Our weekly Premier League awards honour the best – and worst – of the football action from the weekend.
Moment of the Week
‘Born to score goals’ was how Pep Guardiola described Erling Haaland, after the forward announced his arrival into the Premier League with a debut double.
Haaland scored both goals as Manchester City’s title defence began with a 2-0 win at West Ham, showing confidence and conviction to step up and score the penalty he won nine minutes before half-time.
The Norwegian then burst behind the Hammers’ high line to score a second after the break, showcasing electric acceleration to race through one-against-one.
Haaland has bagged a brace on his Premier League debut! 2️⃣
That ball from De Bruyne though… 🤤 pic.twitter.com/jsYLXj9qgQ
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 7, 2022
It is unlikely to be the last we see of the Kevin De Bruyne to Haaland combination this season, with the latter set to feast on the service of the brilliant Belgian.
Haaland’s here and he’s hungry for more.
Player of the Week
Can he cut it in the Premier League? You bet he can.
Aleksandar Mitrovic produced the performance of the weekend as Fulham began the season with an impressive result, with the Cottagers perhaps unfortunate to only earn a point against Liverpool.
Mitrovic was a menacing presence as Fuham’s focal point, with the Serbian leaving the Reds back four battered and bruised. In addition to scoring twice, the 27-year-old won a huge 11 aerial duels and brought his teammates into the game with intelligent hold-up play.
His first goal was signature Mitrovic, with only one winner as Kenny Tete hung up a cross to the far post. His duel with Trent Alexander-Arnold was a mismatch as the forward powered in a header, before winning – and converting – a penalty after leaving Virgil van Dijk in his wake.
Aleksandar Mitrovic's game by numbers vs. Liverpool:
100% take-on success
18 duels won
11 aerial duels won
7x possession won
5 touches in opp. box
2 shots on target
1 penalty won
Who said he can't do it in the Premier League. 😀 pic.twitter.com/hLnYPQhe4a
— Squawka (@Squawka) August 6, 2022
Mitrovic scored just three goals in 27 games the last time Fulham were in the Premier League, with just 13 of those coming from the start as Scott Parker sought more mobility.
Marco Silva has instead built his frontline around Mitrovic and the rewards have been spectacular, with a record-breaking 43-goal Championship season followed by a superb individual performance on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
Van Dijk and Joel Matip are unlikely to face a tougher afternoon all season, with Mitrovic brilliantly bullying last season’s Champions League finalists.
Goal of the Week
Much has been made about Christian Eriksen’s exit from Brentford, but in Josh Dasilva the Bees have a midfielder who will help cover his exit.
The 23-year-old was excellent as Thomas Frank’s side won promotion to the Premier League, but missed the majority of last season through injury and made just two top-flight starts.
Now back to full fitness, he came off the bench to rescue the Bees a point at Leicester this weekend. The Arsenal academy graduate scored a stunning late equaliser, driving forward before bending an unstoppable finish into the top corner.
📐 @joshdasilva_ completing the comeback in style@safetyculturehq | #BrentfordFC | #LEIBRE pic.twitter.com/JtfCLE4SGG
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) August 7, 2022
Dasilva will hope it is the first of many, as the midfielder seeks to make up for lost time in the Premier League.
Miss of the Week
Manchester United’s season began in disastrous fashion after a home defeat to Brighton, with the Red Devils dominated for large periods at Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag’s side were second best for much of the contest, but wasted a glorious early chance to take the lead.
Bruno Fernandes really ought to have done better after blazing over with the goal gaping, a clear chance for a player of his quality. Fernandes’ fluff set the tone for a disappointing defeat for United, with plenty of work to be done for Ten Hag and his staff this season.
Huge early chance for Bruno Fernandes!! 😲 pic.twitter.com/yW6ZmULN2v
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 7, 2022
Save of the Week
Everton huffed and puffed without finding a way through against Chelsea, falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park.
The closest the Toffees came to finding the net was a towering header from debutant James Tarkowski, who must have thought he’d opened the scoring when meeting Vitaliy Mykolenko’s cross flush on his forehead.
Edouard Mendy had other ideas however, as the Senegalese shot-stopper reacted in time to tip Tarkowski’s header over the crossbar.
WHAT A SAVE! 😮
Mendy reacts fast to help Tarkowski's effort over the crossbar! 🧤 pic.twitter.com/X4fAWXrHcI
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 6, 2022
Stat of the Week
Bournemouth wasted no time in celebrating their return to the Premier League, with the newly-promoted Cherries opening the campaign with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Scott Parker’s side have been tipped for a season of struggle in the Premier League, but got off to a dream start with three points on the opening weekend.
Jefferson Lerma handed Bournemouth the lead in less than two minutes, with his goal – timed at 1 minute and 56 seconds – the fastest ever scored by a newly-promoted side on the opening weekend.
1:56 – Jefferson Lerma's goal after 1 minute and 56 seconds is the quickest goal scored on MD1 by a newly promoted team in Premier League history. Founding. pic.twitter.com/lmiiLIuMir
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 6, 2022
Quote of the Week
Erling Haaland made an impression on and off the pitch this weekend, with his first post-match interview not going quite as smoothly as his dream debut at West Ham.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Haaland might have been happy with a match-winning brace against the Hammers, but the Norwegian was quick to point out his frustration at his missed chances – expletives included.
He is human, after all.
“It’s a bit s*** but that’s how it is” 🤣
Erling Haaland is in the Premier League. Get ready for the interviews.
What a character.#PL #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/U0chLFxe7P
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) August 8, 2022
Donkey of the Week
There was no shortage of sub-standard showings in Manchester United’s home defeat to Brighton, but if further evidence was needed (disclaimer – it wasn’t) that midfield additions are desperately required then this was it.
United were ponderous and poor in the centre of the pitch, with Bruno Fernandes looking a shadow of his former self and the much-maligned ‘McFred’ axis adding further weight to their critics.
Roy Keane criticized Fred and Scott McTominay after Man United's loss to Brighton. pic.twitter.com/2txua32yKf
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 7, 2022
Scott McTominay was particularly disappointing in the engine room. His performance encapsulated the lack of invention and composure in the United midfield, failing to move the ball at pace or with intent and taking too many touches to slow the tempo of the game.
McTominay is honest and hard-working, but far from the standard required if United are compete with the top teams in the Premier League.
Read – Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 1
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