After each round of Premier League fixtures, ESPN FC brings you its Team of the Weekend. Our panel of experts carefully selects 11 star performers, along with a manager.
Do you agree or disagree? You can have your say on those picked or overlooked in the comments section at the foot of the article or on Twitter using the hashtag #TOTW. Plus, tune in to ESPN FC TV for further reaction.
Goalkeeper: Unanimous agreement from our pundits -- all three were impressed by Sunderland's Vito Mannone as he kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw against Arsenal that lifted Sam Allardyce and his side out of the relegation zone on goal difference. Gabriele Marcotti says Mannone helped the Black Cats "take a small but important step towards safety," while Steve Nicol hails his performance as "positionally perfect" and Paul Mariner praises "two great saves in the first half."
Right-back: Southampton's Cedric Soares enjoyed his day at Villa Park, something many visiting players have done this season. The defender started a little slowly but rapidly grew into the game, making some impressive challenges, clearing an effort off the line and weighing in with the cross that brought a goal for Sadio Mane. "Tight defensively and contributed an assist as well," says the impressed Nicol.
Centre-back: Well though Mannone played, his defensive colleagues take plenty of credit as well, especially Lamine Kone, who enjoyed an excellent game -- a "monster" for his team, according to Nicol -- in an increasingly assured centre-back partnership with Younes Kaboul. Kone won challenge after challenge, both in the air and on the ground, and meandered forward to add some muscle at set pieces. "He plays a big part marshalling Big Sam's safety-first back four," Marcotti notes.
Centre-back: Leicester may have won 4-0 to take another big step towards the title, but their defensive work was also quietly outstanding as a day that could have been fraught turned into a breeze. The Foxes are so well organised that most teams find chances hard to come by, and at the heart of that organisation are Wes Morgan and Robert Huth. Huth won every battle, timed his challenges on the ground immaculately and even popped up at left-back as Swansea tried to profit from a quick counter. He's a cornerstone of this incredible team and, as Marcotti says: "The big man avoids potential penalties and wreaks havoc at set pieces. Just like he's supposed to do."
Left-back: Sometimes, Liverpool fans will tell you that Alberto Moreno doesn't always fill them with the utmost confidence when doing his defensive duties. But he had a fine game against Newcastle at Anfield, despite his team losing a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2, and set up both goals. Mariner enjoyed his "marauding" performance; Nicol praises him for his pair of neatly-done assists and Marcotti says that although he "has his critics, going forward he can do damage."
Centre-midfield: Another unanimous verdict from our panel, who all revelled in a Cesc Fabregas masterclass as Chelsea won 4-1 in a breathtakingly open game at Bournemouth. Fabregas and Chelsea haven't had the happiest of times this season, but the Spaniard was back to his very best and demonstrated the range of ways in which he makes the Blues tick. This was his show. "His passing was amazing -- he was assisting for fun," says a thoroughly impressed Mariner, while Nicol exclaims: "What an array of passing he has!" Marcotti notes ruefully that Fabregas is "finding his form just as the season comes to an end."
Centre-midfield: When he's having this kind of day, Fernando keeps things ticking over beautifully in the Manchester City midfield -- and against Stoke, he weighed in with a rare goal to boot. Jesus Navas found him with a corner and the header inside the far post gave the finishing flourish to a performance that was never less than beautifully effective. Never seeming to lose possession, never seeming to pick the wrong pass, Fernando's was the definition of a good day at the office. "So consistent," says Nicol, and Mariner asserts that he "ran the midfield, scoring in a dominant performance."
Left midfield: Another outbreak of unanimity, this time for Eden Hazard. It seems odd to think the Belgian playmaker should have had to wait until April for his first Premier League goals, but that's the way this Chelsea season has gone. Like Fabregas, he sparkled in the south coast sunshine and produced the sort of runs, touches and passes we have come to expect from him. His two strikes were the icing on the cake as he gave every impression of being another player enjoying his work again. "Back to his best," is Marcotti's simple summary, while Mariner was pleased to see that Hazard was "full of goals and smiling." "He's still got it," adds Nicol.
Right midfield: Ashley Westwood. Hold on a moment, there's an Aston Villa player in Team of the Weekend? No, you're not imagining things. Yes, it was another defeat for the relegated Midlanders against Southampton, but midfielder Westwood did his best to bring a modicum of cheer to the long-suffering home fans with two well-taken goals. "Two goals in that team takes some doing," says Nicol, while Marcotti hails Westwood for the fact that he "kept fighting even as most of his club had given up."
Striker: No Jamie Vardy? No problem at all for Premier League leaders Leicester, who simply replaced their suspended star with Leonardo Ulloa and saw normal service continued as he scored twice against Swansea. Ulloa may not have Vardy's eye-catching pace, but he has strength in the air and on the ground, great hold-up play and the ability to do all the simple things well. His contrasting goals, a strong header and a close-range tap-in, showed how well the back-up makes the transition to leading man. "Filled Vardy's boots well," says Nicol, while Marcotti adds: "El Ciclon, the cyclone, replaces Vardy and sweeps away the Swansea defence, just as [Claudio] Ranieri asked him to do."
Striker: Kelechi Iheanacho stole the show as Manchester City swept aside Stoke, seizing the opportunity to again demonstrate his outstanding finishing skills. The 19-year-old has scored 11 times from 15 shots on target this season and converted passes from first Pablo Zabaleta and then Wilfried Bony to score the third and fourth goals on Saturday. What's more, Iheanacho also won his side a penalty. Marcotti notes that he has "moved ahead of the other Manc teen -- Marcus Rashford -- both in goals scored this season and in minutes per goal," while Mariner says: "Edging out Sergio Aguero for the star striker role is some feat."
Manager: Three voices in agreement again on this one: Newcastle's Rafa Benitez takes his place in the dugout. The Magpies looked in all sorts of trouble after defeats to Norwich and Southampton, but since then a win at home to Swansea and draws against Manchester City and Benitez's old club Liverpool have inspired new and real hope. "OK, so it's the friendly confines of Anfield, and [Jurgen] Klopp helps him out by digging deep into his bench," Marcotti says. "But he still got Newcastle to come back from two goals down."