Each week we delve through the Premier League’s weekend action and compile our divisional Team of the Week, with the latest round of fixtures proving fascinating viewing.
Liverpool and Chelsea shared the spoils despite the latter being reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time, whilst Manchester City inflicted more misery on Arsenal to the pile the pressure on Mikel Arteta.
Elsewhere Tottenham maintained their perfect start to emerge as the early league leaders, whilst Wolves and Norwich join Arsenal in heading into the international break without a point.
Following the latest fixtures we’ve compiled our best XI, here is The Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea – Manchester United
Manchester United rode their luck to secure a narrow win at Wolves, with the visitors fortunate not to fall behind as Wolves threatened on the counter-attack.
De Gea was beaten early on as Francisco Trincão’s effort was cleared off the line by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but came to his side’s rescue following a miraculous double save to deny Roman Saiss from close range.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 29, 2021
The second stop – diving to his left – was a reminder of what De Gea is capable of at his best, with few Premier League goalkeepers possessing the Spaniard’s reflexes and agility.
Right-back: Tino Livramento – Southampton
Southampton’s summer signing has made a major impression during his first appearances for the Saints, the teenager having swiftly cemented himself in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans.
Livramento produced another mature display in Southampton’s 2-2 draw at Newcastle, with the right-back unfazed following his step-up to Premier League level after being prized from Chelsea’s academy system.
The 18-year-old was amongst his side’s most threatening players throughout and a call-up to the England u21 side for the upcoming international break is reward for his strong start at St Mary’s.
Centre-back: Andreas Christensen – Chelsea
Christensen was excellent as Chelsea stood strong despite a man disadvantage at Anfield, the west Londoners securing a valuable point despite Reece James’ red card just before the break.
The Denmark international was confident and commanding in the centre of Chelsea’s back three, his performance demonstrating just why the Blues are so keen to secure a new deal for the centre-back.
⭐️ Man of the Match, @ChelseaFC’s Andreas Christensen
Won 3/5 duels
29/36 passes completed
1 shot block
Chelsea have conceded only 2 goals in his last 12 PL starts pic.twitter.com/YAvfZP73Qh
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) August 28, 2021
Centre-back: Antonio Rudiger – Chelsea
Alongside Christensen formed part of the Chelsea side that kept Liverpool at bay during a testing second half on Merseyside, providing a strong resistance despite the host’s domination of possession.
Rudiger had his work cut out on the left-hand side of Chelsea’s back three, with the triple threat of Mohamed Salah, Harvey Elliott and Trent Alexander-Arnold all looking to exploit space in that channel.
The Germany international made a vital interception to deny Salah and performed well despite a lack of defensive cover from Marcos Alonso.
Left-back: Joao Cancelo – Manchester City
Cancelo rampaged forward at every opportunity as Manchester City thrashed Arsenal at the Etihad, the feeble Gunners providing the perfect opposition for the full-back to venture into opposition territory.
The Portugal international provided fine support for Jack Grealish during the opening 45 minutes down the left, before showcasing his versatility after switching to right-back in the second half.
Midfield: Rodri – Manchester City
Dominated the midfield and effectively thwarted the few attacks that Arsenal mustered, controlling proceedings throughout and regularly dealing with the north London side’s limited threat on the counter.
The Spaniard was cool and composed and capped a fine performance with City’s fourth goal, a sublime finish that bent perfectly into the bottom corner from distance as the Premier League champions ran riot at the Etihad.
Rodri vs Arsenal:
96.2% Pass Accuracy
2 Key Passes
2 Accurate Long Balls
1 Interception pic.twitter.com/ajZjKwD9Hk
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) August 28, 2021
Midfield: Conor Gallagher – Crystal Palace
Tireless. Gallagher ran himself into the ground as Crystal Palace twice came from behind to secure a point at West Ham, the midfielder’s industry rewarded with two goals to seal a valuable result for Patrick Vieira’s side.
Pressed relentlessly and got forward at every opportunity to join the attack, his performance rewarded with a well-taken brace – both goals taken in fine fashion despite finding himself under pressure from the West Ham defence.
Gallagher has been arguably the Eagles’ best player so far this season and the Chelsea loanee looks a shrewd signing for a Palace team that has been desperate for an injection of youth.
Right-wing: Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City
Gabriel Jesus continued his renaissance on the right as City hit five against Arsenal at the Etihad, the Brazilian relishing the wide role and proving influential once again from the flanks.
The 24-year-old opened his goalscoring account for the season and provided another assist for Ilkay Gundogan’s opener, his performances over the past two weeks making a mockery of suggestions his time with the club was coming to an end.
Gabriel Jesus for Manchester City this season:
⚽️ 1 goal
🅰️ 3 assists
Ferran Torres for Manchester City this season:
⚽️ 2 goals
🅰️ 1 assist
Still need that striker? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/BWt8x6V1xN
— Goal (@goal) August 28, 2021
Much has been made about City’s failure to sign a big-name forward during the transfer window, but their current contingent of attacking options are more than capable of firing the club’s title pursuit.
Left-wing: Adama Traore – Wolves
Traore can appear unstoppable when in this sort of mood, with the Wolves winger at his rampaging best despite his side’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.
The Spain international has looked threatening in every game so far this season despite Wolves’ winless start to the campaign and was brilliant once again to lead the threat on the counter.
The Red Devils struggled to deal with Traore’s dynamism and direct style, his unique attributes making the 25-year-old box-office viewing when at his brilliant best – even if his end product remains in need of improvement.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 29, 2021
Forward: Ferran Torres – Manchester City
Torres looks set to shoulder a fair portion of responsibility as City’s ‘number nine’ this season, though his performance against Arsenal proved the Spaniard is more than capable of fulfilling the role.
The 21-year-old scored twice and provided an assist as the Gunners were well beaten at the Etihad, turning in the second from close range before a predatory header to score City’s fifth.
The Spain international laid of the assist for Rodri’s goal in a pleasing performance and will take confidence from a clinical showing.
Forward: Michail Antonio – West Ham
Michail Antonio’s superb start to the season continued as West Ham drew with Crystal Palace, the forward the early leader for the Premier League’s Golden Boot after scoring his fourth of the campaign.
Antonio combined brilliantly with Fornals to provide the assist for the opener, before lashing home a left-footed finish in a clear demonstration of the confidence flowing through the forward at present.
Michail Antonio's season so far:
🏟️ 3 games.
⚽ 4 goals.
🅰️ 3 assists.
Superb 👏 pic.twitter.com/cEcoe76qmT
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) August 28, 2021
It’s now seven goal involvements (4G, 3A) in just four Premier League appearances this season, with Antonio revelling in the role as West Ham’s main man and enjoying an explosive start to the new season.