Well, after another international break we were certainly reminded why we were all eager to see the Premier League return.

There was significant results at both ends of the table as the relegation picture became that little bit clearer for Middlesbrough and Sunderland, whilst Hull drew the likes of West Ham and Burnley into the mix.

Meanwhile, at the top, Liverpool strengthened their top four chances in the Merseyside Derby, Manchester United lost ground and, perhaps most significantly, Crystal Palace opened the door slightly for Tottenham in the title race as they beat Chelsea 2-1.

Small wonder, then, that there’s four Eagles players in our Team of the Week as well as these other seven…

GK: Wayne Hennessey

There was a point this season where it looked like Hennessey would be on the periphery thanks to Steve Mandanda’s arrival. With the Frenchman struggling with injuries, though, the Welshman has been in the side and this was arguably his best performance of the season. Chelsea hammered on the door but the towering ‘keeper held firm.

CB: Mamadou Sakho

What an absolute machine this guy is on his day. Liverpool must be kicking themselves for letting him go out on loan whilst Crystal Palace must be thanking their lucky stars. The Frenchman was dominant at the back again and, despite looking like Bambi on ice at times, he really does get the job done.

CB: Eric Dier

Dier has been hugely criticised this season – largely because of his performances at centre-half – but against Burnley he was much better. Indeed, he helped keep things tight at the back for Spurs against a team notoriously good at home whilst he also grabbed the opener at the other end. This will surely boost his confidence.

CB: Andrew Robertson

Hull really did their chances of survival the world of good this weekend with their win over West Ham. The Hammers are now back in the relegation battle and Andrew Robertson down the left is a big part of the reason why that’s the case. The left back (centre back in this team) was up and down like a yo-yo and grabbed a deserved goal in this latest impressive display.

CM: Darren Fletcher

Fletcher returned to his old stomping ground at the weekend for West Brom as they got a draw against Manchester United. It was a typically organised, hard-working and resolute performance from the men from the Midlands and the Scottish international really did embody that.

CM: Wilfred Ndidi

Ndidi is only young but is beginning to really find his feet in this Leicester side. He can really maraud about the pitch when given the chance and Stoke certainly allowed that to happen at the King Power. His goal was brilliant, too, and so things certainly look to be going in the right direction for him and the Foxes.

RAM: Adama Traore

Swansea v Middlesbrough ended 0-0 but it really could have been different with Traore trying all he could. The tricky winger has shown that he is good enough for the top-flight even if Boro do go down and this performance just went on to highlight the confidence and ability he has.

CAM: Philippe Coutinho

The Brazilian has been well off the boil since the turn of the year but he showed promising signs that he’s getting back to his best. A man of the match display against Everton saw him cause havoc amongst the Blues’ back-line whilst his solo goal was also sublime – his return to form could be crucial for the top four run-in.

CAM: Wilfried Zaha

Zaha was absolutely top drawer and was the main man behind Crystal Palace’s superb win at Chelsea. The victory was superbly orchestrated by Sam Allardyce as his Eagles followed his instructions to the last letter. This wasn’t cagey from Palace, though, and the Ivorian international was the chieftain behind that.

LAM: Leroy Sane

Sane got the opener in the 2-2 draw between Arsenal and Manchester City and was a nuisance throughout. He took players on and burned past Hector Bellerin on a number of occasions – no mean feat at all. He’s coming of age for City now and looks a real player to behold.

ST: Christian Benteke

He’s been on and off for Palace this season but the big Belgian was brilliant against Chelsea. He held the ball up well whilst his composed finish that turned out to be the winner was simply sublime. Keep that up and Palace are going nowhere from the Premier League this season.


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