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Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 4

Each week we delve through the Premier League’s weekend action and compile our divisional Team of the Week from the fixtures’ finest performances.

Liverpool emphatically ended their winless start to the season with a record-equalling 9-0 win over Bournemouth, while Arsenal came from behind to maintain their perfect record at the top of the division.

Elsewhere another Manchester City comeback kept the champions in touch, Manchester United earned back-to-back wins, and West Ham secured their first win of the 2022/23 campaign.

 

Here is The Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week.

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson – Nottingham Forest

Among a catalogue of new arrivals this summer, Dean Henderson has been among the shrewdest signings of Nottingham Forest’s recruitment drive.

Henderson was unable to help Steve Cooper’s side to a result this weekend, but kept Forest in the game on occasion against Spurs. He made four saves including a smart stop from Heung-Min Son and a superb save to deny Harry Kane from the penalty spot.

On current form, Henderson – who became the first Premier League goalkeeper since 2018 to save a Kane penalty – is pushing for an England recall ahead of the World Cup.

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool

After a poor performance at Manchester United last time out, this was more like it from Alexander-Arnold who revelled in freedom further forward against Bournemouth.

The right-back scored Liverpool’s third goal with a stunner from distance, unleashing a fierce strike that left Mark Travers with no chance. He then turned provider as his cross was turned in for an own goal from Chris Mepham and was untroubled defensively as the Reds produced a rampant performance at Anfield.

Alexander-Arnold made 32 final-third passes, delivered six crosses and made three key passes in a performance of attacking intent.

Centre-back: Raphael Varane – Manchester United

Raphael Varane’s return to the team has been a major factor in Manchester United’s turnaround, with a 1-0 win at Southampton securing back-to-back wins for Erik ten Hag.

Varane’s debut season was disrupted with fitness issues, with his longest sequence of consecutive starts in the Premier League just six fixtures. Since his arrival however, the Red Devils’ defensive record has been improved with him in the side and he has shone in recent wins over Liverpool and Southampton.

The France international was an assured presence in a more resolute-looking United team this weekend, whilst his presence has helped bring the best from Lisandro Martinez alongside him. That combination has shown encouraging signs and leaves Harry Maguire facing an extended spell on the sidelines.

Centre-back: Thiago Silva – Chelsea

A timeless titan, Thiago Silva is showing no signs of slowing down as he approaches his 38th birthday next month. With Chelsea down to ten men with more than an hour to play against Leicester, the centre-back marshalled his disadvantaged side through the clash in imperious fashion.

Silva won a game-leading four tackles, made five clearances and won 9/10 of his duels against the Foxes, in what was a fantastic performance from a defender who continues to defy time. One of the best centre-backs of his generation and a natural leader, how Chelsea wish the brilliant Brazilian was a decade younger.

Left-back: Pervis Estupinan – Brighton

A solid home debut from the Ecuadorian, who has started well since arriving from Villarreal as Marc Cucurella’s replacement.

Estupinan created more chances (3) than any other player on the pitch in Brighton’s 1-0 win over Leeds, with the full-back a fine outlet as he provided a number of dangerous deliveries into the box. Composed and calm in possession, he looks to be another astute addition to Graham Potter’s evolving Seagulls side.

Midfield: Bernardo Silva – Manchester City

Erling Haaland’s hat-trick took the headlines as Manchester City came from behind to beat Palace, but Bernardo Silva was the driving force of the champion’s comeback.

Full of effort and invention, he brought City back into the contest with his 50th goal for the club after drifting inwards from the right and firing inside the near post.

His mix of guile and graft is almost impossible to replace and Pep Guardiola knows it, as City continue to ward off interest from European rivals with Barcelona and PSG interested in the midfielder.

Midfield: Martin Odegaard – Arsenal

A captain’s performance from a player growing into his role at Arsenal, it was Odegaard who dragged his side back into the game against Fulham.

The first to console Gabriel after his mistake handed Fulham the lead, the midfielder then led Arsenal forward in search of a result and brought the sides level with a smart step-over and deflected finish.

The Norwegian was influential with and without the ball as he led his teammates for possession won (11) and final third passes (41), with Odegaard taking the initiative to ensure Arsenal’s perfect start to the season continued.

Right-wing: Raheem Sterling – Chelsea

Raheem Sterling is off the mark in Chelsea colours, with the marquee arrival scoring twice as the west Londoners beat Leicester this weekend.

Chelsea were up against it after losing Conor Gallagher inside the first half hour, but their 10 men battled on with Sterling the creative force of the side.

In a performance full of direct running and creativity, he eventually found a breakthrough with a looping shot from the edge of the area to score his first Chelsea goal. A second followed soon after as Sterling tapped home from close range after an inviting cross from Reece James.

Left-wing: Luis Diaz – Liverpool

Started and finished a record-equalling win for Liverpool, who thrashed Bournemouth 9-0 at Anfield. After a winless start to the campaign this was a near flawless performance from Jurgen Klopp’s side, who were ruthless when going forward and showed no mercy to Scott Parker’s side.

Diaz opened the scoring after meeting Roberto Firmino’s cross to head home, before getting across his marker to power home Kostas Tsimikas’ corner and complete the rout.

There was the usual selection of tricks and flicks from the Colombia international as the Reds ran riot to get their season up and running.

Forward: Roberto Firmino – Liverpool

After criticism for an anonymous showing in the defeat at Manchester United on Monday evening, Roberto Firmino was back to his best this weekend in a performance which demonstrated what he can still contribute to the cause.

Firmino had two assists inside six minutes and a third before the half-hour mark, before helping himself to a brace to make it five goal involvements in Liverpool’s 9-0 win over Bournemouth.

The Brazilian was involved in everything as he dropped into pockets of space to cause Bournemouth endless problems, while his second goal also brought up a century for Liverpool in all competitions.

A perfect response to the doubters which have been in loud voice in recent weeks.

Forward: Erling Haaland – Manchester City

The sort of performance and occasion for which he was signed for. Haaland did little for the opening hour, before turning the game around with a brilliant hat-trick as Manchester City came from two goals down to beat Crystal Palace.

His first two were predatory finishes as City reaped the rewards of a traditional number nine, before an outstanding third as he powered through and finished in style to score his first Premier League hat-trick.

It is unlikely to be the last for a forward who has already scored six goals in just four games this season.

Read – Remembering Liverpool’s biggest ever Premier League wins

Read Also – Ranking the five most expensive transfer sales by Eredivisie clubs

 

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