English Premier League Team of the Week: Louis Saha Beats the Blues
With the English Premier League on hiatus because of the fifth round of the F.A. Cup, the mid-week matches have more bearing on the Team of the Week.
And, what a great week it was! Fulham showed just how good they can be when going forward, as they destroyed Brian Laws' luckless Burnley side.
Chelsea's charge for the title took another blow this week as a rampant Everton took three points off of Carlo Ancelotti's team and Arsene Wenger's Gunners capitalised on Chelsea and Manchester United's slip ups to gain ground on the leaders.
GK: Brad Friedel (Aston Villa)
The hulking American was the difference between 10-man Manchester United and Villa. He was a colossus in goal for the Villains against the Red Devils, but Burnley's Brian Jensen ran him close.
Unfortunately for Jensen, he still let in three goals.
DF: William Gallas (Arsenal)
Gallas was immense in a game that Arsenal just could not afford to lose if they wanted to remain in the title race. With both of Arsenal's rivals in the title race dropping points, the Gunners' 1-0 win over Liverpool is massive.
His effort against an always-threatening Liverpool side was the sort that made the big Frenchman a star early in his career. Unfortunately, such stellar outings have not come as frequently as he has matured.
For Arsenal's title chances to remain on track, Gooners supporters will be hoping he remains in top form.
DF: Martin Skrtel (Liverpool)
Slovakian defender Skrtel has had his critics in the past, but despite the Reds obvious problems this season, he has been a player that has shone through the dross that Liverpool have displayed.
His fantastic display against Arsenal seemingly should have been rewarded with a better result, but for Skrtel being on the wrong end of another loss, it just seems to be his lot with Liverpool.
DF: Jody Craddock (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
The veteran Wolves defender had a phenomenal performance against a Spurs side with full-attacking flair. Tottenham was playing inspired football and seemed hot for a win, but Craddock didn't read the Spurs' script.
Defoe, Crouch, Palacios, Bentley, Jenas and Kranjcar could not penetrate a Wolves defence that was lead by the experienced Englishman.
MF: Danny Murphy (Fulham)
The ex-England International still has it in spades. Burnley's midfield could not handle the veteran Murphy and his influence on the Cottagers could be felt in every area of the field.
MF: Scott Parker (West Ham United)
Yet again, Parker laid a claim to a plane ticket to South Africa. His striking performance mid-week against Birmingham City might be the spur that the Hammers need to get their season back on track.
It also could be the impetus for an England call-up.
MF: Adam Johnson (Manchester City)
On the back of Johnson's performance against Bolton this week, the young England Under-21 player should be in Fabio Cappelo's thoughts with pre-World Cup friendlies on the horizon.
He was a thorn in the side of Owen Coyle's Bolton side all night and won the penalty that gave the Citizens the lead. Johnson looks primed to be a great player in the future.
MF: Paul Scholes (Manchester United)
The old warhorse of the Red Devils still has it. Scholes drove the Manchester United team against a good Villa side and after Nani's red card, his experience shone through for the 10-man United side.
FW: Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Doyle was magnificent against Spurs. The Wolves' striker never let the Tottenham defenders rest and was a handful all night for them.
His pick this week is the culmination of a series of fine performances with him on the fringes of the team in recent weeks.
FW: Louis Saha (Everton)
The Everton striker has had his problems with injuries that have not allowed him to truly fulfill his promise.
But against Chelsea at mid-week, he was on fire. He scored a brace and almost had a hat trick, but for a fine Petr Cech save for Chelsea.
FW: Alessandro Diamanti (West Ham United)
The big Italian, who joined the Hammers at the start of the season, has not yet taken the Premier League by storm, but his influence on the Hammers is starting to become apparent.
His fantastic free kick strike stoppage time of the first half, allowed the Hammers to go in at the break with a well-deserved one-goal lead.
Save of the Week: Manuel Almunia (Arsenal)
Almunia's commanding presence in the Gunner's box was inspirational all night, but his finger tip save from Liverpool's Ryan Babel was fantastic.
Goal of the Week: Louis Saha (Everton)
Saha's superb second goal against the Premiership leaders was a stunner. The Frenchman lightly controlled the ball on his chest before ferociously smashing it past a despairing Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal.
Player of the Week: Louis Saha (Everton)
Louis Saha had a fantastic week. His brace, including the "Goal of the Week" against league-leading Chelsea gave the Toffees three valuable points.
Additionally, the week saw the 31-year old Saha earn his 100th and 101st Premier League goals in an EPL career that has taken him from Newcastle United, Fulham, Manchester United and now Everton over a 10-year period.
Landon Donovan once again earned a spot on the bench of the EPL "Team of the week." His form since his arrival on Merseyside has been fantastic. On most other weeks, he would have a place in the starting XI.
Petr Cech, the Chelsea keeper was fantastic despite letting in two goals. His save of Louis Saha's penalty kick was excellent.
Wayne Rooney was superb in the Red Devils' 10-man draw against a very good Villa side.
Bolton's Martin Olson had a phenomenal performance against a Hull City team that not only beat Manchester City, but earned a draw against Chelsea. He scored a lucky goal off the heel of Boaz Myhill, but was unlucky to not score another.
Aruna Dindane was brilliant in Portsmouth's 1-1 draw with Sunderland. His goal at the death was well- deserved for the struggling side.
Finally, the whole Fulham side deserves credit for their demolition of a demoralised Burnley.