Team of the week
We look back at the latest Premier League action and select an all-star XI from three days of stunning goals and individual landmarks.
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp
Last Updated: 22/10/13 1:36pm
Premier League team of the week
Stoke took on West Brom at the Britannia Stadium on the back of three consecutive Premier League defeats, and would have suffered a fourth had it not been for the brilliance of Begovic against the Baggies. The Bosnia international had to be at his best to keep West Brom - and in particular Stephane Sessegnon - at bay to maintain a clean sheet, with Mark Hughes admitting that he may face a challenge to retain the services of a man who he rates as 'one of the top keepers in Europe' when the transfer window opens again.
Manchester City defender Richards was making his first Premier League start of the season on Saturday and played his part as Manuel Pellegrini's side claimed a first victory on their travels in the competition this season with a 3-1 victory over West Ham. Sam Allardyce's 4-6-0 system, which caused so many problems for Spurs prior to the international break, did not have the same impact, although Richards admitted after the match that locating an opponent to track in such a fluid formation was a new challenge.
Despite the final score in Arsenal's 4-1 victory over Norwich, centre-back Koscielny and his defensive colleagues were kept busy by the visitors, but the only time the Canaries could find a way beyond Wojciech Szczesny was via Jonny Howson in the 70th minute. Koscielny has recovered well from a shaky start to the season when he saw red in the 3-1 defeat by Aston Villa, with the Gunners conceding just six goals in the following seven top-flight fixtures to lead the way in the early stages of the campaign.
Hull City may have returned from Goodison Park with nothing to show for their efforts, but the contribution of Tigers defender Davies should not be overlooked. The centre-back coped well with the much-vaunted threat of Everton's on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku as the Belgium international had an off-day in the 2-1 victory for Roberto Martinez's men. Davies could not be faulted for either Everton goal on an afternoon when Steve Bruce felt the big decisions went against his side.
Tottenham returned to winning ways on Sunday with a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa to erase the memories of their shock 3-0 home defeat at the hands of West Ham prior to the international break. Vertonghen has been an integral member of Andre Villas-Boas' defence throughout the season and he played a key role in their fifth clean sheet from eight games at the weekend. Villa's most potent attacking weapon - Christian Benteke - was not introduced until the second half, and Vertonghen and his team-mates ensured Hugo Lloris had a quiet afternoon.
The Liverpool talisman reached the landmark of 100 Premier League goals in Saturday's 2-2 draw with 10-man Newcastle as he calmly converted from the penalty spot at St James' Park. The England captain, fresh from guiding his country to the 2014 World Cup, became the third Anfield player to achieve the milestone, following in the footsteps of Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. Gerrard was at the heart of Liverpool's push for victory as Brendan Rodgers' men had to settle for a point despite their numerical advantage.
Before Pajtim Kasami's screamer against Crystal Palace, all the plaudits were for Wilshere's outstanding opener for Arsenal in their 4-1 victory over Norwich. The England international, who has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons recently, demonstrated that his greatest strength lies on the field as he applied the finishing touch to a devastating and mesmerising Arsenal move which culminated in Olivier Giroud flicking the ball on from between four defenders for Wilshere to burst into the box and beat John Ruddy.
The Belgium international bagged a brace in Chelsea's 4-1 victory over Cardiff, but there was more than an element of controversy about the first. Samuel Eto'o nicked the ball away from goalkeeper David Marshall as he bounced it in his penalty area before Hazard arrived to convert from close range. With the visitors chasing the game having fallen 3-1 down in the closing stages, Hazard drifted inside off the left flank and drilled under the body of Marshall to lift Jose Mourinho's men ominously into second place in the table
Goal of the weekend? Goal of the month? Goal of the season? Best. Goal. Ever? If you've not seen Pajtim's Kasami's sublime volley in Fulham's 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace yet then take a seat, put your cup of tea down and click on the video link to the right. Kasami's cracker is certain to be a regular on any future Premier League highlights shows as he controlled Sascha Riether's long ball forward on his chest before despatching an unstoppable right-foot volley from the right corner of the penalty area over the helpless Julian Speroni and into the top left corner.
Arsenal's opening day defeat to Aston Villa now appears to exist in a different life-time, such is the form the Gunners are displaying in both the Premier League and Champions League. Central to their renaissance is record signing Mesut Ozil, with the Germany international once again to the fore in the victory over Norwich at Emirates Stadium. Ozil opened his Premier League account with a second-half header from the excellent Olivier Giroud's cross, before adding a close-range second in the closing stages.
Manchester City claimed their first away win in the Premier League this season courtesy of a striking master-class from their Argentina international. Aguero was allowed to ghost in behind the West Ham defence for the first after Fernandinho's superb pass and Alvaro Negredo's fine dummy before making it 2-0 early in the second period when he was left unmarked from a free-kick. David Silva was then the beneficiary as Aguero set up his team-mate with a neat back-heel for a late third at Upton Park.