Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week

Jay Rodriguez of Southampton celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium on March 29, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole selects a Team of the Week from the most recent round of Premier League fixtures.

This may be the weekend that is looked back upon as decisive in terms of the destination of the Premier League title.

Leaders Chelsea slumped to a surprising 1-0 defeat away at Crystal Palace, presenting Manchester City with the chance to hit the summit.

They could only draw 1-1 away at Arsenal, though, which meant that Liverpool's 4-0 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield sent Brendan Rodgers's team to the top of the table with six matches left to play.

Meanwhile, Everton kept up their pursuit of fourth-placed Arsenal courtesy of a 3-1 win away at Fulham, leaving the hosts rooted to the bottom. Struggling Sunderland were beaten 2-1 at home by West Ham United, while relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City shared six goals evenly at The Hawthorns.

Below, Sports Mole has trawled through the action to pick out a team of 11 players that made the biggest impression on us.

Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace)
While he may have expected to have been busier against Chelsea, Palace's Argentine goalkeeper still had to make a handful of saves, including one from Eden Hazard's curling effort that earned him a number of plaudits.

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace)
In front of Speroni, Ward in particular shone. The left-back did his defensive duties with minimal fuss, while he also provided an outlet on occasions down the wing.
Steven Caulker (Cardiff City)
The Bluebirds may have let in three goals at West Brom, but it would have been even more but for the numerous interventions from their skipper. He also continued his positive form in front of goal by scoring his team's second of the afternoon.
John Stones (Everton)
Somebody should check Stones's birth certificate because after his showing against Fulham, he cannot be 19! Calm in possession, the centre-back has ensured that the Toffees have not missed the injured Phil Jagielka in defence.
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
On current form, there are not many better right-backs in the Premier League. Johnson got forward well against Spurs, crossing early on as Younes Kaboul put the ball into his own net.

Adam Lallana (Southampton)
The 25-year-old plays as if he should be a part of the Spain squad, not England! Once again he showed that he was comfortable using both feet against Newcastle United, as well as lashing a shot into the top corner of the net from 25 yards out.
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace)
While the creative players in the Premier League are often lauded, it's the industrious work that footballers like Jedinak put in that often goes unnoticed. Against Chelsea, he showed good awareness to make a host of interceptions and challenges.
Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea City)
Despite their domination against Norwich City, it didn't appear that Swansea City were going to score until their Dutch midfielder popped up with two goals in quick succession.
Steven Naismith (Everton)
The Scot may have only played the second half against Fulham, but Everton probably wouldn't have won without his introduction. First of all his goalbound shot was turned in by Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale, before he rounded off the scoring late on.

Jay Rodriguez (Southampton)
It was another weekend where Rodriguez did his chances of going to the World Cup with England no harm whatsoever. In a lively showing, he scored twice and on another day may have had a hat-trick.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Where would United have been this season without Rooney's influence? Wobbling at 1-0 down to Villa, he headed his side level and then showed good composure to score from the penalty spot.

Numpty of the week

Christian Beneteke: Teams creating chances at Old Trafford this season has, surprisingly, become the norm. However, while Man United have been punished numerous times this season in front of their own supporters, Villa striker Benteke failed to do so. With his side 2-1 down, he completely missed his kick six yards from the target when a goal looked inevitable and then, moments later, he somehow headed over the crossbar from close range. Not long after, Juan Mata made it 3-1 to the hosts to seal the outcome, whereas Benteke should have put his team 3-2 in front.

Goal of the week

Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea City vs. Norwich): Lallana and Morgan Amalfitano will both probably believe that they have done enough to scoop this award, but we've been won over by the skill element in De Guzman's second goal against Norwich. Wilfried Bony is known for his physical attributes, but he showed delicate feet to back-heel a pass into the path of De Guzman, who with an advancing John Ruddy to beat, sent a deft chip into the net via the post.

Chelsea's Samuel Eto'o celebrates after scoring his team's opening goal against Tottenham during their Premier League match on March 8, 2014
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