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Garth Crooks' team of the week

Garth Crooks
By Garth Crooks

Garth Crooks' team of the week

EDWIN VAN DER SAR
EDWIN VAN DER SAR

Goalkeeper
Manchester United

Provided the turning point in United's victory over Everton, a sensational save from Jack Rodwell at 0-0 that took a deflection en route to goal. When will Arsenal and Tottenham realise that you need a top-class keeper to win anything? Van der Sar is still world-class at the grand old age of 40.

Did you know? Has the best saves-to-shots ratio for efforts from outside the area in the Premier League this season (97%).

JOHN FLANAGAN
JOHN FLANAGAN

Full-back
Liverpool

This young man played against Birmingham with the same ease and authority as Chris Lawler, a former Liverpool player and favourite of mine. If this prodigious talent has anything like the career of that Kop icon then the glory days are really on their way back to Anfield.

Did you know? Despite being only 17, Liverpool have conceded only one goal (to Arsenal) in three games with Flanagan on the pitch this season.

JAMIE CARRAGHER
JAMIE CARRAGHER

Centre-back
Liverpool

Stretchered off last week, he was back to hold the fort this week. 'Mr Dependable' was the bedrock of Liverpool's defence, albeit against the lacklustre Blues. He is the perfect role model for Flanagan and Jack Robinson.

Did you know? Has not had a single shot this season, despite playing 2,129 minutes.

GARY CAHILL
GARY CAHILL

Centre-back
Bolton

This time last week the Bolton defender must have thought his world had collapsed after struggling in the 5-0 FA Cup defeat by Stoke. Against Arsenal however, he made a goal, saved another and went some way to burying that nightmare.

Did you know? Has made a clearance every eight minutes in the Premier League this season, only Blackpool's Ian Evatt and Brede Hangeland of Fulham have cleared the ball more often.

CARLOS SALCIDO
CARLOS SALCIDO

Full-back
Fulham

Played his part in a solid performance at Molineux. The Mexican international continually provided menacing raids down the left flank, resulting in a gilt-edged chance for Clint Dempsey. It is a pity the American striker was not equal to it.

Did you know? No Fulham player won more tackles this weekend (three).

JORDAN HENDERSON
JORDAN HENDERSON

Midfield
Sunderland

Just when you thought that injuries to Sunderland's strike-force had robbed them of a point against Wigan, Henderson popped up with a brace and provided the Black Cats with all three. The 20-year-old is starting to look lively again.

Did you know? Only four players have created more goalscoring chances in the Premier League this season (74).

FRANK LAMPARD
FRANK LAMPARD

Midfield
Chelsea

In difficult conditions, the Chelsea midfielder initiated West Ham's downfall, set the stage for Fernando Torres and helped keep the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the table. Lampard in this form means the title race is still not over.

Did you know? Chelsea have averaged 2.3 goals per game when he has started in the league this season, compared to only 1.4 without him.

MAXI RODRIGUEZ
MAXI RODRIGUEZ

Midfield
Liverpool

The Argentine put in an outstanding performance to score that hat-trick against Birmingham. There were a couple of gifts from the keeper, but you cannot do any more than be in the right place at the right time. It was an excellent contribution to a fulsome Liverpool performance.

Did you know? Scored his first league hat-trick since September 2004 for Espanyol against Real Betis.

JAVIER HERNANDEZ
Javier Hernandez

Striker
Manchester United

The little Mexican pestered Everton's defence all day and eventually got his reward with a late goal. At a cost of only £6m, he is an outstanding foil for Wayne Rooney. Who would not pay three times that now? And where does United boss Sir Alex Ferguson keep finding them?!

Did you know? Has the best shot conversion rate of regular strikers in the Premier League this season (30%).

PETER ODEMWINGIE
PETER ODEMWINGIE

Striker
West Brom

What a buy the Nigerian international has proved to be for the Baggies. Ever since he burst onto the Premier League scene he has transformed West Brom's attack. All credit to ex-Baggies boss Roberto DiMatteo for making a signing other managers were wary of.

Did you know? Only Carlos Tevez (50%) has been involved (goal or assist) in a higher proportion of his team's Premier League goals this season (39%).

DANIEL STURRIDGE
DANIEL STURRIDGE

Striker
Bolton

What a fantastic addition this lad has made to Bolton's attack since he left Stamford Bridge on loan. Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti could not have found a better way to wreck Arsenal's season.

Did you know? No player has scored more goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season than him (three).



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see also
Aston Villa 1-1 Stoke
23 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Blackpool 1-1 Newcastle
23 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Chelsea 3-0 West Ham
23 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Liverpool 5-0 Birmingham
23 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Man Utd 1-0 Everton
23 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Sunderland 4-2 Wigan
23 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Tottenham 2-2 West Brom
23 Apr 11 |  Premier League
Wolves 1-1 Fulham
23 Apr 11 |  Premier League
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day


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