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Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week

Sports Mole picks out 11 of the most impressive players from the 12th round of Premier League matches.

Suspension meant that Jose Mourinho was not permitted to attend Chelsea's trip to Stoke City, yet it was a familiar outcome for the Blues at the Britannia Stadium.

They slumped to their seventh Premier League defeat of the season as the hosting Potters ran out 1-0 winners on Saturday evening.

Elsewhere, the top two Manchester City and Arsenal dropped points, which allowed Leicester City and Manchester United to close the gap to just one and two points respectively.

There were away victories for Crystal Palace, Newcastle United and Southampton, while Norwich City picked up a much-needed 1-0 victory over Swansea City at Carrow Road. As for West Ham United and Everton, they played out a 1-1 draw at Upton Park.

Here, Sports Mole looks back over all of the action and picks out the 11 most impressive players.


Rob Elliot (Newcastle United)
As far as goalkeeping performances go, it doesn't get much better than the one that Elliot produced at Dean Court. He went into the clash against Bournemouth with a thigh injury, but he put that to one side to earn Newcastle all three points. His five saves were more than any other keeper in the Premier League managed this weekend.

Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur)
It seemed that Rose's days as a Spurs player were numbered when he was loaned out to Sunderland two seasons ago, but since then the 25-year-old has developed into an astute left-back. He was defensively sound in the North London derby and also showed great vision when he set up his team's goal.
Micah Richards (Aston Villa)
Up against the side that let him go on a free transfer, Richards will no doubt have been determined to prove a point against Man City. He did just that with a physical display in a defensive sense, while on numerous occasions he showed a good reading of the game to make crucial interceptions.
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
West Brom striker Salomon Rondon is a big unit, but he was dominated by Smalling for the 72 minutes that he spent on the pitch. If you had said that Smalling was the best centre-back in the country 12 months ago, you would have been laughed at. Now, it is tough to argue against that viewpoint.
Glen Johnson (Stoke City)
At the age of 31, there had been suggestions that Johnson's better days were behind him when he made the switch to Stoke in the summer. Yet, up against former employers Chelsea, the former England man showed that there was still some life in the dog. He defended well and also made a fantastic run down to the right byline to assist the winning goal.

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Nobody has ever doubted Zaha's talent. Instead, there have been question marks over his application, particularly during his brief stint at Man United. He was certainly in the mood at Anfield, though, with a direct and pacey display that caused no end of problems for Liverpool full-back Alberto Moreno.
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
Somebody needs to check Alli's birth certificate because with displays like the one that he put in against Arsenal, surely he can't be 19! Midfielders today tend to be graded as being defensive or attack-minded, but Alli does both. He won plenty of physical duels, but then in the final third showed that he had the ability to pick out a pass.
Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur)
Alongside the Spurs youngster at the Emirates Stadium was Dembele, who is finally starting to show the form that convinced Spurs to spend £15m on him in 2012. In terms of physicality, there are few midfielders in the Premier League that are stronger than the powerful Belgian.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
If Olivier Giroud had decided to wear his shooting boots, Ozil would have ended the clash with Spurs with more than one assist to his name. The German playmaker put in dangerous cross after dangerous cross, only to see Giroud squander the majority of them. Finally, in the closing stages, the unlikely Kieran Gibbs benefited from Ozil's precision.

Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
The big Belgian striker has been linked with the likes of Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain of late and on current form it is easy to see why. His goal, which highlighted his composed side as he rounded West Ham goalkeeper Adrian, capped an impressive performance.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Having found the net from the spot against Watford, Vardy now holds the record for goals scored in consecutive Premier League games for an Englishman - nine. The speedy frontman also won the penalty that he converted, having outpaced the away side's rearguard before he was tripped by goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.


Numpty of the Week

Diego Costa: It has got to the point where even Chelsea fans must cringe every time that Costa steps out onto the pitch. From the opening game of the season the Spaniard has seemed more interested in starting fights than scoring goals - something that continued at the Britannia Stadium.

He kicked out (unprovoked) early on at Ryan Shawcross, who was not prepared to give Costa an easy evening in the Potteries. More petulant actions followed, including Costa informing his marker that he had a body odour problem as if the two were in the playground.

Goal of the week

Jesse Lingard - (Man United) vs. West Brom: Having hit the crossbar and post in recent outings, it felt as though Lingard's first goal in Man United colours was not very far away.

It finally came against the Baggies at Old Trafford, where he made the most of the space that he was afforded 20 yards from goal. The 22-year-old took one touch to steady himself, before he unleashed a curling shot with his right foot that left Boaz Myhill no chance.


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Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's fourth and hat trick goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and A.F.C. Bournemouth at Etihad Stadium on October 17, 2015
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd4310113810
2Chelsea431091810
3Liverpool431091810
4Everton4310104610
5Manchester CityMan City4301111109
6Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton43015329
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs43013309
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham422010558
9Leicester CityLeicester420246-26
10Brentford41213215
11Crystal Palace41215505
12Aston Villa411257-24
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves410323-13
14Southampton403146-23
15Watford410337-43
16Arsenal410319-83
17Leeds UnitedLeeds4022411-72
18Burnley401338-51
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle4013512-71
20Norwich CityNorwich4004111-100

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