The Premier League’s weekend action saw champions Liverpool move top of the division with a hard-fought win over West Ham, with previous league leaders Everton suffering a second successive defeat at Newcastle.
Elsewhere Arsenal ended Manchester United’s recent momentum by winning at Old Trafford, whilst a vibrant Chelsea impressed and Southampton survived a late Aston Villa fightback to edge a seven-goal thriller.
It’s that time of the week again where we compile our dream XI from the weekend’s action, here is the Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week:
Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale – Sheffield United
Sheffield United may have slipped to a narrow one-nil defeat to Manchester City at Bramall Lane, but Ramsdale’s performance ensured the winless Blades remained in the contest despite being largely dominated by the visitors.
Ramsdale was amongst the busiest goalkeepers in the Premier League and produced a series of smart saves throughout the clash, in arguably his best performance since returning to the club from Bournemouth during the summer.
The 22-year-old twice denied Ferran Torres from close-range and got down well to keep out a Riyad Mahrez free-kick, though will perhaps be disappointed not to have got to Kyle Walker’s driven strike which skidded beyond his reach.
Chris Wilder will need his goalkeeper to produce performances of similar quality as Sheffield United bid to bounce back in the coming weeks, the Blades currently marooned in the bottom three with just a point from their seven fixtures.
Right-back: Kyle Walker – Manchester City
The man who broke Ramsdale’s resistance at Sheffield United, Kyle Walker brought up a century of league appearances for Manchester City by firing home a sweetly-struck effort against his former side at Bramall Lane.
Walker has been amongst the club’s finest performers during a mixed start to the campaign and was rewarded for another performance of pace and purpose this weekend, his first ever Premier League away goal sealing a vital three points for Pep Guardiola’s side.
The England international’s display was full of typical energy and athleticism, providing a threat going forward and once again demonstrating his importance in defensive situations, making three clearances, two tackles and winning three aerial duels.
Walker has continually fought off competition for his place to establish himself amongst City’s most reliable performers, the 30-year-old enjoying a fine run of form during the opening weeks of the season.
Centre-back: Gabriel – Arsenal
Arsenal’s search for solidity at centre-back saw Mikel Arteta secure the signing of Gabriel during the summer, the defender having made quite the impression since arriving in north London from Lille.
Gabriel has enjoyed a fine start to life in the Premier League and put in another commanding performance during the Gunners’ 1-0 win at Manchester United, making five successful tackles, four clearances and completing 92% of his passes at Old Trafford.
The Brazilian coped excellently despite receiving a yellow card in the first-half and made a brilliant last-ditch challenge to deny Nemanja Matic late on, his arrival having instantly upgraded the spine of the Arsenal side.
It may not have been the prettiest of performances, but it was another example of the grit Arteta has instilled in his side since taking charge at the Emirates, Arsenal having now won all four of the games Gabriel has started alongside Rob Holding, conceding just one goal in that time.
Centre-back: Jannik Vestergaard – Southampton
Jannik Vestergaard struggled for regular minutes at Southampton last season and his position was further questioned following the summer signing of Mohammed Salisu, but the towering Danish defender has made himself an irreplaceable figure at the heart of the defence in recent weeks.
Vestergaard has produced some commanding performances of late and was once again central to Southampton’s win at Aston Villa, opening the scoring with a thunderous header and providing a constant aerial threat in both boxes.
His attacking threat was coupled with a solid defensive display as he made several vital interventions in the second-half, Villa’s late fightback failing to detract from a fine performance from a player playing with huge confidence at present.
Left-back: Rayan Ait-Nouri – Wolves
The teenager made an unexpected first appearance for Wolves on Friday night following an injury to Marcal and the decision to leave Roman Saiss on the substitutes’ bench, Ait-Nouri enjoying a dream debut in the club’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Wolves enjoyed their best performance of the season to comfortably seal three points at Molineux, with their young wing-back opening the scoring after just 18 minutes with a composed finish.
✅ Clean sheet
✅ Man of the Match
Some debut for Rayan Aït-Nouri 👏 pic.twitter.com/dHgBBOQGEb
— Wolves (@Wolves) October 30, 2020
Ait-Nouri was a regular threat throughout and put a number of dangerous deliveries into the Palace penalty area, his accomplished showing suggesting Wolves have yet another fine talent emerging amongst their ranks.
Midfield: James Ward-Prowse – Southampton
James Ward-Prowse celebrated his 26th birthday in stunning style with a brilliant display in Southampton’s 4-3 victory at Aston Villa, once again demonstrating why he stands as arguably the best set-piece taker in the division.
The midfielder provided a pinpoint delivery for Jannick Vestergaard to head home the Saints’ opener at Villa Park, before taking centre-stage with two fabulous free-kicks to put the visitors firmly in control.
