PL Team of the Week
Last Updated: September 18, 2012 5:58pm
Team of the week
Jussi Jaaskelainen - West Ham
The former Bolton goalkeeper endured a difficult day against Swansea last month but that aside it's been three clean sheets for the 37-year-old West Ham man since his arrival in the summer. This was perhaps the toughest of the lot as Norwich produced no fewer than 25 efforts at goal - nine of which were on target. But Jaaskelainen was equal to the challenge to help earn the Hammers a share of the points at Carrow Road.
Matthew Lowton - Aston Villa
The 23-year-old signing from Sheffield United was typical of the low-key signings from the lower leagues that Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert seems to favour. And the Villa boss was rewarded with a sensational strike by Lowton to open the scoring at home to Swansea on Saturday. The right-back also played his part in Villa's first clean sheet of the season to mark a performance to remember.
Ryan Nelsen - QPR
There may have been question marks over his manhandling of John Terry that could have resulted in a penalty but the experienced New Zealand international has played his part in transforming this QPR defence. After conceding five against Swansea in their previous Premier League home game, the Hoops look a different proposition with Nelsen in the centre and a clean sheet against the European champions will give Mark Hughes' side a real boost.
Jan Vertonghen - Tottenham
The Belgium international has settled nicely into the Tottenham defence and had little trouble dealing with Russian forward Pavel Pogrebnyak in the 3-1 win over Reading on Sunday. Pogrebnyak can be a goal threat in the air but Vertonghen was equal to the challenge and snuffed out the Royals' main attacking option. He will only be disappointed to have been denied a clean sheet due to a late consolation goal for the hosts.
Leighton Baines - Everton
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew appeared to have rejigged his starting line-up with Baines in mind but it didn't do much good as the Everton left-back spent much of the first half marauding down the wing. His delicious one-two with Steven Pienaar opened up the Magpies defence and the England man showed real composure to drill the ball hard and low beyond Steve Harper. He later showed his defensive qualities at the other end to clear off the line from Vurnon Anita.
Raheem Sterling - Liverpool
Liverpool fans may have hoped this would be the season that Sterling would break through, but they could not have anticipated how important the 17-year-old could become so quickly for the Reds. His trickery on the right-wing completely deceived Danny Rose for Liverpool's equaliser at Sunderland at the weekend and Sterling is also showing impressive quality with his delivery.
Javi Garcia - Manchester City
Not many players would welcome a trip to the Britannia Stadium for their introduction to Premier League football but Garcia appeared to thrive on his Manchester City debut at Stoke. The Spaniard isn't known for his goalscoring but he even managed to pop up with a headed equaliser to get the champions back into the game and earn a deserved point.
Santi Cazorla - Arsenal
The creative fulcrum of this Arsenal team, Cazorla's incisive passing was far too good for Southampton on Saturday. The Spain international is becoming something of a regular in our Premier League Team of the Week and that simply reflects the impressive statistic that the 27-year-old has created 18 chances for the Gunners this season - more than any player in the division except the aforementioned Baines.
Lukas Podolski - Arsenal
The Germany international opened his account for the Gunners at Liverpool last time out and continued his goalscoring form in the demolition of Southampton on Saturday. Podolski whipped home a delightful free-kick to double Arsenal's lead just after the half-hour mark and Saints never looked like recovering from the blow.
Dimitar Berbatov - Fulham
In his home debut for Fulham the Bulgarian produced a confident and classy performance to help dispose of West Brom at Craven Cottage. A curled effort opened the scoring before the 31-year-old sent Ben Foster the wrong way from the penalty spot to double the lead just before the break. After scoring in just four different Premier League games for Manchester United last season this was perhaps an early indication that the Berbatov who was joint-top scorer in the Premier League in 2010-11 is still lurking in there somewhere.
Demba Ba - Newcastle
The Senegal striker was unfortunate to miss out at Goodison Park with Sylvain Marveaux preferred on the right wing. But Newcastle boss Alan Pardew introduced Ba at the interval and switched to a 4-4-2 formation that allowed the 27-year-old to play in his natural role. The impact was remarkable as Ba scored within minutes of his arrival to beat Tim Howard and then had the dramatic final world in the last minute as he latched onto a Shola Ameobi flick-on to secure a share of the points.