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Premier League: Saturday's top performers

Sports Mole picks out four of the Premier League's top performers on Saturday.

With the Premier League table really beginning to take shape, there were some big performances from a number of players on Saturday as teams scrap at the bottom and vie for position at the top. Here, Sports Mole picks out some of the best performers from Saturday's Premier League action.

Aaron Ramsey:

The Welshman is becoming the first name on the Arsenal team sheet, with match-winning performances almost every week - and sometimes twice. He was at his marauding best yet again against his old club Cardiff City and scored twice in a dominant performance.

His ability to play the ball in midfield with calmness before drifting into space and arriving late in the opposition penalty area is second to none at the moment and he opened the scoring at a crucial time with a header from Mesut Ozil's cross. His second did not change the way that the points were heading but it summed up the type of season he is having with a fine finish into the roof of the net after working his way into the box. If he keeps this up, then Arsenal are certainly in the title race.

Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal doesn't celebrate scoring their first goal in respect for Cardiff his old team during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Arsenal at Cardiff City Stadium on November 30, 2013© Getty Images

Carlton Cole:

West Ham United fans in recent weeks were crying out for Sam Allardyce to play a genuine centre-forward in the absence of Andy Carroll, and his decision to bring on Carlton Cole was justified by his performance in just the 10 minutes he was on the pitch. Although Stewart Downing also caused Fulham no end of problems in the 3-0 win, when Cole came on West Ham improved remarkably.

They were already leading, but Upton Park was still nervous and all the while it was 1-0 Fulham just needed a goal to heap the pressure back on the hosts. Cole came on and a minute later he put the result beyond the Cottagers. There was finally a target for Downing and Cole tapped in at the far post from his cross. In his time on the pitch Fulham were unable to deal with him and the space he created led to the Hammers' third as well. He simply has to start.

Gerard Deulofeu:

On paper, Everton's home game against Stoke City was expected to be a home win, but the manner of the victory really showed that Roberto Martinez is beginning to work wonders at the club. Key to their 4-0 win on Saturday was the direct running and frankly unplayable performance of on-loan winger Gerard Deulofeu.

Bryan Oviedo of Everton celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier league match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on November 30, 2013© Getty Images

The 19-year-old Spaniard ran rings around the Stoke defence and whether he popped up on the left, right or through the middle his direct running was a constant threat. As well as testing the visiting goalkeeper Asmir Begovic on a number of occasions in the first half, he opened the scoring with a rifled effort into the top corner. It was a brilliant all-round performance from Everton but Deulofeu was the star of the show.

Wes Brown:

Sunderland are right in the thick of a relegation battle, which means that new manager Gus Poyet must stop the rot before he can start to turn things around. As such, at the moment, defensive players perhaps more important than those going forward. In what was a tricky away tie against Aston Villa and Christian Benteke, Poyet's defence had to be alert.

Both centre-backs Brown and John O'Shea were impressing, but Brown in particular dealt with Benteke superbly. He does not win the height battle against the giant Belgian, but what he lacked in that area he more than made up for with his positioning and reading of the game. Although 0-0 draws will not get Sunderland to safety, this was a huge improvement at the back from them.


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Emanuele Giaccherini of Sunderland fails to score from close range during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 30, 2013
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