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Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 6

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

Manchester United continued their momentum under Erik ten Hag, as the Red Devils ended Arsenal’s perfect start to the new season to make it four wins in a row.

 

Everton and Liverpool entertained despite a goalless draw in the Merseyside Derby, while Aston Villa and Steven Gerrard secured a pressure-relieving point with a hard-fought draw against Manchester City.

Elsewhere there were big wins for Brentford and Brighton, while Bournemouth came from two goals down to beat Nottingham Forest in the battle of the promoted teams.

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

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford – Everton

Liverpool could not find a way past Jordan Pickford during a goalless draw in the Merseyside Derby, with the Everton goalkeeper sending a statement to those who question his status as England’s number one.

His eight saves were the most made by a goalkeeper in a Premier League fixture this season and included a wonderfully athletic stop to deny Darwin Nunez, before the 28-year-old got down low to tip Mohamed Salah’s stoppage-time effort onto the post.

Pickford faces increased scrutiny this season with the likes of Dean Henderson, Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope all pushing for his international place, but boasts the best save percentage in the Premier League this season at 83.9%.

Right-back: Kieran Trippier – Newcastle

Impressive at either end of the pitch as Newcastle drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace at St James’ Park. The right-back dealt with the threat of Wilfried Zaha and was an influential presence further forward,  as he provided a game-leading eight crosses and six key passes.

He created four chances in the first half alone and showed his leadership qualities, questioning decisions from the officials while ensuring more irate teammates remained out of the referee’s notebook.

Newcastle have gone up a level following the investments of the past two transfer windows and Trippier’s £12m arrival from Atletico Madrid has proven a snip for the Magpies.

Centre-back: James Tarkowski – Everton

James Tarkowski and Conor Coady are beginning to form a fine partnership at Everton, with the arrival of two Premier League-proven leaders having provided the Toffees with greater resilience at the back.

Tarkowski was a dominant presence in the goalless draw with Liverpool this weekend, in a clash which saw the centre-back make eight clearances, four blocks and three interceptions.

His free transfer signing from Burnley was viewed as a coup and has already proven astute business from Frank Lampard, with Tarkowski – excellent in the air throughout – performing well against the threat of Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz this weekend.

Centre-back: Joachim Andersen – Crystal Palace

Andersen recovered from an early error that allowed Alexander Isak in on goal to impress for Crystal Palace at Newcastle, ending the game with a huge 17 clearances at St James’ Park.

No player in the Premier League has made more clearances in a single fixture so far this season, with the Denmark international crucial to the Eagles’ first clean sheet of the season.

Left-back: Ben Chilwell – Chelsea

Ben Chilwell came off the bench to become the unlikely hero for Chelsea, scoring one and creating another as the Blues came from behind to beat West Ham.

The England international has had to be patient this season with Thomas Tuchel having preferred Marc Cucurella, as Chilwell continues to step up his fitness following the ACL surgery that sidelined him for ten months last season.

His goal was a brilliant equaliser, as he reacted first to his own header to spin 180 degrees and fire the ball between Lukasz Fabianski’s legs from a narrow angle. He then marauded forward to tee up Kai Havertz for the winner, as Chelsea bounced back from their loss to Southampton with three points at Stamford Bridge.

Midfield: Christian Eriksen – Manchester United

The most decisive footballer on the pitch as Manchester United beat Arsenal at Old Trafford. Eriksen was back to his best as the Red Devils cut the league leaders apart on the counter-attack.

The Denmark international’s brilliant pass through the lines took out Arsenal’s midfield in the build-up to the opener, before he was again involved in the second as he picked out Bruno Fernandes in space.

Eriksen’s run from deep then broke Arsenal’s defensive line for United’s third, as he squared for Marcus Rashford to convert from close range and seal all three points.

The 30-year-old ended the clash with three chances created, 16 final third passes and a first assist for the club, in a performance which demonstrated just why Erik ten Hag has been reluctant to be without Eriksen’s presence in his midfield to date.

Midfield: Jacob Ramsey – Aston Villa

Ramsey produced his best performance of the season so far as Aston Villa earned a point against Manchester City, with the Premier League champions struggling to deal with his bursts forward from midfield.

Selected as the most advanced of Steven Gerrard’s narrow midfield group, the 21-year-old remained disciplined and worked hard to unsettle City. His runs were often untracked and he teed up Leon Bailey’s equaliser with a powerful drive forward and dangerous cross into the area.

Ramsey remains raw and inconsistent, but his attributes compliment Gerrard’s midfield selection and the Villa boss will want to coax his best on a regular basis.

Midfield: Alexis Mac Allister – Brighton

The best player on the pitch as Brighton’s brilliant start to the season continued. Graham Potter’s side scored five goals in a Premier League game for the first time as the Seagulls came from behind to thrash Leicester 5-2.

An entertaining game had four goals shared evenly at the half-time whistle before Brighton took control in the second half with Mac Allister at the heart of their performance. The midfielder scored twice – from a penalty and a fantastic free-kick – and was denied a stunning hat-trick after his wonder goal from distance was contentiously disallowed following a VAR review.

The 23-year-old won five duels and recorded an 88% pass accuracy in addition to his two goals. On current form, he is pushing hard for a place in Argentina’s World Cup squad for Qatar.

Forward: Richarlison – Tottenham

After altering games from the bench in recent weeks the summer signing was handed a first start for Spurs and repaid Antonio Conte’s trust with a livewire performance.

Richarlison was a threat all afternoon as Spurs beat Fulham 2-1, with his link-up play with Harry Kane encouraging throughout. The Brazilian teed up Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for the opening goal of the game and was unfortunate to see a goal of his own ruled out late on, following a performance which deserved tangible reward.

For the first time in some time, Spurs have real options in attack. The arrivals of Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski in the past two transfer windows have provided the North Londoners with multiple threats.

Forward: Marcus Rashford – Manchester United

Marcus Rashford has had his fair share of criticism after a sustained dip in form, but appears to be enjoying his football again at Manchester United.

The 24-year-old led the line for the fourth successive game against Arsenal this weekend and repaid Erik ten Hag’s faith with a match-winning performance. After struggling during Arsenal’s early dominance, he helped break the game open with an assist for Antony’s opener, before coming alive in the second half.

Rashford scored twice in a Premier League fixture for the first time since December 2020 as the Red Devils punished Arsenal on the break. He raced onto Bruno Fernandes’ pass to score the second, before turning in Christian Eriksen’s centre from close range after the duo broke Arsenal’s offside trap.

Rashford looks fitter and sharper than he has done in recent months and, perhaps more crucially, happier on the pitch.

Forward: Ivan Toney – Brentford

Outstanding. Brentford thrashed Leeds in a fine attacking performance with Ivan Toney providing the sting as he helped himself to a hat-trick for the Bees.

Toney’s treble was of the highest calibre, opening his account from the spot in characteristically composed fashion – netting his 18th from 18 penalties for Brentford.

The 26-year-old had never previously scored from outside the box for Brentford, but completed his hat-trick with two brilliant efforts from distance. His second was a postage-stamp free-kick into the top corner, before he showed composure and quality to lift his hat-trick goal over the retreating defenders with goalkeeper Illan Meslier committed outside his area.

Toney has now scored 51 goals in 86 appearances for Brentford and has five in six games this season. He’s banging on the door for international inclusion ahead of England’s Nations League games with Italy and Germany later this month.

Read – A best XI of non-top six signings made this summer

Read Also – Iconic Performances: Prime R9 dismantles Valencia with a hat-trick for the ages

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