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Donkeys: Seven Premier League players who ‘had a mare’ during gameweek 4

It’s proven a ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ weekend of Premier League action with an incident-packed round of fixtures, the latest top flight contests including stunning upsets, remarkable results and another bucket-load of goals.

Liverpool suffered their worst-ever Premier League defeat at Aston Villa and became the first league champions in 67 years to concede SEVEN goals following a 7-2 humbling at Villa Park, whilst Manchester United were hit for six as Tottenham ran riot at Old Trafford.

Those shock Sunday scorelines continued a weekend full of drama across the division with Everton, Chelsea and West Ham all securing impressive results, whilst Pep Guardiola’s meeting with mentor Marcelo Bielsa ended in an entertaining draw between Manchester City and Leeds.

Following an unmissable weekend of Premier League football we’ve decided to look at some players who endured weekend’s to forget, here are seven Premier League players who ‘had a mare’ during gameweek four:

Mamadou Sakho

Crystal Palace had enjoyed a positive start to the new season but produced a poor performance in defeat to Chelsea this weekend, losing 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in a disappointing derby display.

Much of their misfortune was their own doing with Mamadou Sakho particularly error-prone, the defender’s mistake leading to Ben Chilwell’s opener after scuffing his attempted clearance.

Sakho’s showing failed to improve as he was beaten in the air by Kurt Zouma for Chelsea’s second, before conceding a penalty for the west London side’s fourth following a clumsy trip on Kai Havertz.

The Frenchman has long fitted into a sub-category of Premier League defenders that can often look brilliant when putting their bodies on the line, but possess an all too frequent habit of making inexcusable mistakes.

Palace have largely been defensively strong under Roy Hodgson but individual errors proved costly this weekend, the Eagles will hope this was simply an off day and not a sign of things to come.

Jordan Pickford

The clamours for Gareth Southgate to reconsider England’s number one position are getting louder and louder following another unconvincing display from Everton’s Jordan Pickford, the goalkeeper producing his latest howler during his side’s 4-2 win over Brighton.

Pickford dropped a routine catch into the path of Neil Maupay to hand Brighton a route back into the contest at Goodison Park this weekend, his fourth error leading to a goal in the Premier League this calendar year.

No goalkeeper has made more than Pickford’s 11 errors leading to goals since 2017, his repeated failings a negative in Everton’s perfect start to the season so far.

This weekend’s blunder failed to prove costly but it will be a major concern for both club and country heading into the international break, the likes of Dean Henderson and Nick Pope waiting in the wings for England as the scrutiny rises.

Benjamin Mendy

For the second successive week, Benjamin Mendy makes our list of the Premier League’s poorest performers, the full-back producing another dreadful defensive display in Manchester City’s 1-1 draw at Leeds.

After being tormented by Leicester’s attacking contingent last weekend the Frenchman once again suffered at Elland Road, with Mendy relieved to see goalkeeper Ederson bail him out after his mistake allowed Luke Ayling in on goal just before half-time.

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Mendy made inroads forward at times but his lapses in concentration were once again abundantly evident, his defensive game littered with errors as he struggled to deal with substitute Ian Poveda before being substituted with 20 minutes remaining.

Mendy fronted another poor performance on social media post-match but his latest showing has only raised calls for City to sign a new left-back before the deadline, though time is swiftly running out.

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba continues to polarise opinion but even his staunchest supporters must be questioning his influence on this Manchester United side at present, the most expensive footballer in British history pathetically pedestrian in his side’s embarrassing 6-1 defeat to Tottenham.

No player in the Red Devils side conceded possession on more occasions than the France international, who laboured around the pitch and was overpowered in the midfield battle by compatriots Tanguy Ndombele and Moussa Sissoko.

Contributed little to the attack and even less defensively, whilst his frustrations saw the midfielder needlessly slide in on Ben Davies to concede the penalty for Spurs’ sixth of the afternoon.

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Forget any so-called agendas against the 27-year-old and talk of ‘unlocking’ his talent with formations or personnel, it’s time for the player to look at himself as his career at Old Trafford continues to pass him by.

This is a turbulent time for a transitional side but there’s no disputing that Pogba’s performances in a red shirt – for over four years now – have not been good enough on a consistent basis.

Adrian

Rewind the clock a year and Adrian was being praised for his ability to fill Liverpool’s goalkeeping position, an injury to Alisson allowing the summer signing to step in impressively following his free transfer arrival from West Ham.

Fast forward and times are markedly different in the same circumstances a year later, Adrian viewed as a glaring weakness and liability to the champion’s hopes of making it back-to-back league titles.

Another injury to Alisson has thrust Adrian back into the spotlight and he produced a calamitous display during a catastrophic evening for the Reds at Villa Park, conceding SEVEN goals in the club’s heaviest ever Premier League defeat.

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It was a shambolic showing from the Spaniard who gifted Villa their opener with a wayward pass early on, whilst his presence removes the sense of calm usually provided by Liverpool’s Brazilian number one.

Unfortunate with three heavily deflected strikes, it was nonetheless evidence once more that the 33-year-old is not capable back-up and appears to have lost confidence following an initial bright start to life at Anfield.

Patience appears to be wearing thin with widespread reports of a late dip into the transfer market for Jurgen Klopp.

Joe Gomez

Few could believe this was the same Liverpool side who cantered to a long-awaited Premier League triumph last season, the champions ruthlessly dismantled by a side who only survived relegation by the slimmest of margins.

On an evening in which several imposters seemed to adorn the club’s colours it was Joe Gomez who arguably endured the biggest nightmare, the centre-back producing comfortably his worst performance since signing for the Reds five years ago.

Tormented by the lively Ollie Watkins throughout, Gomez was at fault for Villa’s second after being turned inside out and was continually caught out by the home side as they capitalised on Liverpool’s high defensive line.

Jamie Carragher said on commentary ‘he needs to come off’ as Gomez conceded possession once more in the build-up to Villa’s fifth, Jurgen Klopp showing mercy by withdrawing the defender who will no doubt be haunted following his disastrous display.

Harry Maguire

An atrocious showing from a player who looks less like an elite defender with each passing week, there are serious questions that need to be asked of a recruitment team that believed Harry Maguire is an £80m footballer.

The England international improved Manchester United’s defensive record last season but he remains some way short of the game’s best, his performance in this weekend’s 6-1 defeat to Tottenham hopelessly inadequate.

His catalogue of errors for Spurs’ first goal was comical, before bundling down Harry Kane and switching off for the visitor’s second.

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Maguire’s notable flaws are exposed by his side’s defensive style and Spurs took full advantage with the likes of Kane and Son Heung-Min enjoying an afternoon to savour, the cumbersome centre-back’s lack of mobility proving a real problem.

His lack of leadership during Anthony Martial’s dismissal also rightly criticised as he stood passively despite the controversy surrounding the referee’s decision, Maguire failing to convince he is the right man to captain the Red Devils or even solve their defensive issues.

Read – Premier League Weekly Awards: Maguire’s mess, Son shines, Liverpool crumble

Read Also – Star Turns: Seven Premier League players who shone bright in gameweek 4

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