The Premier League's top performers

Team of the Week

April 10, 2011
By Chris Murphy
(Archive)

Fernando Torres has done very little since his big money move to Chelsea, but he can at least claim an assist against Wigan. The striker thrust his forearm into Ali Al Habsi's face, causing the keeper to flap at a high ball, and Florent Malouda pounced to register the Blues' winner. The referee's failure to award a foul was extremely harsh on Al Habsi as he had kept Chelsea at bay throughout the game with a string of fine saves.

Peter Odemwingie
GettyImagesPeter Odemwingie scores for West Bromwich Albion

With Rio Ferdinand resting after his exertions midweek, Chris Smalling slotted in for Manchester United and looked every inch an England centre half in waiting. He had little to do against his former club Fulham in the first half but was worked plenty in the second period as United sat back and invited pressure. He demonstrated his composure and an excellent sense of positioning on numerous occasions.

Perhaps Gerard Houllier will revise his opinion of James Collins if the defender carries on like this. The pair have had their run-ins during the Frenchman's turbulent reign but Collins' vital goal against Newcastle kept the prospect of relegation at arm's length. As ever, Collins was rock steady at the back whether dealing with Peter Lovenkrands, Nile Ranger or Shefki Kuqi.

The clash with Blackpool may have only represented Emmanuel Eboue's tenth Premier League game of the season but he turned in a far more competent shift than Gael Clichy, who patrolled the opposite flank. Rusty he may be, but Eboue's positioning was solid, as opposed to Clichy who again operated a yard behind Arsenal's defensive line and was the culprit as Blackpool scored. Eboue chipped in with a goal too, and some strike it was, as he danced into the area before lashing the ball into the net.

Everton heaped yet more misery on Wolves in Saturday's early kick off, with Leon Osman the star of their midfield. In the absence of Mikel Arteta and Marouane Fellaini, Osman was the Toffees' heartbeat as he created the opener for Jermaine Beckford, provided consistently good delivery from wide and central areas, and also popped up in his own box to deny Sylvain Ebanks-Blake an equaliser when the score was only 1-0.

Luka Modric offered more evidence to mocked his omission from the PFA Players' Player of the Year list against Stoke. The Croatian has enjoyed a fine season, blighted only by a few niggling injuries, and showcased his silk with a fine solo effort on Saturday, steaming past two defenders before slotting the ball under Asmir Begovic to put Spurs two goals to the good.

Manchester United could afford to coast in the second half against Fulham largely due to Nani's first half display. After being a mere substitute at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, the Portuguese was fit and firing at Old Trafford as he set up both goals. He dribbled forward for the first before slotting the ball to Berbatov, then his run over the top took him past Mark Schwarzer allowed him to cross for Antonio Valencia to make it 2-0.

Blackburn's hopes of avoiding the drop took a significant blow when David 'Junior' Hoilett limped off with a hamstring pull near the end of their home draw with fellow strugglers Birmingham. His pace troubled Birmingham all afternoon, and when Liam Ridgewell slipped, he was quickest off the blocks to charge on goal, round Ben Foster and finish coolly. Definitely a hot prospect.

The irony of Daniel Sturridge's hot streak of goalscoring form will be lost on no-one at Stamford Bridge, as Torres continues to toil in a Chelsea shirt. The 21-year-old made it six goals in eight games since his move to Bolton with a superb double against West Ham. He showed quick feet for his opener, manoeuvring into position to curl a shot into the top corner, then worked the ball onto his left for number two, drilling a low shot into the far corner.

Peter Crouch
GettyImagesCrouch redeeed himself with Tottenham's fans after a brace against Stoke

West Brom continued their march up the table under miracle worker Roy Hodgson with Peter Odemwingie instrumental in their victory over an ever more beleaguered Sunderland. The Nigerian hauled his side level with a poacher's finish from inside the six-yard box, then set up the Baggies next two goals with precise passes, first for Youssuf Mulumbu and secondly for Paul Scharner.

Peter Crouch went some way to erasing his Madrid meltdown with a brace against Stoke. Vindicating Harry Redknapp's decision to start him, the striker took just 11 minutes to silence his critics, with a towering header from Roman Pavlyuchenko's cross, before repeating the dose soon after, nodding Tom Huddlestone's pinpoint cross into the far corner.

It looks like Roy Hodgson may take some shifting in our manager of the week slot. If he carries on like this, the Baggies may just pip Liverpool to sixth spot in the table. Despite trailing twice at Sunderland, Hodgson's charges showed indomitable spirirt to fight back on both occasions and seal victory with a delightful team move.