Who's the wolf in the chicken coop?Garth Crooks' team of the week

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Liverpool continued their march towards the Premier League title by beating Manchester United 2-0 on Sunday.The chasing pack dropped points as Manchester City drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace while Leicester lost 2-1 to Burnley.Elsewhere, Norwich gave themselves some hope of beating the drop by defeating Bournemouth 1-0, Newcastle scored a late, late winner to see off Chelsea 1-0 and Wolves came back from two goals down to beat Southampton 3-2.
Here's my team of the week - have a read and then select your own below.

Goalkeeper - Nick Pope (Burnley)

Nick Pope: Burnley hadn't won in the Premier League since Christmas but they turned this game around against a Leicester team who looked very impressive in the first half. The man of the moment was Nick Pope. Like Burnley, Pope has had a difficult time this season having made some costly errors in previous fixtures. Nevertheless the save by Pope from a Jamie Vardy spot-kick was as important as it was impressive. One win in five games must feel like an eternity for the Clarets but the victory puts them on 27 points and well on their way to safety. Did you know[/IMG]Defenders - Ciaran Clark (Newcastle), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Mason Holgate (Everton)
[img]data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7" data-src="{width}{hidpi}/cpsprodpb/ABD2/production/_110568934_untitled.png" data-sizes="auto" alt="Ciaran Clark, Virgil van Dijk and Mason Holgate">
[b]Ciaran Clark:
They say one for sorrow two for joy. The Magpies are not getting a great deal of luck with injuries these days. Nevertheless it took superb defending and some wonderful interventions at the back by my man of the match Ciaran Clark to keep Chelsea at bay and his team in the fixture. Newcastle may be unlucky with injuries at the moment but Kepa Arrizabalaga gave them a glorious gift in the final minutes. The Chelsea keeper looked like he was trying to catch the ball when he really should have parried it. Poor goalkeeping gifted Newcastle the victory. Did you know[/img]
Midfielders - James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Adama Traore (Wolves)
[img]data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7" data-src="{width}{hidpi}/cpsprodpb/10A00/production/_110569086_pictures.png" data-sizes="auto" alt="James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Adama Traore (Wolves)">
[b]James McCarthy:
The Republic of Ireland midfielder has been a stalwart for Crystal Palace for some time now. However his performance against the current, but not for long, Premier League champions will take some beating. The control, skill and the pass by McCarthy for Wilfried Zaha to run on to and cause mayhem in Manchester City's ranks was quite outstanding. The controversy over Jairo Riedewald's handball in the box saved Palace in the end. Nevertheless it was interesting to see the penalty not given by VAR simply due to the ball coming off the player's own body. I hope they do the same when the ball cannons off the body of a striker and he scores.Did you know[/img]
The Spanish winger destroyed Southampton who found it impossible to cope with his pace and power. What impresses me about Traore's performances of late is his composure in the final third. Where has that suddenly come from? Wolves bought Traore for £18m - what's he worth now? [b]Did you know? Traore has registered six assists this season, double the amount he managed in his previous three Premier League seasons with Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Wolves.
Forwards - Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Sergio Aguero (Man City), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
[img]data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7" data-src="{width}{hidpi}/cpsprodpb/13110/production/_110569087_untitled.png" data-sizes="auto" alt="Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Sergio Aguero (Man City), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)">
Raul Jimenez: Southampton's recent form suggested Wolves were in for a hiding and after 45 minutes and two goals you wouldn't have backed against it. We will never know what Nuno Espirito Santo said to his players at half-time but their response was emphatic and so was the finishing of Raul Jimenez. The Mexico striker is in great form. If he was four years younger he would be perfect for Spurs, especially with Harry Kane's long-term injury, but he would also be worth twice the price and not the £30m Wolves paid for him. What a snip. Did you know[/img]
[b]Did you know? Salah has scored against 23 of the 25 Premier League teams he's faced as a Liverpool player, scoring against Manchester United for the first time in his fifth appearance against them for the Reds.
Now it's your turn
You've seen my selections this week. But who would you go for?
Pick your Team of the Week
Pick your XI from our list and share with your friends.
Who's the wolf in the chicken coop?Garth Crooks' team of the week

The Crooks of the matter
Hooray! Finally someone at the Professional Game Match Officials office is listening. A few weeks ago I insisted, in this very column, that referees were being usurped by VAR. I maintained that the practice foisted on officials and executed at Stockley Park was as absurd as it was in stark contrast to the spirit of the game. Since the start of the season VAR has infiltrated the game and turned one of its longest and most established traditions on its head. The referee's decision has always been, until recently, final. VAR's insistence that it makes the decisions when a perceived mistake has been made is, in fact, the referee's prerogative and his final opinion is the only one that counts.Well, at last VAR has seen the light.Paul Tierney's decision to consider VAR's 'advice' and observe the replay via a monitor on the touchline to determine whether his 'original opinion' remains the same, or decide to change it, is and always was the right thing to do. There could not have been a single fan who disagreed with Norwich defender Ben Godfrey's sending off after further observation of his reckless challenge on Bournemouth's Callum Wilson. There is no doubt in my mind that VAR has been sucking the blood out of the game. This new directive might blow some life back into it.
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