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Page last updated at 22:44 GMT, Sunday, 17 April 2011 23:44 UK

Garth Crooks' team of the week

Garth Crooks
By Garth Crooks

There were some astounding matches and some surprising results this weekend, both in the FA Cup semi-finals and the Premier League.

That is why I leave the predictions to others, choosing instead to highlight some superb performances from seasoned professionals and very new kids on the block.

Garth Crooks team of the week

Ben Foster

Birmingham City

Another top-class performance from the former Manchester United keeper. He stopped Sunderland from taking maximum points on the opening day of the season and made sure City took all the points this time. Is it any wonder there's a queue gathering for his services next season?

Did you know? Has made 4.5 saves per game in the Premier League this season. No other keeper has made more than four.

Jack Robinson


Still more than four months shy of his 18th birthday, Liverpool's youngest ever player is rapidly making a name for himself. The youngster saw off Theo Walcott and Andrey Arshavin all in one afternoon. Not bad for an 17-year-old with limited experience. I'm going to keep my eye on this kid!

Did you know? Is the youngest player to have featured in the Premier League this season, beating Chelsea's Joshua McEachran by six months.

John Terry


A solid performance from the England captain. Team-mate David Luiz could take a leaf out of Terry's book. You don't have to win every tackle or every header to be to prove you're a top-class defender. Good positioning can often save you a great deal of trouble. Ask John!

Did you know? Has made 58 passes per game in the Premier League this season, more than any other defender.

Robert Huth

Stoke City

Arguably Stoke's player of the season but his performance against Bolton epitomised his side's resilience. I love centre-halves who want to have an impact in the opposition's half. His goal was a class act.

Did you know? Has retained possession after 85% of his tackles in the Premier League this season, the highest proportion of any player.

Pablo Zabaleta

Manchester City

When your father's ill and you're by his bedside, even the FA Cup semi-final becomes just another game. To fly back from Argentina in time to cover for an injured player and produce a top-class performance is good enough for me.

Did you know? Manchester City have conceded 1.5 goals per game in the 12 Premier League matches he has missed this season, compared to 0.6 with him.

Leon Osman


With three goals in six appearances, "tireless endeavour" and "creativity" are the words used by David Moyes to describe his midfielder. He was the architect behind Everton's resurgence and Blackburn's downfall.

Did you know? Everton have won just two of the 12 Premier League matches in which he has not featured this season (17%), compared to nine of 21 with him (43%).

Ashley Young

Aston Villa

Villa needed to win this game and they needed a talisman to help them do it. Young is fast becoming a leader of men and someone manager Gerard Houllier has perhaps made skipper to stave off any would-be purchasers in the future.

Did you know? Is the most-fouled player in the Premier League this season (89 times).

Charles N'Zogbia

Wigan Athletic

What a performance from the Frenchman. He terrorised Blackpool from the moment he stepped on to the pitch and capped an inspirational performance with a brilliant individual goal for the Latics. If anyone can keep Wigan in the Premier League, he can. The question for Wigan now is: can they keep him?

Did you know? Has made 100 successful dribbles in the Premier League this season, 25 more than the next player (Nani).

Yaya Toure

Manchester City

Without Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure must be City's most consistent and valued player. No fuss, utterly dependable and never chokes on the big occasion. If anyone can lead Manchester City to glory, the former Barca man can.

Did you know? Has received an average of 50 passes per game, more than any other Manchester City player in the Premier League.

Jonathan Walters

Stoke City

An outstanding performance by the much-travelled striker and a sensational goal highlighted a memorable occasion for the Potters. He was unlucky not to have crowned his display with a hat-trick. A pity, as his display deserved it.

Did you know? Six of his 13 goals for Stoke in all competitions have come in the 81st minute or later.

Didier Drogba


During a trip to Milan recently, an international player told me that manager Carlo Ancelotti could not win anything at Chelsea without Drogba being central to his plans. I think that person must have had a word with the Chelsea manager.

Did you know? Has been involved (goal or assist) in 20 Premier League goals this season. Only four players have been involved in more.

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see also
Bolton 0-5 Stoke
17 Apr 11 |  FA Cup
Man City 1-0 Man Utd
16 Apr 11 |  FA Cup
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool
17 Apr 11 |  Premier League
West Brom 1-3 Chelsea
16 Apr 11 |  Premier League
West Ham 1-2 Aston Villa
16 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Blackpool 1-3 Wigan
16 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Birmingham 2-0 Sunderland
16 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Everton 2-0 Blackburn
16 Apr 11 |  Premier League
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day

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