English Premier League Team of the Week

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 9, 2012

English Premier League Team of the Week

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    Another week, another scintillating set of displays from England's finest Premier League teams.

    Wayne Rooney lead Manchester United's impressive win at the Etihad Stadium, while Michu chipped away at that 20-goal mark for the season in vain.

    Who else joins these two stars in Bleacher Report's Team of the Week?

GK: David de Gea

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    You never quite know what to expect when David de Gea slips the gloves on, but his performance in this weekend's Manchester derby was a sight to behold.

    He banished his aerial jitters in a solid display and recorded seven saves. His reflex stop prior to Yaya Toure's goal was stunning, and the Ivorian's rebound was tough on the Spaniard.

    Anders Lindegaard's partner went into labour, leaving Sir Alex Ferguson devoid of the choice between goalkeepers. Had the Dane been available, we may not have been privy to this fine display.

RB: Glen Johnson

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    Glen Johnson is beginning to impress week in and week out under Brendan Rodgers.

    West Ham are tough to stop at the Boleyn Ground, but Johnson and co. managed a 3-2 victory thanks in part to this golazo.

    The England international was a consistent menace on the right while running at Joey O'Brien.

CB: Ryan Shawcross

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    Ryan Shawcross played like a man possessed on Saturday afternoon to deny Aston Villa a goal.

    He put in a couple of crucial blocks to deny goal-bound shots and slid in to stop Christian Benteke at the last possible moment.

    Aerially, he was excellent, beating his Belgian opponent in all the important areas. For anyone wondering how hard that is, ask man-mountain Sean Morrison.

CB: Chris Herd

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    Competition for the second centre-back slot was tough, but Jonny Evans lasting for only 48 minutes means Chris Herd just edges him out.

    Aston Villa kept a clean sheet against Stoke City, and it's important to note how impressive the performance was. Big, physical Stoke are more than a match for most, and it would have been easy for Villa's kids to shy away.

    But they went toe to toe with Kenwyne Jones and Jonathan Walters et al, coming off assured victors. Herd isn't even a centre-back, yet he's excelling a three-man system—you know, the one Micah Richards can't wrap his head around?

LB: Luke Shaw

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    Luke Shaw had yet another impressive outing in the 1-0 shutout against Reading, outshining the likes of Leighton Baines this week.

    It's another notch on the ladder to the top for the 17-year-old, who totaled six tackles and six interceptions on Saturday afternoon. It was a genuinely frustrating afternoon for Hal Robson-Kanu, who's become accustomed to having his way with full-backs.

DM: James McCarthy

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    James McCarthy and James McArthur were both excellent in the engine room against Queens Park Rangers, so to choose between the two we're going with the one scored a brace.

    McCarthy's first was a venomous deflected effort that he nestled in the bottom corner; his second, a composed finish inside the box after Jean Beausejour had found him.

    Defensively, he was a beast. Three interceptions and nine tackles was a league best this weekend.

Wing: Jason Puncheon

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    Jason Puncheon could have had a hat trick against Reading, and it's difficult to believe that these two teams contested so fiercely in the Championship last year.

    There was a certifiable gulf in class between the sides, and Puncheon was the standout performer. One goal wrongly disallowed, one beautiful finish from a tight angle.

    He was the offensive spark in an exhibition from the Saints.

Wing: Robert Snodgrass

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    Robert Snodgrass put in the performance of the week in Norwich City's 4-3 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

    He produced an inch-perfect left-footed free kick to seal the result and added two assists, combining well with Steven Whittaker and Grant Holt.

    The Scotland winger was so good, he earned a rare perfect score of 10 from WhoScored?.com.

AMC: Michu

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    Michu had another fine week, scoring a brace to take his league tally for the season to 12.

    His impact was close to being pivotal, as he was unfairly called for a foul when challenging goalkeeper Mark Bunn for a ball that would have led to an equalising third goal.

    Nevertheless, the former Rayo Vallecano deep-lying forward continues to prove he is the entire package, capable in the air, on the deck and on the stretch.

ST: Wayne Rooney

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    In one of the most fiercely contested Manchester derbies in recent memory, Wayne Rooney led a counterattacking masterpiece at the Etihad Stadium.

    His world-class movement was impossible to track, and he didn't shirk his defensive duties, either. He scored with both of his shots to put Manchester United into a commanding 2-0 lead and eventually proved the difference between two excellent sides.

    He just about shaded a rather influential cameo from Carlos Tevez in blue.

ST: Fernando Torres

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    Whether or not "he's back" is a different question entirely, but we can certainly decree that Fernando Torres had a sublime game up in Wearside this weekend.

    His first goal was a finish anyone would be proud of—an instinctive, acrobatic first-time prod from Eden Hazard's inch-perfect cross.

    The penalty showed his confidence is soaring, and he was literally centimetres from a third.

     

    All statistics from WhoScored?.com.