Garth Crooks' Team of the Week: Foster, Pogba, Hazard, Higuain, Aguero

Garth's team of the week

Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City cut Liverpool's lead at the top of the table to two points with a 3-1 win over Arsenal, while Manchester United's great form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued with a 1-0 victory at Leicester.

Chelsea recovered from a midweek hammering at Bournemouth by putting five past bottom club Huddersfield and Wolves cemented their top-seven spot in the table with a thoroughly deserved 3-1 win at Everton.

Cardiff City secured a much-needed 2-0 win over Bournemouth, Fulham's hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a setback with a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace and Burnley scored a stoppage-time equaliser against Southampton.

Newcastle were sunk by a late winner at Tottenham, while Brighton and Watford played out a goalless stalemate.

But which players earned a spot in my team?

Gareth Crooks' Team of the Week

Goalkeeper - Ben Foster (Watford)

Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster

What a season Ben Foster is having. The 35-year-old has made my team of the week on numerous occasions and I find myself compelled to pick him yet again after a glorious display against Brighton.

Jurgen Locadia must be glad to see the back of him. Had it not been for Foster, the Dutch striker might have had a hat-trick. The best save of the match was with his feet. It's heartbreaking that the former England keeper has made himself unavailable for international duty - he's in the best form of his career.

Did you know? Since the start of the 2016-17 season, only Lukasz Fabianski (346) and Jordan Pickford (326) have made more saves in the Premier League than Ben Foster (294).

Defenders - Willy Boly (Wolves), Fernandinho (Man City), Victor Lindelof (Man Utd), Sol Bamba (Cardiff)

Willy Boly, Fernandinho, Victor Lindelof and Sol Bamba

Willy Boly: What a team performance by Wolves. I've selected Willy Boly because he epitomised everything about his team's performance. The block by Boly from Michael Keane's shot in the closing minutes of the game said it all.

The Frenchman threw himself at the ball to stop what could have provided Everton with a lifeline. My BBC colleague Jermaine Jenas said on Match of the Day 'he didn't know what Everton are anymore'. Well I do… confused.

Did you know? Willy Boly has made more blocks than any other Wolves player in the Premier League this season (19).

Fernandinho: So normal service has been resumed. Manchester City's win against Arsenal was about as comfortable as it gets, bearing in mind the shock of losing away to Newcastle - that defeat had raised doubts about City's ability to retain the Premier League title.

However, I've said it before and I will say it again, City will win nothing without Fernandinho in their starting line-up. The Brazil international started in the back four but spent most of the game playing in front of a back three. City boss Pep Guardiola has to find a place for this man in his team, he's too vital to leave out.

Did you know? Manchester City have won 19 of the 23 Premier League games Fernandinho has played in this season.

Victor Lindelof: There are a number of players in this new Manchester United set-up who I don't recognise anymore.

Eric Bailly was a nervous wreck away against Brighton earlier in the season and Victor Lindelof wasn't much better - but the pair looked like the superb former Italy defenders Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Nesta at their best against a very dangerous Leicester team. Lindelof in particular is playing with an authority I haven't seen from him before. What is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feeding these boys?!

Did you know? Victor Lindelof has made more clearances (90) than any other Manchester United player in the Premier League this season.

Sol Bamba: This was an emotionally charged affair in light of the tragic events surrounding the disappearance of Emiliano Sala. Cardiff City's response was to put on a show to lift the spirits of the entire city - and they did.

Sol Bamba was as inspired as anyone in a blue shirt against a dangerous Bournemouth. Neil Warnock and his boys should be very proud of this victory over the Cherries during a very difficult time for the club.

Did you know? Only James Tarkowski (36) and Ben Mee (31) have made more blocks than Sol Bamba (26) among centre-backs in the Premier League this season.

Midfielders - Paul Pogba (Man Utd), Ilkay Gundogan (Man City), Son Heung-min (Spurs)

Paul Pogba, Ilkay Gundogan and Son Heung-min

Paul Pogba: This wasn't the best performance by Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but it did signal that they can win away from home - and keep a clean sheet - having not performed at their best. Fortunately United did have Paul Pogba at his commanding best.

The ball for Marcus Rashford to score the only goal of the game was sensational, while the rest of his game caused Leicester all sorts of problems. I have given Pogba untold abuse since his arrival from Juventus but credit where credit is due - since the departure of Jose Mourinho the lad has been immense.

