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 packed with great goals and fascinating match-ups.
Leicester piled the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with an entertaining win over Manchester United, whilst Harry Kane was back amongst the goals as Tottenham won at Newcastle.
Down at the bottom, Norwich and Burnley join Newcastle in remaining without a win, the former having scored just two goals this season after a goalless draw with Brighton.
Following the latest fixtures we’ve compiled a best XI from the stand-out performers, here is The Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy – Chelsea
Mendy’s second-half performance ensured Chelsea escaped with three points at Brentford this weekend, producing a number of saves as the home side pushed hard for an equaliser against the European champions.
The Senegal international denied Ivan Toney, Saman Ghoddos and Pontus Jansson in fine fashion, the latter a brave dive at the defender’s feet to block with his face from point-blank range.
📊 Man of the Match, @ChelseaFC’s Edouard Mendy
6 saves – his joint most in a PL game
20th clean sheet in 38 PL apps – only Cech, Reina & Alisson have made fewer apps to keep their first 20 PL clean sheets pic.twitter.com/1UXfvUO8zK
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 16, 2021
Thomas Tuchel’s side rode their luck and saw the Bees twice hit the post and have an effort cleared from the goal-line in addition to Mendy’s stellar showings, earning the kind of fortuitous win that title challenges can be built upon.
Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
Trent Alexander-Arnold is back to his best this season and the defender’s performance against Watford this weekend was another clinic of his sublime passing range.
The 23-year-old missed Liverpool’s previous two fixtures before the international break, but was showered with praise following his display at Vicarage Road this weekend, as the right-back’s wondrous technique was shown off against the Hornets.
Alexander-Arnold cut apart the Watford backline on occasion as the Reds’ secured a convincing 5-0 win, including a brilliant outside-of-the-foot ball into the path of Mohamed Salah, only an uncharacteristically poor first touch from the Egyptian preventing him from picking up another assist.
Centre-back: Mohammed Salisu – Southampton
Southampton earned a deserved first win of the season against Leeds this weekend, moving away from the bottom of the division and increasing the concerns of Marcelo Bielsa’s beaten side.
The Saints restricted Leeds to just three efforts on goal and none on target during their 1-0 win at St Mary’s, with centre-back Mohammed Salisu producing his best performance of the season so far.
The 22-year-old has taken some time to settle in the Premier League since his arrival from Valladolid in 2020, but has begun to show signs of promise, leading the Saints for touches, interceptions, clearances (joint), and blocked shots in an encouraging performance this weekend.
Centre-back: Angelo Ogbonna – West Ham
Back to his best as West Ham secured successive wins at Everton for the first time since 1930, the Italian making a number of strong interventions including a superb block to deny Alex Iwobi in the second half.
The veteran was good in the air and made his presence known to head home the only goal of the game, rising highest to glance home Jarrod Bowen’s corner as West Ham climbed above Everton and into seventh with three points on Merseyside.
Left-back: Ben Chilwell – Chelsea
Chilwell continued his rich vein of form in front of goal with a vital winner for Chelsea at Brentford, the left-back’s sweet strike a real moment of quality and enough to secure Thomas Tuchel’s below-par side all three points.
The England international has now scored three goals in three games for club and country and will be hoping to have nailed down his position for Chelsea at wing-back after a difficult start to the season.
Midfield: Declan Rice – West Ham
Rice shouldered the responsibility of anchoring the West Ham midfield with his role allowing Tomas Soucek greater freedom to push forward, with the England midfielder outstanding in plugging gaps and getting his side on the front foot.
The 22-year-old made a huge 10 ball recoveries and finished the clash with a pass accuracy of 91%, whilst the often overlooked aspects of his game were evident with three take-ons completed and two chances created.
Declan Rice's game by numbers vs. Everton:
100% aerial duels won
91% pass accuracy
10 ball recoveries
7 passes into final ⅓
7 take-ons attempted
5 duels won
3 take-ons completed
2 chances created
2 aerial duels
Is there anything this man can't do? 🤩 pic.twitter.com/VMc3OTPRlj
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 17, 2021
West Ham face a fight to keep hold of the midfielder despite his public stance over his happiness at the London Stadium, and performances of this ilk are unlikely to go unnoticed by his long list of reported suitors.
Midfield: Youri Tielemans – Leicester
The best player on the pitch as Leicester scored three times in the final 12 minutes to beat a sorry Manchester United, Tielemans ran the show to increase the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Belgian was brilliant in an entertaining contest at the King Power Stadium, cutting apart the visitors with probing passing whether receiving possession at the base of the midfield or pushing forward.
Tielemans netted Leicester’s equalising goal with a wonderful whipped effort over David de Gea, whilst he forced the Spaniard into a superb save with another fine strike after a dispossessing a lacklustre Red Devils’ midfield.
64 – With James Ward-Prowse missing a Premier League game for the first time December 2018 (102 in a row), the new outfielder with the longest active streak of successive Premier League appeareances is Leicester's Youri Tielemans (64 games since Jan 1st 2020). Duracell. pic.twitter.com/F7wmwNtZEk
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 17, 2021
The 24-year-old routinely regained possession and ensured Leicester remained on the front foot, a superb showing from a player who has become irreplaceable for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Midfield: Bernardo Silva – Manchester City
Bernardo Silva continued his exceptional start to the new season with another stand-out performance for Manchester City this weekend, the midfielder a bundle of creative energy as the champions beat Burnley at the Etihad.
Silva has been sensational on occasion this season and was again City’s catalyst, and his goal – smashed home from close range after Phil Foden’s effort was spilled – was the least his performance deserved.
Having agitated for a move away from the club during the summer, Bernardo has got back on track during the campaign’s opening weeks to become one of the Premier League’s finest footballers once again.
Right-wing: Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
Recently we discussed just where Mohamed Salah ranks amongst the Premier League’s all-time greats, the Egyptian having been scintillating during Liverpool’s draw with Manchester City before the international break.
Salah picked up where he left off as Liverpool thrashed Watford this weekend, creating the opening goal with a magnificent pass into the path of Sadio Mane, before scoring his seventh league goal of the season with another outstanding individual effort.
Salah has been brilliant in recent campaigns but appears to have taken his game to a new level over the opening months of the 2021/22 season, having now provided 11 goal involvements in just eight league games for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 17, 2021
On current form, there is arguably no better player in world football.
Left-wing: Nathan Redmond – Southampton
The second Southampton player in our side and another who enjoyed his best outing of the campaign so far, Redmond led the charge as the Saints ended their winless start to the season.
Redmond was utilised as one of two forwards alongside impressive loanee Armando Broja, with the duo combining for the only goal of the game as the former surged forward on the counter-attack before teeing up his young teammate.
Given a licence to drift and drive at the Leeds defence, Redmond’s five shots were more than the visitors managed combined and he provided the perfect conduit between midfield and attack throughout.
Forward: Roberto Firmino – Liverpool
Firmino helped himself to a hat-trick on his first league start for Liverpool since August, a reminder of the Brazilian’s qualities and a performance that will do his hopes of regaining at automatic starting spot the world of good.
The 30-year-old dropped deep and linked the play in signature fashion during the 5-0 win at Watford, but the nature of his goals will be of huge encouragement as Firmino demonstrated the poacher’s touch he has often been accused of lacking.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 16, 2021
Liverpool will hardly have an easier afternoon all season, with Firmino enjoying himself and finding form at the right time ahead of a huge Champions League clash at Atletico Madrid tomorrow.