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 including a thriller between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield.
The draw between that duo has allowed Chelsea to move back to the summit after beating Southampton, whilst Manchester United and Everton remain amongst the chasing pack after sharing the spoils at Old Trafford.
Elsewhere Brentford are now the highest London club in the division after beating West Ham, whilst a relegation six-pointer between Burnley and Norwich ended in a forgettable goalless draw.
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 for matchday seven.
Goalkeeper: Robert Sanchez
Had almost nothing to do in the first half as Brighton dominated against Arsenal, but came up big for his side when needed to make a smart save and deny Emile Smith Rowe in the second period.
An Arsenal goal would have been cruel on the Seagulls following a positive – if wasteful – showing, and the concentration of the Spain international ensured Graham Potter’s side a clean sheet and the point their performance merited at the very least.
Right-back: Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea
Amongst the driving forces for Chelsea down the right-hand side, Azpilicueta was moved to a more advanced position given the absence of Reece James against Southampton.
The club captain was solid defensively and full of running further forward, bombing down the flank and providing the assist for Timo Werner’s winning goal with a fine first-time ball across the penalty area.
Centre-back: Trevoh Chalobah – Chelsea
Trevoh Chalobah has grasped his opportunity at Chelsea this season and another strong showing against Southampton strengthened his case for more regular involvement.
The 22-year-old opened the scoring for the west Londoners against Southampton with a diving header at the back post, before producing an accomplished performance as part of Thomas Tuchel’s back three.
Only Romelu Lukaku (3) has more PL goals for Chelsea than defender Trevoh Chalobah this season (2) 🔵 pic.twitter.com/SSlxD8AHZr
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 2, 2021
Chalobah completed 91% of his passes and led the game for tackles won, aerial duels won (joint with Antonio Rudiger) and clearances (joint with Jan Bednarek), the surprise package of Chelsea’s season continuing to impress whenever called upon.
Centre-back: Diego Llorente – Leeds
Leeds secured a much-needed first win of the season against Watford this weekend, earning a 1-0 win at Elland Road to move out of the Premier League’s relegation places.
Diego Llorente’s return from injury proved crucial to Marcelo Bielsa’s side at both ends of the pitch, with the Spain international’s comfortability in possession allowing Leeds to progress the ball from deep.
There were the occasional nervous moments, but Llorente proved to be the match-winner against the Hornets after turning home a headed knock-down in instinctive fashion inside the box.
Left-back: Marc Cucurella – Brighton
Brighton can count themselves unfortunate not to have emerged from Saturday’s clash with Arsenal with all three points, with the Seagulls squandering the better opportunities in a goalless draw at the Amex Stadium.
Amongst the positives for Graham Potter’s side was the performance of Marc Cucurella, who looks like a shrewd signing at left wing-back following his deadline day arrival from Getafe.
The 23-year-old was full of trademark energy and tenacity for the Seagulls, giving new Arsenal full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu a tough time and earning a roar of approval on several occasions from the home crowd.
Midfield: Abdoulaye Doucoure – Everton
The 28-year-old’s box-to-box dynamism has been devastating so far this season with Doucoure often playing one-touch before surging forward to regain possession once more, whilst the Frenchman has shown greater end product this season including a driving run and assist for Andros Townsend at Old Trafford.
Doucoure now has two goals and four assists from seven appearances so far this season, the midfielder one of several players Benitez has brought the best from.
Midfield: Bernardo Silva – Manchester City
Bernardo Silva’s excellent start to the season continued during Manchester City‘s pulsating draw at Liverpool, the midfielder having returned to form and favour for the Premier League champions.
The Portugal international produced one scintillating run in the first half, dancing through a succession of desperate challenges before freeing Phil Foden for an opportunity the 21-year-old should perhaps have done better with.
🎙️ "It was a magical run, it really was."
Wonderful work from Bernardo Silva, but Alisson denies Phil Foden!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 3, 2021
As ever, Silva ran himself into the ground for the City cause and the 27-year-old looks close to replicating the career-best levels he found in 2018/19.
Right-wing: Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
Salah struggled to get into the game as Liverpool were outplayed for much of the first half at Anfield, before producing a sensational second-half showing including a Goal of the Season contender.
The Egyptian tormented Joao Cancelo across the second 45 minutes and provided a wonderful assist for Sadio Mane’s opener, surging forward from inside his own half before threading a perfect pass in behind.
The best was still to come, however, with a superb solo goal, one that incorporated the best of Salah’s strength, balance, speed and skill before a clinical finish beyond Ederson for his sixth of the season so far.
𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐲 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 😱
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 3, 2021
The 29-year-old has now scored in each of his past seven appearances for Liverpool and on current form is right in the conversation amongst the best in world football.
Left-wing: Phil Foden – Manchester City
James Milner will be thankful he does not have to face Phil Foden on too many occasions this season, with the auxiliary right-back enduring an afternoon to forget against Manchester City’s wonderfully gifted academy graduate.
Foden ran the veteran ragged throughout in a brilliant performance on the left, scoring one and providing another as the Premier League champions drew at Liverpool.
We fight to the end! Had to battle today, great to get on the scoresheet again 💙 pic.twitter.com/Toohga7mZ9
— Phil Foden (@PhilFoden) October 3, 2021
It could have been more for Foden had it not been for Alisson in goal, whilst his speed proved problematic throughout and could have resulted in both a penalty conceded and a red card for the struggling Milner.
It’s now three goals and three assists for Foden in his past three appearances against Liverpool, whilst the England international has already amassed 14 career goal involvements against the Premier League’s ‘big six’.
Forward: Hwang Hee-Chan – Wolves
Hwang Hee-Chan’s arrival from RB Leipzig was designed to relieve some of the pressure on Raul Jimenez at Wolves, and the South Korean has rapidly shown he can add something new to Bruno Lage’s attack.
Starting wide before drifting into central areas as Jimenez dropped deep, the 25-year-old proved the match-winner against Newcastle with a well-taken brace at Molineux.
⚽️ Hwang Hee-Chan
🅰️ Raul Jimenez
⚽️ Hwang Hee-Chan
🅰️ Raul Jimenez
There’s a new partnership to look out for at Wolves. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/me66SUXM7g
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 2, 2021
Hwang twice burst in behind the Magpies’ defence before finishing in expert fashion, making it three goals in four appearances for the loanee who has adapted quickly to English football following a challenging period in the Bundesliga.
Forward: Ivan Toney – Brentford
Thomas Frank believes it will not be long before Ivan Toney earns an England call-up, with Gareth Southgate having revealed he’s been impressed by the forward’s adaptation to the Premier League with Brentford.
Toney was once again outstanding as the Bees continued their impressive start with a late win at West Ham.
The forward’s weighted pass set Sergi Canos through in the build-up to Brentford’s opener at the London Stadium, whilst his aerial presence and movement troubled Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna throughout.
Not on the scoresheet at West Ham, but a performance which again showed there’s much more to Toney than just his prolific goal record.