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Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 8

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

Just seven fixtures took place this weekend due to postponements around Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, with Arsenal remaining top of the division after an impressive win at Brentford. Manchester City and Spurs both kept pace with the league leaders after emphatic victories of their own, while there was a first win of the season for Frank Lampard and Everton.

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

Goalkeeper: Neto – Bournemouth

Neto has impressed since replacing Mark Travers as first-choice at Bournemouth with the Cherries unbeaten in each of the three Premier League fixtures he has started.

The experienced Brazilian shone as Bournemouth battled to a point at Newcastle, as he commanded his penalty area with confidence and made a string of saves in the 1-1 draw at St James’ Park.

He made a vital interception after Joelinton’s effort came back off the post, before a brilliant double-save to deny the Brazilian and Ryan Fraser in quick succession just before the break.

Right-back: Nathan Patterson – Everton

Nathan Patterson appears to be getting better with each performance and was impressive as Everton recorded their first win of the season this weekend.

The 20-year-old – who curiously secured a regular place with Scotland before doing so at club level with either Rangers or Everton – has started all six fixtures for Everton this term and looks to be a perfect long-term replacement for Seamus Coleman.

Patterson was a dynamic presence during the 1-0 win over West Ham as he bombed forward down the flank and came out on top in his duel with Pablo Fornals. His crucial intervention to deny Maxwel Cornet late on was a game-winning moment and one that ensured Everton have their first three points of the Premier League season.

Centre-back: William Saliba – Arsenal

Another impressive performance from a footballer growing in stature in the Premier League. Saliba had a tricky test in containing Ivan Toney but stuck to his task well as Arsenal won at Brentford.

The 21-year-old was alert to mop up danger whenever Brentford threatened with aerial duels won, while he was confident in possession to record a pass accuracy of 88.7%. Saliba also won 4/5 of his ground duels and set Arsenal on their way to three points with the game’s opening goal, getting across his marker to flick home Bukayo Saka’s corner.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank was full of praise for Saliba post-match, outlining his belief that the centre-back will soon command a regular place for France. On current form, he is pushing hard for a place in the world champion’s starting side for Qatar.

Centre-back: Tyrone Mings – Aston Villa

Tyrone Mings stood strong as Aston Villa secured a pressure-relieving win over Southampton on Friday evening. Mings has had to deal with added scrutiny following Steven Gerrard’s decision to take the armband from him this season, but has responded with improved performances including a dominant showing against the Saints.

While far from a classic contest, it was a much-needed result for Villa and Mings’ dominance at centre-back was crucial to their success. The 29-year-old helped his side to a first clean sheet in 11 games and boasted a 100% success rate in all of his ground and aerial duels.

Having been over looked for England’s fixtures this month despite a depth of defenders in the squad, this was a strong response from Mings to both Gareth Southgate and his club manager’s challenge.

Left-back: Kieran Tierney – Arsenal

Tierney has had a difficult start to the season after a disrupted pre-season and the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko, but returned to the starting side with his best performance of the campaign so far at Brentford.

The Scotland international was full of his usual energy and endeavour from left-back, coming out on top in his duel with compatriot Aaron Hickey. The 25-year-old got forward well and defended even better as the league leaders strolled to a 3-0 win in west London, in a reminder of what he can bring to the Mikel Arteta’s side.

Midfield: Joao Palhinha – Fulham

What a signing Joao Palhinha has proven to be for Fulham, who have had a dream start to their Premier League return to sit sixth.

The Portugal international has been an unmissable presence in the Cottagers’ engine room, leading the Premier League for completed tackles (32) and averaging a huge 5.6 tackles and interceptions per game for the west Londoners.

Palhinha was dominant during Fulham’s 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest, in which he won 100% of his tackles, 8/11 duels, and scored a stunning goal to put Marco Silva’s side ahead at the City Ground.

In an inflated market his £20m fee has looked a bargain to date. The likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Wolves and Newcastle were all linked with the 27-year-old across the past two transfer windows and appear to have missed a trick.

Midfield: Rodrigo Bentancur – Tottenham

A brilliant second-half performance saw Spurs thrash Leicester 6-2 in north London, as Antonio Conte’s team continued their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Bentancur was exceptional in the second period and scored his first Spurs goal to put the home side 3-2 ahead. The Uruguayan robbed Wilfred Ndidi of possession before bursting forward to finish confidently and later set up Son Heung-min for his first goal of the game after being granted a greater attacking licence.

Eric Dier was full of praise for the contribution of the midfielder, who he believes makes Spurs tick when at his best.

“Rodri [Bentancur] is amazing man, fantastic player. I think we play well when he plays well. I think it’s the biggest compliment I can give him,” Dier told Spurs Play.

“When he plays like he did in the second-half, we’re such a good team with him. Because he offers so much defensively and then with the ball he’s got so much quality. A lot of personality as well to play and to play in tight spaces.”

Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

As ever the architect of an impressive Manchester City performance. The champions made light work of a potentially tricky trip to Wolves with De Bruyne orchestrating their 3-0 win at Molineux.

When the Belgian midfielder overlaps into that right channel there is usually only one outcome, with dangerous deliveries into the box providing goals for Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.

It’s now six assists in six league starts for De Bruyne, who might just have his eye on the Premier League’s single season record he currently shares with Thierry Henry (20).

His brace of assists at Wolves also took him to 150 goal contributions in just 217 Premier League appearances, a rate of productivity that has cemented De Bruyne as one of the league’s all-time greats.

Forward: Jack Grealish – Manchester City

An answer to the critics that have been out in full force this week, Jack Grealish repaid the trust of Pep Guardiola with his best performance of the campaign so far.

The England international opened the scoring at Wolves inside 55 seconds, as he arrived into the box to turn home Kevin De Bruyne’s cross in an encouraging movement from a player who has been self-critical in his need to greater influence games.

Guardiola has insisted that goal contributions are not sole measure of Grealish’s influence but his goal – a first in the Premier League for 125 days – will have been a sweet moment for the 27-year-old. His all-round game was good, as he rode challenges and attracted defenders with purpose in possession.

Forward: Son Heung-min – Tottenham

Well, that’s some way to end a goal drought!

Son Heung-min was named among the substitutes against Leicester after a goalless run of eight games, but came off the bench to score a stunning hat-trick and get his season up and running.

Each of the South Korean’s strikes were of the highest quality, with his first two coming with wonderful arcing finishes from distance off either foot. He raced onto Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s pass to roll home his hat-trick goal, sealing his third Premier League treble with his first goals of the campaign.

A reminder, if any were needed, that Son remains a footballer of world-class talent.

Forward: Gabriel Jesus – Arsenal

Jesus buzzed around with the final third with purposeful intent as Arsenal won at Brentford, with the Brazil international having transformed the top end of the pitch for the Gunners.

His movement and willingness to chase down defenders has set the tone for Mikel Arteta’s improving side, as he provided problems for the physical Ben Mee and Pontus Jansson.

Having had question marks over his suitability to a centre-forward role at Manchester City, Jesus has shown since moving to north London that he has all the attributes required to lead the line.

A fine all-round performance was capped off with a brilliant header, his fourth in seven league games so far this season.

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