Premier League Team of the Week: August 25-26

Ali Al Habsi – Wigan

The Wigan shot-stopper was tested to the limit at St Mary’s and continually denied Southampton with a number of key saves.

Al Habsi’s heroics earned him a well deserved clean sheet as Wigan claimed their first Premier League win of the season.

Angel Rangel – Swansea

Rangel terrorised George McCartney and Matt Jarvis in tandem with Nathan Dyer as Swansea easily dispatched of West Ham at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans full-back opened the scoring with a somewhat fortunate effort, but was a key performer as the Welsh side ran out 3-0 winners.

Branislav Ivanovic – Chelsea

Ivanovic has been noted for his contribution in the final third so far this season, but put in a typically solid defensive display against Newcastle.

The Serbian defender gave the opposition barely a sniff as Chelsea returned to the top of the table with a comfortable victory.

Thomas Vermaelen – Arsenal

Arsenal have often found themselves roughed up by Stoke more than most over the past few seasons, but escaped the Britannia with a commendable point on Sunday.

Vermaelen dealt expertly with the aerial threat of Tony Pulis’ side to prove that Arsenal can mix it when games become physical.

Leighton Baines – Everton

Few full-backs possess better delivery than Baines and, were it for better Everton finishing, the England international might have ended with four assists on Saturday.

Baines instead had to settle for just one when he provided the ball for Nikica Jelavic to score as the Toffees won impressively at Aston Villa.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Investing £32million in a relatively unproven player was seen by many as quite a gamble by Chelsea, but their faith has paid immediate dividends.

Hazard contributed his fourth direct assist of the season against Newcastle, while the Belgian also scored from the spot after Fernando Torres was fouled.

Steven Pienaar – Everton

Pienaar is back where he belongs after a torrid spell with Tottenham and looks again like the player that left Goodison Park for White Hart Lane in January 2011.

The South African was key for Everton against Manchester United last week, but was even more instrumental as the Toffees won 3-1 against Aston Villa.

Shinji Kagawa – Manchester United

Kagawa is already proving to be quite a signing for Manchester United, and his ability to provide the killer pass can only be good news for Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

The Japan international netted his first competitive goal for his new club in the weekend defeat of Fulham, and looked dangerous every time he had the ball at his feet.

Raheem Sterling – Liverpool

Sterling has been knocking on Liverpool‘s first-team door for some time and, after being largely overlooked by Kenny Dalglish, Brendan Rodgers has been keen to use the 17-year-old.

The young winger performed to distinction against champions Manchester City at Anfield, and would appear to have a very bright future indeed.

Fernando Torres – Chelsea

Ah, it would appear the Torres of his Liverpool heyday has returned. The Spaniard delivered an exceptional centre-forward’s performance against Newcastle, as he scored his third goal of the season.

Torres also won a penalty – which was converted by Eden Hazard – and looks like he will be a very capable replacement for Didier Drogba.

Robin van Persie – Manchester United

Van Persie made his home debut at the expense of Wayne Rooney on Saturday and provided a glimpse of why Manchester United paid £24 million to sign him from Arsenal.

The Dutchman fired home superbly from a Patrice Evra cross to level things up for United in a thrilling 3-2 defeat of Fulham.


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