the weekend's top performers

Team of the Week

January 17, 2010
By Chris Murphy
(Archive)

According to Harry Redknapp, Hull's Boaz Myhill "will never play like that again in his life". If he does, and can turn out form like that pretty regularly, he may well come to be regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game. His first world-class double save saw him spring up from Wilson Palacios's drive to deny Robbie Keane a certain goal, before he produced an even better one in the second half, blocking Luka Modric's low shot before getting up to deny Keane again, this time with his face. A ten out of ten performance.

Hull's man-of-the-match Boaz Myhill denies Spurs yet again
GettyImages / Julian FinneyHull's man-of-the-match Boaz Myhill denies Spurs yet again

Chelsea had a whale of a time picking hapless Sunderland to pieces, and even Ashley Cole could add his name to this weekend's world class category after a stunning goal. Taking down John Terry's pinpoint pass perfectly he then Cruyff-turned inside Lorik Cana before planting a cute shot beyond Martin Fulop. He even had time to set up Frank Lampard for Chelsea's fourth before being substituted at half time.

West Ham's unexpected clean sheet at Aston Villa owed much to James Tomkins, who set about his "spoiler' task with vim and vigour. Alongside Matthew Upson, Tomkins limited Villa to only a handful of opportunities and fully justified his man-of-the-match award.

As a game it was far from pretty, and as a goal it was the least attractive of the weekend but Liverpool stopper Sotirios Kyrgiakos couldn't care less. The much-maligned centre-half looked at home in the choppy environs of The Britannia and rose to the occasion - quite literally - in the face of a predictable aerial bombardment.

Blackburn ended a run of 12 winless games with a 2-0 victory over Fulham, thanks to centre backs Chris Samba and Ryan Nelsen. Despite a few flutters in defence they combined to keep a clean sheet and both grabbed a goal, but given that Samba's owed much to luck, and Nelsen's was a deft glancing header, the big Kiwi gets the nod.

Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka couldn't believe their luck at the state of sorry Sunderland, who were fortunate not to concede 15 at Stamford Bridge. The French striker rounded Fulop expertly for his first, before capitalising on the goalkeeper's flap for his second, while Lampard tucked home two pinpoint crosses - one from Ashley Cole, and one from Anelka.

Cesc Fabregas returned for Arsenal's trip to Bolton, and makes an instant return to the engine room in our Team of the Week. The Spaniard pulled the strings for the Gunners, as he so often does, and capped his influential performance with a sublime goal, slotting a low shot past Jussi Jaaskenlainen after a lightning fast one-two with Eduardo inside the area.

Frank Lampard grabbed two goals against Sunderland
GettyImages / Darren Walsh Frank Lampard grabbed two goals against Sunderland

Even if Marouane Fellaini had a stinker at Goodison Park he'd have secured his place in our TOTW for an outrageous piece of skill that made snarling rat bag Craig Bellamy look like a half wit, but thankfully the Belgian was immense in everything he did against Manchester City. Looking confident in his new 'in the hole' role he snuffed out what little City had to offer going forward and set his side off on the attack time and again. A complete performance.

Charles N'Zogbia continued his impressive recent form with a silky display at Molineux against Wolves. In a consistently inconsistent side, N'Zogbia is showing his team-mates how to string some decent performances together. He had a hand in James McCarthy's first after a mazy dribble into the box, and slotted a superb second after another jinking run into the danger area.

Burnley had carved out the better chances at Old Trafford before Wayne Rooney found his range for Manchester United. His slide rule pass for Dimitar Berbatov presented an opportunity even the misfiring Bulgarian couldn't spurn, before the England striker latched on to a loose ball in the area, set himself, and smashed it into the bottom corner to seal the game.

No contest as to our manager of the week after Carlo Ancelotti marshalled Chelsea to an emphatic win over Sunderland, even without his array of African stars. Yes Steve Bruce's side were pathetic, and yes, even Darlington could have caused them problems, but the quality of Chelsea's goals was a joy to behold. In this mood there aren't many teams who can live with them.