The Premier League’s goal rush continued this weekend with a series of entertaining clashes across the division, with a hugely anticipated Merseyside derby between league leaders Everton and champions Liverpool failing to disappoint at Goodison Park.
Elsewhere both Chelsea and Tottenham were involved in high-scoring draws after blowing leads against Southampton and West Ham respectively, whilst Aston Villa maintained their perfect start to the season and Manchester United returned to winning ways at Newcastle.
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: Ederson – Manchester City
Manchester City were largely in control during their 1-0 victory over Arsenal, but needed Ederson to preserve their first-half lead with two vital saves just before the interval.
The Brazilian made a match-winning save to deny Bukayo Saka from point-blank range, before producing another stop to save from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the forward appearing onside despite a flag from the official.
It was an impressive response from the goalkeeper following his error at Leeds and a reminder of his importance to Guardiola’s side.
Centre-back: Ruben Dias – Manchester City
City’s club-record signing has made an encouraging start to life in the Premier League and followed an assured display at Leeds with another strong showing against Arsenal, marshalling a back three formation as Pep Guardiola’s side secured three points at the Etihad.
The Portugal international was composed and classy in addition to providing a dominant aerial threat when defending set-pieces, Dias already looking like a shrewd investment and a player capable of becoming a leader in the City defence.
Rúben Dias against Arsenal:
◉ Most touches (102)
◉ Most passes completed (89)
◉ Most aerials won (4)
Worth every penny. pic.twitter.com/aUWBXT7euk
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 17, 2020
No player had more touches or completed more passes than the centre-back who has slotted seamlessly into the side since his arrival from Benfica, his solid start a major boost for City as they bid to reclaim the Premier League title this season.
Centre-back: Harry Maguire – Manchester United
Much of the pre-game talk surrounded whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should keep faith with his under-fire captain, who has struggled badly in the opening weeks of the campaign following his summer arrest in Greece.
The defender’s midweek sending off for England was his latest low moment, but he bounced back against Newcastle this weekend following a shaky start.
His header for United’s equaliser was fantastic and he led the backline well at St James’ Park, looking much more assured than in recent performances.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 17, 2020
United will hope the centre-back can build from here as club and player look to recover from a difficult start to the campaign, their 4-1 victory this weekend a positive step ahead of a daunting midweek trip to Paris Saint-German in the Champions League.
Centre-back: Michael Keane – Everton
Michael Keane’s renaissance at Everton continues to gain momentum following another impressive display from the defender this weekend, marshalling his side’s defence in their entertaining Merseyside Derby draw with Liverpool.
The England defender was solid defensively and proved a threat in both boxes, heading home an equaliser after towering over the visitor’s defence in the absence of Virgil Van Dijk.
Keane enjoyed a difficult start to his Everton career but has turned his fortunes around since the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as manager last year, playing the best football of his career at Goodison Park to become an irreplaceable figure in a new-look side.
Midfield: Jordan Henderson – Liverpool
Jordan Henderson’s return to the Liverpool side was a welcome boost ahead of this weekend’s Merseyside Derby and the midfielder produced a fine performance in the champion’s engine room, providing a display of typical energy and dynamism.
Henderson set the tempo for the Reds with his pressing play as Jürgen Klopp’s side largely dominated the midfield battle, impressing alongside summer signing Thiago Alcantara who looked full of class on his first Premier League start.
His stoppage-time goal was a just reward for display in which he drove his side forward, only to see his effort agonisingly ruled out by the narrowest of margins.
Midfield: Thiago Alcantara – Liverpool
The talents of Thiago Alcantara were on show during the midfielder’s first ever Premier League start, the silky Spaniard pulling the strings for Liverpool during their 2-2 draw at league leaders Everton.
It was a baptism of fire for the summer signing in an entertaining and bruising Merseyside derby clash, but he continually searched for possession and seemed determined to exert his influence on the clash throughout.
Signature spins and no-look passes were amongst Thiago’s repertoire as he slotted effortlessly into the Reds’ midfield, providing more passes in the opposition half than any other player on the pitch and also leading the clash for touches, dribbles and interceptions.
Fortunate to escape serious injury following a terrible challenge from Richarlison, Jurgen Klopp is likely to have breathed a huge sigh of relief that his marquee addition is not set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
Midfield: Ross Barkley – Aston Villa
Grew into the game after a frustrating opening period and once again provided a reminder of his class with a sweetly struck stoppage-time winner.
Looks to be enjoying his football once more in a confident Aston Villa side that maintained their perfect record with another impressive victory, Barkley’s creative class relieving some of the pressure on the similarly impressive Jack Grealish.
💎 @RBarkley8 💎
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) October 19, 2020
Should he and Villa maintain this form in the coming weeks, he will have high hopes of joining his club captain in returning to the England squad.
Right-wing: Juan Mata – Manchester United
Juan Mata has become a peripheral figure for Manchester United during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign, but showed he can still provide an influence when called upon this weekend.
The Spaniard rolled back the years on his first league start in eight months and provided the assist for Harry Maguire’s equaliser at Newcastle, linking with the club’s attacking options throughout and drifting inside into dangerous areas.
He finished the game with an incredible 94% pass accuracy and having created three chances, his performance pushing his case for more regular involvement in Solskjaer’s side.
Mata may have lost some of the zest of his younger years but his inventiveness remains, the playmaker able to make things happen when surrounded by pace and dynamism.
Left-wing: Son Heung-Min – Tottenham
The joint-leading scorer in the Premier League and a man playing full of confidence at the moment, the South Korean was once again on the scoresheet after opening the scoring in Tottenham’s thrilling 3-3 draw with West Ham.
It took less than a minute for Son to find the net against the Hammers, netting his seventh of the season following yet another assist by Harry Kane, the duo having dovetailed superbly in the opening weeks of the campaign.
Spurs have proven they have the firepower to trouble any side in the division, but their capitulation against The Hammers – blowing a three-goal lead with just eight minutes remaining – will be a major concern for Jose Mourinho.
Forward: Timo Werner – Chelsea
Has Timo Werner finally arrived as a Chelsea player?
The summer signing’s opening performances have been full of energy and commitment without the cutting edge previously shown at RB Leipzig, but he opened his Premier League account this weekend with two confidently taken finishes in the draw with Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
His first was a fine individual effort as he manoeuvred past a succession of Southampton challenges before finishing well, later audaciously lifting the ball over Alex McCarthy and heading home after being sent clear by a superb Jorginho pass.
Werner capped a strong showing with an assist for compatriot Kai Havertz and Frank Lampard must surely now stick with the German as his first-choice number nine.
Forward: Harry Kane – Tottenham
Harry Kane’s scintillating start to the season continued with another imperious display from the England captain, scoring twice and providing another assist in Tottenham’s draw with West Ham.
It’s now incredibly 12 goal contributions in just five league appearances for the 27-year-old, whose five goals and league-leading seven assists must surely make him the early front runner for the PFA Player of the Year award.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 18, 2020
His pass for Son’s opener was exquisite and yet more evidence of his threat as a playmaker as well as goalscorer, before his double showcased the devastating finishing we have come to expect from the two-time Golden Boot winner.
Spurs, like most sides in the division, have their evident flaws, but with Kane in this sort of form the north London side can begin to dream of ending their long wait for major silverware this season.