Premier League Team of the Week: Bony, Gerrard & Nasri Star
Welcome to the final edition of B/R's Premier League Team of the Week for the 2013-14 season, where we select the finest performances across the country and slot them into a workable XI.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard put in arguably the finest showing of the weekend, displaying his pinpoint passing and accuracy for all to see. Who joins him and Samir Nasri, Manchester City's saviour on the day?
Read on to find out!
GK: John Ruddy, Norwich City
There were a few strong goalkeeping performances on the final day, but our final selection of the season goes the way of Norwich City stopper John Ruddy.
The Canaries needed to beat Arsenal by some 19 goals to stay in the Premier League, and while they actually ended up losing 2-0, Ruddy kept it respectable with several excellent point-blank saves.
There aren't many who can hold their heads high after a dismal campaign, but the England goalkeeper can be proud of his individual showings.
RB: Carl Jenkinson, Arsenal
Carl Jenkinson's first career goal set Twitter alight, with Arsenal fans falling over themselves to praise a man who hasn't had a good season in north London.
He's firmly second choice behind Bacary Sagna, but there's a chance the Frenchman played his final league game for the team on Sunday due to a contract dispute between club and player.
CB: Dejan Lovren, Southampton
Dejan Lovren put in a stellar end-of-season showing at St. Mary's Stadium on Sunday, shackling Robin van Persie and Co. with ease.
Even when the odd midfield runner—namely Danny Welbeck from deep—attempted to surge past him, he won the individual battle and continually dispossessed the ball-carrier with ease.
He sorts his feet out quickly to block crosses and sets the defensive line very well.
CB: Daniel Agger, Liverpool
Daniel Agger scored the equalising goal for Liverpool on Sunday, setting them on course for a comeback victory and a second-placed Premier League finish.
Steven Gerrard's on-point free-kick made it easy for the Dane to slot home.
Agger was heavily involved in the passing game as well, totaling 90 touches and a whopping 97 percent accuracy rating, as per WhoScored.com.
He earned a start over Mamadou Sakho and proved his manager right.
LB: Danny Rose, Tottenham Hotspur
Danny Rose had a rough 2013-14 season. However, on Sunday, he displayed all the characteristics that made him such a hit at Sunderland last year.
He put in a solid defensive shift, eating up the threat of Leandro Bacuna and Matthew Lowton, then buccaneered forward with gusto and claimed an assist (sort of) for the second goal.
More of the same, Danny? Any chance?
DM: Steven Gerrard, Liverpool
Steven Gerrard failed to haul in his first-ever Premier League title on Sunday, but he did his best to ensure Liverpool beat Newcastle United in a last-ditch attempt.
He was on target with his free-kicks, assisting both goals in a 2-1 victory, and he threaded four sumptuous passes into the paths of teammates to work good scoring opportunities.
A captain's innings to end a remarkable season—trophy or not.
DM: James McCarthy, Everton
James McCarthy, goalscorer!
His first of the season came on the final day, and while his game is in no way defined by his goal tally, a first strike for Everton was a richly deserved reward for a truly fine season.
He put Hull to the sword in midfield with his physicality and delivered the killer blow, too.
CM: Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal
Aaron Ramsey was in a rampant mood once again on Sunday, tearing Norwich City's defence and midfield to bits.
It's a frustrating sight to see him clearly so fresh and ready to go despite the season ending, and it makes you wonder how different Arsenal's campaign could have been had he not hurt his groin and thigh during the Christmas period.
He grabbed yet another goal to add to his impressive tally of 10 in 23 league matches.
CM: Paulinho, Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur destroyed Aston Villa in their final game of the season, sending Tim Sherwood out in style and securing UEFA Europa League football for yet another year running.
Paulinho was the star performer in central midfield for the Lilywhites, and they exerted so much dominance over the visitors, the away fans cheered Villa's first shot on target like a goal—in the 81st minute!
The Brazilian's club form has been a minor worry for some time, but this performance just before the World Cup proper will encourage Luiz Felipe Scolari.
CM: Samir Nasri, Manchester City
Samir Nasri broke the deadlock at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, netting in the 39th minute to set the home fans off.
It had been a little tense before that moment, with City fans knowing they stood one freak West Ham goal away from potentially surrendering the Premier League title to Liverpool, but Nasri continued to dazzle throughout.
It's been a season in which the Frenchman has really proven his worth to the club.
ST: Wilfried Bony, Swansea City
Wilfried Bony rounded off a thoroughly impressive debut Premier League season with an excellent performance at Sunderland on Sunday.
The Ivorian forward, so often the source of goals for this Swansea City side, netted once and grabbed an assist while dominating the Black Cats' back line.
When Michu returns to fitness next season, this will be one hell of a tandem to watch.