First I'd just like to say, what a strange weekend of football we witnessed. Not one of the eight teams situated between 20th and 13th before this weeks action lost to ensure that the relegation battle remains as unpredictable as ever.
Without doubt the result of the weekend came at St James' Park with Newcastle coming from behind to beat Chelsea 3-2 and the Magpies find themselves rightfully well represented in this weeks side. Also picking up a huge three points were Reading with a hard-fought victory against Sunderland.
Meanwhile the title race took a new turn as United's win and City's draw meant the gap at the top is now nine points, surely too big a gap to be plugged? Anyway enough of the talking, once again here is my team of the weekend:
GK: Gerhard Tremmel - Very unfortunate to be on the losing side after an excellent performance against West Ham on Saturday, Tremmel is fast showing why he is first choice ahead of Vorm. Made a series of excellent saves but couldn't do enough to prevent Andy Carroll from netting the winner. Could have been a greater margin without him there.
Unlucky to miss out: Mark Bunn
RB: Stephen Kelly - Reading's January signing performed admirably well for the Royals as they battled to victory against Sunderland. Regularly tasked with the challenge of managing the attacking threat of Stephane Sessegnon, he did just that, keeping the Benin striker reduced to scraps. Could do absolutely nothing to prevent Sunderland's goal.
Unlucky to miss out: Glen Johnson
CB: Steven Taylor - A superb game from the Geordie local lad against Chelsea earns Taylor his place in this weeks Team of the Weekend. Despite Newcastle conceding twice to the Blues, Taylor could do nothing to stop either and produced a mature and composed defensive display to stop Ba and Torres from making their mark on the game.
Unlucky to miss out: Per Mertesacker
CB: Winston Reid - Dealt admirably with the attacking force of Swansea ensuring that the likes of Michu and co struggled to create clear goal scoring opportunities. Has proven to be a key player for the Hammers this season, and yet another clean sheet is representative of his leadership of the back four.
Unlucky to miss out: Chris Samba
LB: Davide Santon - An excellent performance from the young Italian who is at last beginning to fulfil the potential many expected to have already seen showing through at Champions League level. Against Chelsea he performed his defensive duties capably and got forward well to support attacks. Two assists a deserved return for his work.
Unlucky to miss out: Ian Harte
WG: Jimmy Kebe - Another two goals for the Frenchman earned Reading a vital three points against Sunderland but also a deserved place in this weeks team of the weekend. Showed fantastic use of both feet throughout with his trickery on the wing and also showed his aerial ability by rising to head in the late winner that could make such a huge difference in the relegation battle.
Unlucky to miss out: Yoan Gouffran
CM: Moussa Sissoko - The player of the weekend full stop. Newcastle's January purchase is looking like tremendous value for money following an impressive start to his Magpies career against Villa midweek, but he stepped it up against Chelsea. A dominant midfield display included two goals and an absolute humiliation of Ashley Cole.
Unlucky to miss out: James McCarthur
CM: Steven Gerrard
Liverpool's talisman captain led from the off at the Etihad, and will feel unlucky not to have seen his side to a win against the champions. He scored the goal which put them 2-1 up, and only a superb opportunistic effort from Aguero denied them.
Unlucky to miss out: Frank Lampard
WG: Gareth Bale - Another fine performance from the Welshman proved the difference in Tottenham's narrow 1-0 victory over West Brom as his thunderbolt strike separated the two sides. Bale moved freely from side to side across the midfield causing the Baggies constant problems and was rewarded for his efforts with his twelfth goal of the season.
Unlucky to miss out: Kevin Mirallas
AM: Marouane Fellaini - Narrowly edges Mata for his place in the side after his two goals for Everton ensured that they picked up a vital point and sent Aston Villa fans bemoaning two points dropped. Wasn't the greatest performance of the Belgians season but took full advantage of defensive negligence to fire away twice with great composure.
Unlucky to miss out: Juan Mata
ST: Daniel Sturridge - Money well spent is a phrase certainly becoming effusive with the England international who continued his run of strong showings against former employer Manchester City. Was a handful for City's back four all day, getting himself into various goal scoring opportunities. Rewarded with a terrific goal.
Unlucky to miss out: Christian Benteke
image: © ruairadhG