Well, just where do we start? An astonishing start to the Premier League season reached a whole new level of brilliantly bonkers this weekend, with Liverpool and Manchester United suffering humiliating defeats.
The champions were incredibly hit for SEVEN at a resurgent Aston Villa, whilst 10-man Manchester United’s fortunes reached a new low with a 6-1 home defeat to former manager Jose Mourinho and Tottenham.
Elsewhere Pep Guardiola’s visit to mentor Marcelo Bielsa delivered a cracker between Manchester City and Leeds, whilst West Ham shocked Leicester and Everton maintained their perfect record to head into the international break at the summit.
It’s that time of the week again where we dissect the weekend’s action and pick our dream XI, here is the Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week:
Goalkeeper: Alphonse Areola – Fulham
Perhaps the most difficult selection on the team sheet given the attacking nature of the Premier League’s opening rounds of fixtures, with clean sheets at a premium as top-flight sides went goal crazy.
We’ve opted for Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola despite his side being on the wrong end of a 1-0 result at Wolves, the loanee’s performance a significant reason for the close nature of the scoreline.
The 27-year-old has been questioned alongside the majority of the Fulham side for their dreadful start to the new season but produced a performance of quality at Molineux, including a sensational double save with the scores level.
Areola left Paris Saint-Germain in search of first-team football to boost his international ambitions, though it is unlikely he was expecting to be this busy after making the move to English football.
The goalkeeper will need to produce more performances of this ilk if Fulham are to have any hope of survival, their sub-standard defence offering little protection for the three-cap France international.
Right-back: Serge Aurier – Tottenham
Serge Aurier has often been a maligned figure during his time at Tottenham but provided a reminder of his qualities in the club’s stunning win at Manchester United, marauding forward from his right-back role and finishing the clash with a goal and an assist.
It could have been even better for the Ivory Coast international who seized his chance after being selected ahead of summer signing Matt Doherty, taking advantage of the space he found himself in as 10-man United struggled to contain the relentless north London outfit.
Serge Aurier enjoyed that one 🤭 pic.twitter.com/iXUYNvkbKb
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 4, 2020
Aurier may have his problems defensively but largely relieved of those duties proved what a threat he can be, flying forward on the overlap to provide Spurs with a dangerous outlet throughout.
West Ham’s Vladimir Coufal – who enjoyed a promising debut for the Hammers at Leicester – also deserves a mention.
Centre-back: Yerry Mina – Everton
Outstanding at both ends of the pitch as Everton maintained their perfect start to head into the international break top of the Premier League table, Mina producing a commanding display at the heart of Carlo Ancelotti’s defence.
Like the aforementioned Aurier, Mina has had his reliability questioned on occasion by the Toffees’ support but proved he can be a leader in their backline with his performance against Brighton, putting his body on the line to prevent danger and popping up at the other end with a header to restore Everton’s advantage before the break.
🇨🇴 Yerry Mina’s goal for Everton (assisted by James Rodriguez) was the first goal in #PL history to be both scored and assisted by a Colombian#BHAEVE pic.twitter.com/Drhni75G39
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 3, 2020
The Colombia international will face increased competition for his place following the signing of Ben Godfrey from Norwich but will be confident of securing minutes following this performance, Mina instrumental to Everton’s victory as they made it six successive wins in all competitions to start the campaign.
Centre-back: Angelo Ogbonna – West Ham
It looks like David Moyes should stick to the zoom calls when it comes to Premier League management given West Ham’s form in his absence, the Hammers turning on the style since the Scot’s quarantine.
Last weekend’s 4-0 thrashing of Wolves was followed by an even more impressive 3-0 victory at Leicester, ending the Foxes’ perfect record with a comprehensive victory at the King Power Stadium.
Keep it up!#COYI #AO21 #LEIWHU #CleanSheet pic.twitter.com/OPUyzSAhro
— Angelo Ogbonna (@OgbonnaOfficial) October 4, 2020
West Ham had several stars across the pitch with the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals and Michail Antonio thriving in attack, but Angelo Ogbonna was equally important to their victory with a commanding performance in defence.
The centre-back marshalled the threat of Jamie Vardy superbly as West Ham made it back-to-back clean sheets and maintained his fine form of late, form that has seen the 32-year-old recalled into the Italy squad.
Left-back: Ben Chilwell – Leicester
Chelsea’s concerning start to the new season was boosted following a resounding 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge this weekend, with one of their many summer signings thriving on his full Premier League debut.
The signing of Ben Chilwell was hoped to end a problem position at left-back for the west London outfit and his first league start certainly raised that optimism, the England international overcoming a shaky start to produce a classy performance.
Premier League debut for this great club. Goal, assist and can’t beat a clean sheet. Let’s gooo! 💙💙💙 pic.twitter.com/JuRHmZbzdV
— Ben Chilwell (@BenChilwell) October 3, 2020
Chilwell was diligent defensively and showcased his threat when given a licence to attack, opening the scoring with a crisp finish before delivering a pinpoint cross onto the head of Kurt Zouma for Chelsea’s second.
A fine individual performance and clean sheet for Chilwell in an encouraging performance for Frank Lampard’s new-look side.