Did you know? Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first game in charge of Manchester United on 22 December, Paul Pogba has had a hand in more Premier League goals than any other player (11 - six goals, five assists).

Ilkay Gundogan: The ball from Ilkay Gundogan that enabled Raheem Sterling to square for Sergio Ageuro's second goal was just magnificent. How any player has the authority to play a ball with such scant disregard for the opposition is just mesmerising.

It was at that point I knew that Arsenal's attempts to get anything out of the match were futile. Meanwhile, Arsenal's defence is rubbish and winning the occasional match at home will not improve matters at the back. Their defence needs some serious surgery.

Did you know? Ilkay Gundogan has already scored as many Premier League goals this season (four in 19 games) as he did in the whole of last season (four in 30 games).

Son Heung-min: Thank goodness he's back! South Korea's exploits in the Asian Cup took a turn for the worse, during which time Spurs went out of the FA Cup. Son Heung-min's return to the Tottenham line-up was like pouring petrol into a Ferrari.

Without Son in the side, Spurs looked like they were running out of gas. Yes, his goal against Newcastle was fortuitous and Martin Dubravka should hang his head in shame. But Son is a class act and, missing the injured Harry Kane, Spurs are lost without him.

Read more about Spurs and trophies in The Crooks of the Matter below.

Did you know? Tottenham's Son Heung-min has been directly involved in 14 goals in his past 10 appearances in all competitions for Spurs (nine goals, five assists).

Forwards - Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Gonzalo Higuain (Chelsea), Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Eden Hazard, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero

Eden Hazard: Maurizio Sarri insists he wants to see 'his football'. Well, if Chelsea's display against Huddersfield is an indication of what he's talking about, his team are on the right track.

Now Chelsea have installed a proper centre-forward in Gonzalo Higuain and allowed Eden Hazard to play his natural game (which roughly translated means he can do whatever he wants) the Blues look more like the team we saw at the start of the season.

The issue for Sarri is, can he keep Hazard, 28, from moving to Real Madrid at the end of the season? Sadly I think not.

Did you know? Eden Hazard registered his 200th and 201st goal involvements in his top-flight league career (117 goals, 84 assists), with 130 of those coming at Chelsea.

Gonzalo Higuain: At last, Chelsea have a centre-forward who doesn't suffer from stage fright when in front of goal. Alvaro Morata seemed to panic in that situation, but Gonzalo Higuain, who has finally replaced the now loaned-out Spaniard, demonstrated against Huddersfield why he has been rated as one of the most accomplished finishers in the world.

His movement for his first goal was magical. As Huddersfield defender Terence Kongolo was drawn towards the ball, Higuain moved away from it in anticipation of N'Golo Kante's exquisite pass. Game over.

Did you know? Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuain has scored 38 goals in 37 league appearances under manager Maurizio Sarri.

Sergio Aguero: Bobby Reid and Cardiff fans have every right to write in and complain about my excluding of their two-goal hero and match-winner against Bournemouth from my team of the week.

In my defence he was in it until Sergio Aguero scored his 10th Premier League hat-trick for Manchester City and his 219th goal for the club.

I don't know if it's any consolation but Reid has been left out for City's all-time record goal scorer. Sorry Bobby.

Did you know? Only Alan Shearer (11) has scored more hat-tricks in the Premier League than Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (10).

Now it's your turn

You've seen my picks but who would you go for this week?

Pick your XI from our list and share with your friends.

The Crooks of the matter

Winning trophies in football has never been easy. Ask those professionals who have gone an entire career having never won any. So you can imagine my dismay when Mauricio Pochettino suggested that winning cups, as opposed to league titles, is good merely for polishing one's ego.

A little rich, especially from someone who has never won one, don't you think? It's rather like offering your friend one of your favourite sweets only to be told he doesn't like them but has never tried one.

I have never won a league title but I have won three cups. Does it inflate my ego? Of course it does but that wasn't the purpose. The determining factor was winning, which defines a team and in some cases even immortalises them.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino has been in charge of Tottenham since May 2014

I can remember Stoke City's League Cup final against Chelsea in 1972 - and that was 47 years ago. I can name you the entire team. It was, at the time, the greatest experience of my life. That was my team and those players my heroes.

What Spurs boss Pochettino fails to understand is that winning trophies is not just about players or managers but the club and, most important of all, the fans. Of course he hasn't won one so he wouldn't know any of this but I have - and did so with the fans who now chant his name every week. And its magical.

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