The weekend's top performers

Team of the Week

May 12, 2013
By George Pavlou
(Archive)

Despite conceding three goals, Mark Schwarzer kept the defeat at home to Liverpool to a respectable scoreline. Fulham are still not 100% safe, having lost their last five Premier League games, but relegation could have been a foregone conclusion without the contribution of the experienced Australian this term. He had little chance with any of the Liverpool strikes, but made two outstanding saves in the second half to keep Fulham at least in with a chance of salvaging something from the game.

Frank Lampard celeb second v Villa Chelsea
GettyImagesFrank Lampard wheels away after breaking Bobby Tambling's record

Danny Rose has been a revelation at left-back since his loan move to Sunderland from Spurs. His all-action performances have caught the eye this season and his latest outing was no different. Rose caused Southampton problems all day with his direct running, while he was also solid in defence, using his physicality and pace to thwart the threat of Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez.

There is no surprise that the return of Fabricio Coloccini coincided with Newcastle's victory against Queens Park Rangers. The Magpies skipper was solid at Loftus Road, and despite a shaky start from his side, was able to spur his team-mates on, alongside Mike Williamson. When Newcastle went down to ten men, it was Coloccini's heroics that kept them from losing their lead. A leader's performance from the Argentina international.

Tottenham came up against a tough Stoke side at the Britannia Stadium, but their captain stood tall in the centre of defence. Michael Dawson relishes these kind of games, and up against Peter Crouch, he dominated the striker, while he was also sensible when in possession. His battling performance has helped to keep Spurs in the hunt for that final Champions League place.

Manchester United lifted their 20th league title on Sunday and Phil Jones has played a key role in wrestling the trophy back from Manchester City. His versatility and commitment have been key for United this season. Although not at his devastating best going forward against Swansea, his defensive work was superb. He made a key challenge on Nathan Dyer as the winger went in on goal and produced a goal-saving block from Chico Flores with the score at 1-1.

There is no room for sentimentality in the Team of the Week, and as such the man who made his final Old Trafford appearance deserves his place in the side. Paul Scholes gave his all to ensure Manchester United could overcome Swansea City. His passing was pin-point and his forays into the box were classically well timed, while he even made two uncharacteristically good tackles. A fitting end for the best midfielder of his generation.

Another class act, but for a different set of reasons, makes it into the centre of midfield in this side. Frank Lampard scored twice to practically secure Chelsea Champions League football next season and take his own Blues tally to 203 goals. He is now the club's all-time top goalscorer and his performance at Aston Villa was quite simply brilliant, with his leadership and never-say-die attitude getting his side over the line at Villa Park. If his football does not earn him a new contract at Stamford Bridge then another team is going to pick up a real bargain.

Ashley Westwood came up against Frank Lampard on Saturday, but the youngster stood tall, despite his tiny stature. He was neat and tidy on the ball and broke up a lot of Chelsea's forward play. While he may be only 23 years of age, he showed just why Paul Lambert has kept such faith in him at the heart of Villa's midfield. An all-action display almost earned Villa the point they will feel they deserved.

Everton signed a relatively unknown Belgian last summer, going by the name of Kevin Mirallas. And what a signing he has turned out to be. He scored two goals against West Ham to give Everton a 2-0 win on Sunday, and in David Moyes' last game as Toffees manager at Goodison Park, Mirallas showed he can perform on the big occasions. His dribbling and creativity were particular highlights.

Liverpool fans' excitement at the signing of Philippe Coutinho was not misplaced as he put in another virtuoso display against Fulham. Though he failed to bag a goal, it was the Brazilian that pulled all the strings. His touch and technique were tidy as always, but his eye for a pass was exceptional. He's looking to be a shrewd piece of business at just £8 million.

Daniel Sturridge celebrates
GettyImagesDaniel Sturridge celebrates after scoring a hat-trick at Fulham

There can only be one man to lead the team's attack this week, in Daniel Sturridge. The former Chelsea man bagged his first Premier League hat-trick to inflict a fifth straight defeat on Fulham. His running and finishing were a real threat to Martin Jol's side, and he showed exactly why he has always rated himself down the middle. Sturridge hit three good goals and has taken his tally to eight league goals for the season in just five months.

There can only be one man to lead out the Team of the Week. Step forward Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot was in the dugout for the very last time at Old Trafford on Sunday, but he did not let the occasion get the better of him. It would have been easy to be sentimental and let this game slip by him, but his professionalism and will to win was there for all to see. He allowed Paul Scholes his final bow at Old Trafford too, and his changes inspired United to score a late winner - not quite in 'Fergie Time', but close enough. A great way to bow out.