English Premier League Team of the Week

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 5, 2013

English Premier League Team of the Week

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    Another weekend, another crazy set of games in the English Premier League.

    Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all won 1-0 to keep the race for the UEFA Champions League spots on the line, while Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic picked up wins that change the look of the bottom half of the table.

    See who joins game-winner Juan Mata in our EPL Team of the Week!

GK: Joel Robles, Wigan Athletic

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    Roberto Martinez could be forgiven for thinking he had two error-prone goalkeepers on the squad after Joel Robles' gaffe in the face of Gareth Bale last week, but this weekend, the young No. 1 proved his mettle in a high-pressure situation.

    Joel made an absolutely stunning save to deny Graham Dorrans in the closing minutes, keeping the Latics ahead in the game and on pace for a vital three-point haul.

    He added four other saves on the day and looks every bit a Premier League 'keeper.

RB: Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea

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    To keep a clean sheet at Old Trafford deserves commendation, and Cesar Azpilicueta was the pick of the two full-backs in Chelsea blue.

    A lot of the away side's best work came from down their right-hand side, and the Spaniard was a key part of that, assisting in the buildup play and the retention of the football.

    He dealt with Ryan Giggs' clever positioning well and stopped a few of Patrice Evra's storming runs.

CB: Sylvain Distin, Everton

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    Sylvain Distin was an absolute rock at the heart of Everton's defence during the Merseyside derby, thwarting Liverpool at every turn.

    The highlight of his afternoon was his clearance just two yards off the line after Steven Gerrard's neat linkup play had Tim Howard beaten. He showed pace and strength in abundance, matching Daniel Sturridge at every turn.

    The Frenchman scored a legitimate goal that should not have been ruled out.

CB: Phil Jagielka, Everton

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    We've picked both Everton centre-backs this week, and despite some other decent performances around the league, Phil Jagielka deserves this accolade.

    Some of the blocks he made throughout the Merseyside derby were just ridiculous. It was the former Sheffield United man's fault Steven Gerrard failed to get onto the scoresheet, and one block in particular with the back part of his foot stands out.

LB: Luke Shaw, Southampton

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    Tottenham met their match on Saturday afternoon in Southampton, and in the end, they'll count their blessings after securing a much-needed 1-0 win.

    That goal came from Gareth Bale, who had roamed all over the field in an attempt to find some space to work. Chief disruptor was Luke Shaw, who continued his fledgling career in Saints' back line by shutting him down for the large majority of the game.

    Bale scored the winner from his side, but don't doubt the fantastic shift Shaw put in on both Bale and Aaron Lennon for all but five seconds in the match.

CM: Steven Gerrard, Liverpool

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    Steven Gerrard put in a seriously impressive shift against Everton, and it's unfortunate he's not on the scoresheet.

    Multiple goal-bound shots blocked by Phil Jagielka and Co. frustrated the stalwart, while his playmaking abilities were out on show: Liverpool routinely gave the ball to Gerrard to seek out the good movement of Daniel Sturridge, and only poor decision-making in the final third prevented Brendan Rodgers' side from finding the net. 

CM: Ashley Westwood, Aston Villa

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    Two assists for Aston Villa's midfield metronome put the icing on an excellent performance at Carrow Road.

    He and Fabian Delph tackled firmly and fairly in critical areas outside Villa's box, and the former Crewe man's ball into Gabby Agbonlahor for the winner was as sweet a slide-rule pass as you'll see this season.

    He also did what he could to keep the Villans in possession to take the tempo out of the game, frustrate the home side and secure a vital win.

AM: Juan Mata, Chelsea

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    What a genius.

    Just when everyone is falling over themselves to praise Juan Mata, he goes and scores a last-minute winner at Old Trafford to further enhance his reputation.

    He helped his side become the first to hold Manchester United scoreless on their own turf since Aston Villa did in 2009 and took up fantastic positions throughout the game.

LW: Shaun Maloney, Wigan Athletic

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    Shaun Maloney was instrumental in Wigan Athletic's escape from relegation last season, and this time around, looks just as likely to have a big say in proceedings.

    He took West Bromwich Albion's defence to school, floating in a perfect cross for Arouna Kone's equaliser and beating several men to drill in the assist for the winner.

    His pearler last season against Manchester United still fresh in the memory, who'd bet against him leading the Latics out of trouble again?

RW: Hal Robson-Kanu, Reading

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    A rather hilarious article on HammyEnd.com documented just how shocking Fulham were on Saturday, but this should not take away from the fact that Reading put in their performance of the season.

    It's been tough going for the Royals, who are undergoing borderline surgical changes to their playing style under new boss Nigel Adkins, but a two-goal showing from Hal Robson-Kanu proves there's still confidence among the pack.

    A cooly taken penalty opened the scoring; a nice curled finish the pick of the goals.

CF: Gabby Agbonlahor, Aston Villa

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    It doesn't matter how you play at this stage of the season; all that matters is points.

    Aston Villa moved onto the 40-point mark (but remain unsafe) thanks to two moments of brilliance from veteran Gabby Agbonlahor.

    His first goal saw him dribble from inside his own half, beat a few markers and slam a right-footed shot from 25 yards into the bottom corner; his second a clever run, holding off of Sebastian Bassong, and an equally sweet finish into that very same corner.