses off on Twitter is not deemed worthy of a place in his England team, he can rest safe in the knowledge that he has Leighton Baines to call on. Baines showed again what a dependable left-back he is, getting forward at every opportunity while also proving a real danger from set pieces while he was incredibly unfortunate to send the ball into his own net. Liverpool failed to grasp the concept that if they bring someone down in their own half then the Everton man will deliver a ball that is very hard to deal with.
Norwich haven't exactly had the best of defences this season, conceding 12 away from home already. But in the last two games the Canaries have picked up four points and conceded just one goal. They owe a huge part of that debt to Michael Turner. Since arriving at the club in the summer he hasn't hit top form but he followed up last week's inspirational performance against the Gunners with a solid display against Aston Villa, and an equalising goal to boot.
Sir Alex Ferguson apparently got a telling off from an 80-year-old grandma about his recent experimentation with the 'diamond' system. His reaction: to revert to a classic 4-4-2 formation against Chelsea, inducing width with two wingers. One of those men was Antonio Valencia who produced another great display, causing Ashley Cole problems all game. He got an assist for his hard work and could/should have been on the scoresheet himself.
While Jack Wilshere only completed 60-odd minutes and his Arsenal side ultimately relied, not on him, but on a reckless Stephane Mbia and a dodgy decision from the linesman for a much-needed three points, the midfielder still deserves the plaudits. A first Gunners start for a whopping 17 months and a performance that hinted at the Wilshere of old returning back to his best was good enough to please Arsenal and England fans alike.
Juan Mata was at his brilliant best once again for Chelsea in their defeat to Manchester United. Not only did he hit his seventh goal in seven games for his club with a beautiful free-kick, he was also at the heart of everything the Blues created. Deserved to be the match winner but was sadly substituted after Chelsea's match was turned upside down by two red cards.
Not a bad week for Gareth Bale. The Welshman became a father for the first time, is now at the top of Jose Mourinho's Christmas (January) wish list and returned back to his old stomping ground St Mary's, scoring against his former side to inspire Tottenham to victory. It probably wouldn't be wise for Spurs to sell him. But then they don't need me to tell them that.
Luis Suarez was accused of being a 'diver' by David Moyes ahead of this weekend's Merseyside derby. What better way to hit back at him than to 'dive' right in front of the Toffees' boss as part of his celebration, after forcing Leighton Baines to convert into his own net. The Uruguayan soon followed this up with a goal of his own and should have won the game for his side, but for a last-minute strike to be ruled out, wrongly, for offside.
After the dreadful night Manchester City had in the Champions League on Wednesday it was vital for morale that they both got a result in their next match, and put in a decent performance. While they failed to produce the latter against Swansea, they managed to get the former with a 1-0 win, putting their European failings to the backs of their minds, for now. They can thank Carlos Tevez for that, with his fine goal proving to be the difference, not to mention forcing Michel Vorm off with injury. The only City player on the pitch striving to conjure up a piece of magic.
If not for a superb comeback from a spirited Reading side, Dimitar Berbatov would have won the game for Fulham with his 88th minute strike. He also would have been the hero of the match that he deserved to be after turning in another seamless performance for his club. All this while playing with a suspected broken rib and needing an injection at half-time. Class.
His side were rather lucky when it came to decisions going their way against Chelsea but Sir Alex Ferguson did what Sir Alex Ferguson does best: manage to walk away with all three points from the games that matter. And they could prove to be a very important three points come May. At least Ferguson won't be moaning again about the big decisions at Stamford Bridge never going United's way.