Opta Index Premiership Team of the Week
Matches played 22-24th March 2003
Kasey Keller (Bolton v TOTTENHAM)
Not many players have been unluckier to end up on the losing team in a Premiership game this season than Tottenham goalkeeper Kasey Keller. The USA star pulled off seven saves against Bolton — two or three of which were exceptional — and was only beaten by Jay-Jay Okocha’s injury-time penalty.
Lauren (ARSENAL v Everton)
Everton made life difficult for Arsenal on Sunday afternoon and it was one of those games when the title-challenging Gunners had to grind out a win. Right-back Lauren played his part, completing five tackles and keeping possession 82% of the time.
William Gallas (CHELSEA v Manchester City)
Frenchman William Gallas scored his fourth goal of a productive season as Chelsea romped past Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. The ex-Marseille man netted with his only attempt of the game and was near-immaculate with his passing, keeping the ball with 89% of his passes.
John Terry (CHELSEA v Manchester City)
At last John Terry has earned a full international call up but he couldn’t really be left out of the England squad after another outstanding display against Manchester City. Not content with a goal and an assist, Terry also dominated things in defence, making 12 clearances in total.
John O’Shea (MANCHESTER UTD v Fulham)
After a couple of games in central defence, Manchester United’s John O’Shea was moved to left back for the visit of Fulham. But it doesn’t really matter where he plays as he continues to produce one exceptional performance after another. On Saturday lunchtime he hit two shots at goal and went on six dribbles.
Mario Stanic (CHELSEA v Manchester City)
Chelsea fans are warming to midfielder Mario Stanic after he scored his second goal in as many games in the win over Manchester City on Saturday. The Croatia international scored with his only shot on target and also created a goal and went in for eight tackles.
Patrick Vieira (ARSENAL v Everton)
Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira was outstanding in his team’s narrow win over Everton at Highbury. A key man in defence and attack, Vieira won seven out of the eight tackles he attempted and then strode forward to net the crucial winner with a thumping finish from an angle.
Frank Lampard (CHELSEA v Manchester City)
Frank Lampard booked his place in the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2004 qualifiers with another notable display at Stamford Bridge. The former West Ham hero scored the penultimate goal in the 5-0 victory and helped out in defence with four tackles and as many clearances.
Laurent Robert (NEWCASTLE v Blackburn)
Toon winger Laurent Robert produced a whirlwind performance in the 5-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. The Frenchman hit a total of eight shots at Brad Friedel’s goal and was a bit unfortunate that only one of them went in. Still, a fine goal it was and he backed it up with an assist and 15 crosses.
Ruud van Nistelrooy (MANCHESTER UTD v Fulham)
Fulham’s defence found Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy too hot to handle at Old Trafford and he put them to the sword by netting a hat-trick. His first and third goals weren’t much to write home about but his second was a stunner as he ran from his own half before slotting home with apparent ease. His trio of strikes came from a total of seven shots.
Michael Owen (LIVERPOOL v Leeds)
Liverpool and England number ten Michael Owen was in rip-roaring form on Sunday lunchtime, causing visiting Leeds all sorts of problems with his pace and precision. It was Owen who put his side 2-0 ahead in the first half, smashing home a left foot shot from just inside the box. He then set up Steven Gerrard’s strike to put the icing on the 3-1 win.
Kasey Keller's magnificent display at Bolton at least had some reward - he was named in Opta Index's Team of the Week.