Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United scores the opening goal with a long range shot during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at Boleyn Ground on March 22, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole picks out the 11 best players from the 31st matchday of Premier League action.

Come the end of the season, this weekend will probably looked upon as the one where four Premier League title challengers became three.

Liverpool won 6-3 away at Cardiff City and Manchester City hit Fulham for five at the Etihad Stadium to keep up the pressure on leaders Chelsea, who thrashed Arsenal 6-0 to all but end Arsene Wenger's side's quest for the summit.

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur fought back to win 3-2 against Southampton, while Manchester United recorded a 2-0 victory from their trip to West Ham United.

Meanwhile, towards the bottom, Norwich City were the big winners as they overcome fellow strugglers Sunderland 2-0 at Carrow Road to move seven points clear of the relegation zone.

With all that in mind, Sports Mole has picked out the most impressive 11 players from the weekend's action.

Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace)
While the conceding of a stoppage-time winner was harsh on Crystal Palace, it was particularly galling for Speroni, who made a host of saves from a number of Newcastle United players.

Erik Pieters (Stoke City)
The Dutch international has had a steady season with Stoke, but he excelled at Villa Park with an attack-minded showing to help his side record a comprehensive victory.
Martin Skrtel (Liverpool)
The Reds ended up winning comfortably at Cardiff, although the scoreline may not have been so resounding without Skrtel, who scored his side's second and third goals of the afternoon.
Curtis Davies (Hull City)
Many have urged Roy Hodgson to consider the Hull centre-back for the World Cup and those calls will grow after another stubborn performance against West Bromwich Albion.
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
With no direct opponent on Cardiff's left flank, Johnson was able to run riot from full-back as he set up a number of chances for his Liverpool teammates.

Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City)
The controversial Austrian had arguably his best outing since joining Stoke as he caused numerous problems for the Aston Villa defence. The only thing lacking from his performance was a goal.
Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
Although two of the Ivorian's three goals came from the penalty spot, his third of the afternoon against Fulham was worth his inclusion in this team alone.
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
The Dane has flitted in and out of the Spurs team this term, but he proved his worth by scoring twice as the North Londoners battled back from a two-goal deficit to defeat Southampton.
Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)
The German international is not an automatic starter for Chelsea, but he often makes the most of his opportunities. He scored the second of his team's six goals with a good finish from 18 yards out.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
Just the three goals for Liverpool's Uruguayan talisman as he took his tally to 28 from just 25 matches. For good measure, he also weighed in with an assist for strike partner Daniel Sturridge.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
With Robin van Persie injured, Rooney played as a lone striker and responded by scoring twice, one of which was a goal of the season contender from just inside the West Ham half.

Numpty of the week

Andre Marriner: There is arguably no harder job in football than being a referee. However, it shouldn't be tough to identify which player committed a red card offence. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain clearly handled the ball in attempt to deny Chelsea a goal-scoring opportunity, but in the ensuing melee, referee Andre Marriner sent off his Arsenal teammate Kieran Gibbs. Even when Oxlade-Chamberlain informed the official of his error, the decision was not overturned.

Goal of the week

Wayne Rooney (West Ham United vs. Manchester United): Norwich midfielder Alex Tettey looked as though he was the nailed-on winner of this award thanks to his volley against Sunderland, but later on Saturday evening, Rooney stole his thunder. The United frontman has tried his luck from around the halfway line on a number of occasions down the years, but this time he got it right. From a few yards inside the West Ham half, he unleashed a powerful effort that got the better of a retreating Adrian before bouncing into the roof of the net.

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger (C) puts his hand on his head as he watches from the dug out during the English Premier League football match against Chelsea on March 22, 2014
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