Rice, Guimaraes and Kudus battle for midfield supremacy: Premier League team of the week

Arsenal return to the top of the Premier League with win over Brighton while Aston Villa climb to second

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It was a weekend in which midfielders really stepped up.

Declan Rice steamrolled Brighton & Hove Albion as Arsenal returned to the Premier League summit courtesy of a 2-0 win.

Bruno Guimaraes showed persistence and precision as he played a part in two of Newcastle United's goals in their 3-0 win over 10-man Fulham.

And Mohammed Kudus excelled with a brace in West Ham United's 3-0 victory against Wolves.

They were by no means the only midfield standouts. Chelsea's Cole Palmer continued to burnish his reputation with a star showing to break Sheffield United's stubborn resistance at Stamford Bridge.

Michael Olise kept his cool from the penalty spot as Crystal Palace pegged back a two-goal deficit against Manchester City. There are serious concerns for Pep Guardiola's side as they landed in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to take part in the Fifa Club World Cup with just one win in six games now.

Everton continued their rise away from the relegation trap door with a 2-0 win at Burnley – a particularly sweet result for Clarets old boys Michael Keane, Dwight McNeil and manager Sean Dyche no doubt.

Aston Villa staged a comeback win away at Brentford in a game that saw both sides finish with 10 men. Ben Mee saw red for hosts Brentford midway through the second half before Boubacar Kamara was sent off in the 97th minute. In between, Ollie Watkins' winner saw Unai Emery's side move up to second in the table.

Liverpool failed to score for the first time in 35 matches in a drab 0-0 draw against Manchester United on Sunday, while on Friday, Tottenham Hotspur's mini revival continued with a 2-0 triumph away to Nottingham Forest.

To see who makes this week's Premier League team of the week, scroll through the picture gallery at the top of the page.

Updated: December 18, 2023, 7:27 AM