Midfield: John McGinn – Aston Villa
One of the best night’s in Aston Villa’s recent history could have seen almost any of the side included in this feature, the club stunning the champions on an unforgettable evening at Villa Park.
John McGinn makes our Team of the Week following a stand-out performance for the midfielder, covering every blade of grass for his side and scoring his first goal in more than a year with a deflected volley from distance.
John McGinn's game by numbers vs. Liverpool:
9 ball recoveries
9 duels won
4 take-ons completed
3 tackles made
2 fouls won
Covering every blade of grass. pic.twitter.com/HTksZsyQBl
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 4, 2020
McGinn’s long-term absence last season was a major blow for Dean Smith’s side and he has taken a while to rediscover his finest form, but the Scotland international was back to his best this weekend with an all-action display.
His pass from deep for Grealish’s second goal was superb and he looks set to play a huge part in a Villa side which have recruited well and look well-equipped to kick on this season.
Midfield: James Rodriguez – Everton
We’re cheating slightly with an uber-attacking midfield three but the wealth of talent thriving in forward areas this weekend means compromises must be made, with James Rodriguez tucked inside following another star showing for Everton.
There were many who tipped the Colombian to flop following his free transfer arrival at Everton, but the summer signing is already proving that class remains permanent.
3️⃣ games at Goodison 🔵
3️⃣ goals ⚽️
3️⃣ assists 🅰️@jamesdrodriguez is making himself at home. 💙 pic.twitter.com/LTWBnTS2t8
— Everton (@Everton) October 3, 2020
Rodriguez has instantly bought into the Toffees and their project under Carlo Ancelotti, enjoying his football once more and relishing in his new found responsibility as the club’s creator-in-chief.
The 29-year-old’s quality shone through once more in the 4-2 victory over Brighton, providing a perfect cross for Yerry Mina’s goal before getting himself into dangerous areas to net a close-range brace.
Midfield: Jack Grealish – Aston Villa
Another star shoe-horned into our midfielder trio, there are few Premier League players as aesthetically pleasing to watch than Grealish when he’s in this sort of mood.
The Aston Villa captain was at his brilliant best to play a key part in his side’s destruction of Liverpool, his touch and technique effortless as he drifted inside to wreak havoc on the visitor’s defence.
Jack Grealish's game by numbers vs. Liverpool:
8 ball recoveries
5/6 duels won
5 chances created
3 tackles made
Directly involved in five goals against the reigning champions. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/l3T0fbgy38
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 4, 2020
Grealish finished the clash having had a hand in FIVE goals with three assists in addition to scoring a brace himself, the perfect performance before heading off to join up with Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Much has been made of Southgate’s seeming reluctance to give the midfielder a proper opportunity at international level, but he is becoming more and more difficult to ignore.
Forward: Son Heung-Min – Tottenham
A difficult decision to omit Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin following his flamboyant performance this weekend, but Son Heung-Min’s scintillating start to the season earns him yet another inclusion in our Team of the Week.
The South Korea international moved level with Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the Premier League’s leading scorer after netting a clinical brace at Manchester United, finishing superbly in addition to turning provider for Harry Kane as the visitor’s exposed the Red Devils’ woeful backline.
Son’s partnership with Kane continues to go from strength to strength with the duo dovetailing effortlessly in the opening weeks of the season, the impending introduction of Gareth Bale to the side only set to increase Spurs’ attacking prowess.
Forward: Harry Kane – Tottenham
Harry Kane looks back to his very best and was once again superb as the focal point of the Spurs attack, the England captain razor-sharp and playing brilliantly in tandem with forward partner Son.
Kane took his tally to eight goals for the season in all competitions with a well-taken brace as Spurs ran riot at Manchester United, whilst his increasing influence when taking up deeper positions was once again evident.
👕 8 Games
⚽ 8 Goals
🅰️ 7 Assists@HKane so far this season 👀#THFC ⚪️ #COYS pic.twitter.com/DlEO4uqmO5
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 4, 2020
There are few number nines with the passing range of the 27-year-old and he once again showcased his repertoire, including a quick-thinking free-kick to send Son through on goal to put the north London side ahead.
Keeping Kane fully fit will be essential to Spurs’ hopes of success this season, the forward amongst the Premier League’s most decisive players when in this form.
Forward: Ollie Watkins – Aston Villa
What a way to introduce yourself to the Premier League and Aston Villa supporters, club-record signing Ollie Watkins was simply sensational as Liverpool were hit for seven at Villa Park.
Last season’s Championship Player of the Year proved he is more than capable of making the step up after signing from Brentford, firing home a first-half perfect hat-trick to set Villa on their way to an incredible result.
The 𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗙𝗘𝗖𝗧 hat-trick. 🎩
Ollie Watkins' first-ever Premier League goals! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/QBhhD6HxEz
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) October 5, 2020
Watkins tormented the Reds’ backline and ensured Joe Gomez endured a nightmare evening, his pace, power and finishing ability demonstrating just why Dean Smith was prepared to splash £28m on his services.
It could have been even better for Watkins after he missed a second half one-on-one and hit the bar, Villa having seemingly found themselves a new hero in an impressive summer of recruitment.
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