James Ward-Prowse has now scored more Premier League free-kicks for Southampton (8) than any other player in the competition's history.
Matt Le Tissier's record has been broken. 😱 pic.twitter.com/LukWUnHP3V
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 1, 2020
It was another captain’s display from the England international who makes our side for the second successive week, Ward-Prowse a huge part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s emerging team, Southampton sitting in the Champions League places at present following a strong start to the season.
Midfield: Thomas Partey – Arsenal
The domineering midfield presence Arsenal have craved for more than a decade, Thomas Partey’s performance in the Gunners’ 1-0 win at Manchester United was the clearest indication of what the summer signing can bring to Mikel Arteta’s side.
It was a complete performance from the Ghana international who dominated the centre of the pitch at Old Trafford, making more ball recoveries (11) and winning more duels (10) than any Arsenal player in any fixture so far this season.
Partey – alongside a resurgent Mohamed Elneny – was a cut above a lacklustre Manchester United midfield, a powerhouse of a player who was brilliant on the ball and equally impressive without it.
Roy Keane likened the 27-year-old to former Gunners’ great Patrick Vieira following the clash, high praise for a player who looks capable of making a huge impact at the Emirates this season.
Right-wing: Hakim Ziyech – Chelsea
Chelsea fans have had to be patient for their first glimpses of Hakim Ziyech following an injury sustained in pre-season, but the winger has quickly won rave reviews following his first starts in club colours.
Ziyech scored his first Chelsea goal during the midweek Champions League win at Krasnodar, before marking his full Premier League debut with another goal in an impressive 3-0 victory at Burnley for Frank Lampard’s side.
The Moroccan international fired home the opener at Turf Moor after drifting inside from the right-flank, before turning provider for Chelsea’s third with a weighted pass into the path of Timo Werner.
Wednesday: First Chelsea goal
Saturday: First Premier League goal
Hakim Ziyech has arrived ⚡ pic.twitter.com/DBCF7ij9nT
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 31, 2020
Ziyech linked well with his new teammates in a much-improved display for the Blues at Burnley, the likes of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz also impressing in an encouraging display for the west London outfit.
Left-wing: Jack Grealish – Aston Villa
Even in defeat the Aston Villa captain remains his side’s stand-out star, Grealish doing his utmost to almost singlehandedly drag Villa back into the contest against Southampton this weekend.
The visitors had raced into a four-goal lead during an impressive performance, with Grealish ensuring the scoreline remained respectable following a second-half fight-back from Dean Smith’s side.
The England international provided an assist for Tyrone Mings with a nonchalant delivery from wide, before winning a penalty for Ollie Watkins to convert after being brought down inside the penalty area.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 1, 2020
Grealish then scored Villa’s third from distance after spotting an opening at the near post, with only Tottenham’s Harry Kane having been involved in more goals than Grealish’s eight amongst English players so far this season.
Attacking midfield: Daniel Podence – Wolves
Podence was amongst Wolves’ best performers in a solid display from Nuno Espirito Santo’s side against Crystal Palace, drifting inside from the flanks and regularly inter-changing positions with the equally impressive Pedro Neto.
The Portuguese continued to pick up pockets of space and it was his cross that led to Rayan Ait-Nouri’s opener, before being in the right place at the right time to tap home his first league goal of the season.
Daniel Podence's game by numbers vs. Newcastle:
6 touches in opposition box
5 take-ons completed
4 ball recoveries
3 shots attempted
2 chances created
1 shot on target
Take-off. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/ApnKrLMbi5
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 25, 2020
Podence is a brilliantly talented footballer and a delight to watch when in this sort of mood, full of trickery, energy and creativity as the spark in the Wolves forward line.
Forward: Callum Wilson – Newcastle
Callum Wilson is quickly becoming a fans’ favourite at Newcastle following a hugely impressive start to his career at St James’ Park, the summer signing having scored six goals in just seven appearances after netting a double to down high-flying Everton this weekend.
Wilson’s first came from the penalty spot after he ghosted in front of Andre Gomes to win a spot-kick, the Portuguese midfielder unaware of his surroundings as he clattered Wilson with a wild kick as he sought to clear a corner.
⚽️⚽️ Callum Wilson has scored 4 goals in his first 4 home PL apps for Newcastle. Only Les Ferdinand (6) has scored more in his first 4 PL games for the club at St James’ Park pic.twitter.com/Hy455QoOnh
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 1, 2020
The 28-year-old doubled the home side’s lead from close-range after being found by Ryan Fraser, the former Bournemouth brigade linking up in familiar fashion to seal a vital three points for Steve Bruce’s side.
Wilson could – and perhaps should – also have had an assist after finding Allan Saint-Maximin in space with a perfectly weighted pass, his recent form raising hopes he can force his way back into Gareth Southgate’s thinking with England.