Goal.com UK Premier League Team of the Week: Benjani and Best form surprise strike partnership

There's nothing like a midweek fixture program of Premier League football, and the first Tuesday and Wednesday games of the year matched expectations, as top-four rivals Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham were all in action.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side recorded a win courtesy of a Nani stunner against Stoke City, while Arsenal were left frustrated by City at the Emirates Stadium.

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Tottenham both suffered defeats away from home and failed to keep pace with the leaders of the pack.

Wolves moved off the bottom of the table into 17th, while Fulham and Birmingham also won to ease their relegation fears.

Misery returned to West Ham, however, as Newcastle ran out 5-0 winners at St James’ Park to send the Hammers back to the bottom of the pile.

But who staked a claim for a place in Goal.com UK's Team of the Week? Read on for a few of the usual suspects, mixed with some surprise names...

Formation: 3-5-2


Goalkeeper - Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Player Rating:
7.5 (vs Arsenal)
TOTW Apps
: 3

Saw his woodwork struck a handful of times in the first half alone against Arsenal, but made a string of smart saves - notably at full stretch to deny Van Persie - as Manchester City kept a clean sheet at Eastlands.


Centre-back - Brede Hangeland (Fulham)

Player Rating: 8 (vs West Brom)
TOTW Apps: 3

Dominant in the air at the back for Fulham, but equally dangerous going forward as he scored his side's third on the way to a comfortable victory against an injury-stricken West Brom on Tuesday.


Centre-back - Kolo Toure (Manchester City)

Player Rating: 7.5 (vs Arsenal)
TOTW Apps: 2

Returned to his former club and kept his old team-mates as quiet as possible as City's rearguard action frustrated a free-flowing Arsenal side.


Centre-back - Scott Dann (Birmingham)

Player Rating: 7 (vs Blackpool)
TOTW Apps: 3

Racking up the TOTW appearances and takes his tally to three after scoring the decisive goal against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road while limiting the hosts as best he could.


Right midfield - Seamus Coleman (Everton)

Player Rating: 8 (vs Tottenham)
TOTW Apps: 2

An excellent performance from the young midfielder, who terrorised Benoit Assou-Ekotto and scored the goal that secured victory for Everton over Spurs; a fitting reward.


Centre midfield - Cheikh Tiote (Newcastle)

Player Rating: 7.5 (vs West Ham)
TOTW Apps: 1

A surprise first TOTW appearance for the midfielder, who continues to act expertly as a screen for Newcastle, picking up praise from many an onlooker along the way.


Centre midfield - Alex Song (Arsenal)

Player Rating: 7.5 (vs Manchester City)
TOTW Apps: 4

Bossed the midfield as Arsenal dominated proceedings at the Emirates but could not break down Manchester City. A fourth TOTW outing for a now regular fixture in the Arsenal starting XI.


Centre midfield - Kevin Nolan (Newcastle)

Player Rating: 7.5 (vs West Ham)
TOTW Apps: 3

Two assists and a goal of his own in the 5-0 victory over West Ham for the Newcastle captain, who has made a habit of leading by example thus far this season and takes his TOTW appearances to three.


Left midfield - Nani (Manchester United)

Player Rating: 7.5 (vs Stoke)
TOTW Apps: 5

Scored a beautiful goal with his supposedly weaker left foot to guide Manchester United to a 2-1 victory over a difficult Stoke side. A regular in the TOTW with five appearances already this season.


Striker - Benjani (Blackburn Rovers)

Player Rating: 7.5 (vs Liverpool)
TOTW Apps: 1

The surprise package of this round of fixtures, Benjani scored twice as Blackburn secured a 3-1 win over struggling Liverpool. There may not be any need for Ronaldinho at Ewood Park after all...


Striker - Leon Best (Newcastle)

Player Rating: 8.5 (vs West Ham)
TOTW Apps: 1

Apparently, Leon Best has been knocking on Alan Pardew's door, asking for a chance to prove himself. Pardew granted Best his wish and was rewarded with a hat-trick against West Ham.

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