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Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 9

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

On a weekend of goals and statement showings, there was Manchester Derby delight for Erling Haaland and Phil Foden, who produced brilliant individual performances as Manchester City thrashed neighbours United 6-3 at the Etihad.

Arsenal remain the league leaders after earning North London bragging rights, while the Roberto De Zerbi era began at Brighton with a thrilling 3-3 draw at Liverpool. Elsewhere there were wins for Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham.

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

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford – Everton

It turns out the best thing that Jordan Pickford could do to underline his status as England’s number one was to get injured, with his absence keenly felt during the international break.

Pickford missed the Three Lions’ fixtures due to a thigh problem, but returned for Everton this weekend with an impressive performance. The 28-year-old has been consistently excellent for some time and has emerged as a real leader of Frank Lampard’s improving team.

It’s now six league games unbeaten for Everton after a 2-1 win at Southampton, with Pickford’s performance crucial to three points at St Mary’s. He made five saves, including crucial stops to deny James Ward-Prowse and Adam Armstrong with the game in the balance.

Right-back: Solly March – Brighton

A real bright spark for Brighton from wing-back in the opening exchanges at Liverpool, as the Seagulls raced into a two-goal lead at Anfield that in truth should have been more.

March found himself in dangerous areas all afternoon and gave Kostas Tsimikas a torrid time, as he won six duels, created two big chances and provided an assist as he teed up Leandro Trossard’s second goal of the game.

The 28-year-old – who new manager Roberto De Zerbi was full of praise for this week – should have had another assist after Danny Welbeck headed his inviting cross straight at Alisson.

 

Centre-back: William Saliba – Arsenal

Another immense performance from the Arsenal centre-back, who grows and impresses with each performance in the Premier League this season.

In the intensity of a North London derby against previously unbeaten Spurs, he was a figure of calm and assurance for Arsenal. The France international is the ideal modern defender, with his cool and composure emphasised with one dribble out of danger from the edge of his own area.

Harry Kane will have fewer tougher afternoons than this one up against Saliba, who so often chooses the right moment to delve into tackles and emerge with possession. Ice-cold, even as Spurs upped the pressure just before the break, in a big win for the Gunners.

Centre-back: Ben Mee – Brentford

Few will remember Brentford’s first top-flight meeting with Bournemouth as a classic as the two teams played out a drab draw this weekend. It was the first time that the teams have met in the top division despite 109 previous encounters, but it will not live long in the memory books after a goalless draw.

Ben Mee was the stand-out for a Brentford side below their best, with the defender having proven a shrewd signing from Thomas Frank. A perhaps unfashionable arrival on a free transfer from Burnley during the summer, the experienced centre-back has brought leadership and nous to the Bees’ backline.

Against Bournemouth he continually bailed out those around him with a number of crucial interventions, ending the contest with four aerial duels won and three tackles.

Left-back: Aaron Cresswell – West Ham

An improved performance from Cresswell who has found himself a target for criticism this season. The arrival of Emerson Palmieri from Chelsea has seen Cresswell’s place in the side come under threat, but the long-serving left-back was solid as West Ham beat Wolves this weekend.

It was a much-needed result for David Moyes and his team, who climbed out of the bottom three with a 2-0 win at the London Stadium. The 32-year-old won three tackles, three ground duels and recorded a 100% aerial duel success rate.

The introduction of Adama Traore provided Cresswell with a difficult challenge, but he dug deep to ensure the Hammers earned a clean sheet.

Midfield: Thomas Partey – Arsenal

A fantastic all-round performance from the midfielder who was back to his best in the North London Derby. Partey opened the scoring in Arsenal’s 3-1 in over Spurs with a stunning strike from the edge of the area, as he guided Ben White’s centre beyond the reach of Hugo Lloris.

The Ghana international was a dominant presence throughout as he crashed into challenges and orchestrated from deep with an expansive passing range. His midfield axis with the resurgent Granit Xhaka will be crucial to Arsenal’s campaign and the Gunners will praying the 29-year-old can maintain his fitness.

Midfield: Bernardo Silva – Manchester City

Big game Bernardo, at it again. He just loves the Manchester Derby, doesn’t he?

The midfielder was at his effervescent best, full of endless energy and non-stop running as Manchester City overran their cross-town neighbours at the Etihad.

There are not many more influential footballers in the world than Bernardo when the 28-year-old is in this sort of mood, popping up all over the pitch.

United must be sick of the sight of him.

Right-wing: Miguel Almiron – Newcastle

A constant menace to the Fulham defence as Newcastle secured a big win at Craven Cottage. The Magpies ran riot after Nathaniel Chalobah’s early red card for the home side with Miguel Almiron producing his best performance of the campaign.

The Paraguayan scored twice to cap a display full of endeavour and attacking quality, including an outrageous first goal as he volleyed home Bruno Guimaraes lifted pass from an acute angle. It was a moment of inspiration from Almiron, who later tucked home a second from close range.

The midfielder has already scored three times as many goals (3) as he did last season (1) with the 28-year-old having found a new gear for Eddie Howe’s team.

Left-wing: Leandro Trossard – Brighton

Leandro Trossard ensured Roberto De Zerbi’s first game in charge of Brighton ended with a positive result, as his hat-trick earned the Seagulls a 3-3 draw at Liverpool.

Trossard was an electric outlet in an impressive performance from Brighton, who in truth perhaps deserved more for their efforts at Anfield. The Seagulls cut apart Liverpool during the opening exchanges and it was Trossard’s sharpness inside the area that handed the visitors a two-goal lead.

The Belgium international then took his haul to five goals in seven Premier League fixtures this season, as he swept home a third to equalise – following a Liverpool comeback – and score Brighton’s first top-flight treble for 42 years.

The 27-year-old has discussed the prospect of leaving Brighton for a leading club and on the evidence of his early season form there will be no shortage of suitors.

He became just the third opposition player to score a Premier League hat-trick at Anfield and the first since Andrey Arshavin scored four times for Arsenal in April 2009.

Forward: Phil Foden – Manchester City

Phil Foden had never previously scored a goal against Manchester United. At the full-time whistle of Sunday’s derby clash he had three, with the match ball tucked under his arm after a contest that he or those on the blue half of the city are likely to forget.

A ruthless performance from Foden, who picked the perfect time to score his first senior hat-trick. The 22-year-old smashed two brilliant finishes inside David de Gea’s near post and showed brilliant desire to get onto Erling Haaland’s cross for his third.

The boyhood blue will be on cloud nine after a derby day dismantling of United at the Etihad, in which he became the youngest player to reach 50 goals under Pep Guardiola, surpassing a certain Lionel Messi.

Forward: Erling Haaland – Manchester City

What more is there to say about Erling Haaland?

Freak. Cheat code. Alien. It’s all been written in recent weeks as the forward has obliterated Premier League defences and he took his already growing legend to new heights with a derby destruction of Manchester United.

A third consecutive home hat-trick took Haaland to 14 goals in the Premier League already this season – in just eight games. Add in two assists and this was as complete a centre-forward performance as any in recent memory from a footballer who is unstoppable at his best.

Haaland has made an already delightful team infinitely more dangerous. Opposition centre-backs might disagree, but it is a pleasure to have Haaland in the Premier League. A special talent.

Read – Five of the most memorable Manchester Derby moments

Read Also – Wing Wizards: Luis Figo – Brilliance and betrayal

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