Premier League Team of the Week: Mata heads dominant midfield diamond

The Spaniard is rewarded for his scintillating display in Manchester United’s 4-0 win at Newcastle and he lines up alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard and Yaya Toure

After a round of action dominated by central midfielders and wide players, we at Goal have gone for an XI light on defenders and strikers – and the striker we did choose actually played on the right this weekend!

Ben Foster (3.5) gets the nod in goal after an important performance for West Brom at Norwich. The Baggies picked up a vital win at Carrow Road thanks in no small part to the England man’s saves. Foster saw off competition from Anders Lindegaard, who played well in a rare performance for Manchester United.

Foster’s West Brom team-mate Jonas Olsson (3.5) is one of our three defenders after picking up a Top of the Match display. Our man Theo Squires said: “Often in the right place at the right time to deny his compatriot Elmander many openings in the box.”

Vincent Kompany (4) was also impressive in his game, the 4-1 win against Southampton on Saturday lunch-time. Kompany’s was “a truly inspirational display” according to Tom Marshall-Bailey, who was at the Etihad Stadium for us.

Hull’s Curtis Davies (3.5) completes our defence after another fine display in a fine season. He was a key part as the Tigers eased any lingering relegation fears by beating Swansea 1-0.

Now, if the Premier League can offer up a midfield diamond better than this one we would like to see it.

Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic (4) recovered from his poor showing at Crystal Palace last time out and was back to his best against Stoke. The big Serb has been a revelation since rejoining the Blues in January and was on fine form once again on Saturday: “Dominated the game in central midfield with his anticipation, power and accurate forward passing” according to Goal UK correspondent Greg Stobart.

Steven Gerrard (4) was on the spot once again, scoring two penalties and recording a Top of the Match performance against West Ham as Liverpool kept up their title push in the capital.

He is partnered by Yaya Toure (4), who also scored from 12 yards and was named Top of the Match for Manchester City: “Was imperious as ever”.

Juan Mata (4.5) forms the attacking point of our diamond after putting in by far his best display as a Manchester United player. The Spaniard scored two fine goals – a free kick and a smart, classy effort – and set up Adnan Januzaj late on.

In terms of wingers, there was fierce competition from both the top and bottom of the division. Jason Puncheon (4) demands a place in the XI after his two goals helped Crystal Palace secure what could be a priceless victory at Cardiff.

On the other side, Christian Eriksen (4.5) sneaks in after inspiring Tottenham to a 5-1 win against Sunderland. “Best player on the pitch by a mile,” says Greg Stobart, who had a busy weekend attending two games in the capital. “Created Tottenham’s first two goals before scoring the third himself from the edge of the box. Always dangerous with his quality on the ball and from set-pieces.”

Chelsea’s Willian (4) and Hull’s George Boyd (4) both narrowly missed out after fine performances for their respective clubs.

Romelu Lukaku (4) takes the lone striker’s role despite, as mentioned, playing on the right of Everton’s attack. The Toffees picked up a fine victory against Arsenal thanks to a brilliant team display, and Lukaku was the highlight as his strength, power and versatility worried the Gunners defence throughout.

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