Garth Crooks's team of the week: Bolasie, Benteke, Ramsey, Young

By Garth CrooksFootball Analyst
Garth's team of the week
Who has made Garth's team of the week this week?

Manchester United's thrashing of a sorry looking Manchester City side was the headline act of another frantic Premier League weekend which saw movement at both ends of the table.

City's title defence is all but certainly over as Chelsea edged closer to their first title since 2010 with a narrow win at QPR.

At the bottom, Leicester breathed new life into their fight against the drop with a huge win at West Brom, while Sunderland were embarrassed by Alan Pardew's flying Crystal Palace.

Here are the players who I thought excelled in my team of the week:

GOALKEEPER - Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)

Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois kept just his second Premier League clean sheet of 2015 at QPR in his ninth appearance of the calendar year

What a top stop by Thibaut Courtois to deny QPR's Matt Phillips. The save came at a time when Chelsea were looking a little vulnerable. The Belgium keeper was only called on to do his job on a few occasions but what he did in the 1-0 win was enough to keep his team with one hand on the Premier League title.

DEFENDER - Gary Cahill (Chelsea)

Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill made 15 clearances against QPR, the most by any player in the league this weekend, and the third-highest figure by a Chelsea player in a game this season

It was no easy game for Chelsea at QPR. A small, bumpy pitch; the sun shinning irritatingly in your eyes every time you go to head the ball. The longer the game remained 0-0 the more defenders felt the pressure. Well, Gary Cahill coped with all those elements as well as any defender on the pitch against a desperate QPR who were unlucky not to get a point from this match. The jubilation from the Chelsea players at the end of this struggle was further evidence of what these three points meant.

DEFENDER - Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa)

Ron Vlaar
Villa defender Ron Vlaar made a game high nine clearances in the match with Spurs

You cannot go to White Hart Lane, keep a clean sheet and come away with all three points and not have a defender picked out for commendation. That defender was Ron Vlaar. Admittedly there were some excellent supporting roles from Nathan Baker and goalkeeper Brad Guzan, but the Villa captain played a commanding role. His defence produced the goods when Villa needed it most.

DEFENDER - Aaron Cresswell (West Ham)

Aaron Cresswell
Aaron Cresswell's strike against Stoke was West Ham's first direct free-kick goal since 3 May 2014, when Stewart Downing netted against Tottenham

What a goal by Aaron Cresswell against Stoke! It's the sort of goal that lefties can produce more often than most. Poor old Asmir Begovic gambled by trying to guess where Cresswell was going to put the ball and guessed wrong. By the time Stoke's keeper had taken one step to the right Cresswell had whipped the ball past him into the left-hand corner of the net. A fabulously taken free-kick by the full-back.

MIDFIELDER - Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)

Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey has been involved in five goals in his last four Premier League games (scored two, assisted three). Ramsey scored on what was his 150th Premier League appearance

The win at Burnley was not one of Arsenal's most attractive performances but they got the result that keeps this fantastic run of eight straight wins going. At the heart of this gritty display by the Gunners was Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh midfielder was as resilient in defence as he was potent in attack. In fact he was the difference between the two teams.

MIDFIELDER - Michael Carrick (Manchester United)

Michael Carrick
Michael Carrick attempted a game-high 62 passes against Man City, misplacing just five

I have spoken in glowing terms about Wayne Rooney's contribution to the rehabilitation of Manchester United this season but you cannot underestimate the impact Michael Carrick has had for United whenever he has performed. Against Manchester City he played with his usual authority and at a pace that suggests he is in a world of his own. There was not a City player who could get near him.

MIDFIELDER - Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea)

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey netted his first league goal at the Liberty Stadium since 26 April 2014, when he scored at home against Aston Villa

The last time Swansea and Everton met, Jonjo Shelvey was sent off. But this time, against an in-form Toffees side, he looked far more in control of his emotions and on top of his game. Shelvey had an absolute belter disallowed that might have stood on another day but referee Michael Oliver thought otherwise.

However, neither man made a mistake with the penalty that was given by Oliver and converted by Shelvey. A good performance by both teams and a fair result in the end in a match that had little resting on the outcome.

FORWARD - Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy has been involved in four goals in his last three appearances for Leicester (2 goals, 2 assists)

From the moment he dispossessed West Brom defender Gareth McAuley, Leicester striker Jamie Vardy looked like a man on a mission; to put the ball in the back of the net. Leicester City got what they deserved by taking all three points away from a West Brom side who in the latter stages of the game seemed completely overrun by the Foxes. Leicester's victories against West Ham last week and now West Brom have given them a chance to survive the drop. Now that is what I call a great escape.

FORWARD - Ashley Young (Manchester United)

Ashley Young
The derby was the first time Ashley Young scored and assisted in the same Premier League game since March 2012 v Spurs

The 4-2 win at Old Trafford was a performance that said more about the demise of Manchester City than the rise of Manchester United. That said, the versatile Ashley Young showed again that under the direction of Louis van Gaal he has looked back to his best this season. With one goal and an assist in the most important game of the term, Young has me thinking about a possible recall to the international scene again. And who would have ever thought that?

FORWARD - Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace)

Yannick Bolasie
Yannick Bolasie became the first player to score a Premier League hat-trick for Crystal Palace

It was a performance by Yannick Bolasie that simply ripped the heart out of Sunderland and their fans. The DR Congo international was electric and came off the pitch after 70 minutes having scored a hat-trick to a standing ovation from the visiting Palace fans. Last week I could have selected anyone from the Sunderland team that beat Newcastle for my team of the week but against Crystal Palace they played like complete strangers.

FORWARD - Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)

Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke has scored eight goals in his last six Premier League appearances

Eight goals in six games illustrates just how important Christian Benteke has been to Aston Villa in their fight against relegation this season. His headed goal against Spurs, which gave Villa the victory, was far more important than all the talk about Tim Sherwood's return to the club. After all it was Tottenham who gave Sherwood his chance in management prior to showing him the door.