Each week we delve through the Premier League action and compile our divisional Team of the Week from the fixtures’ finest performances.
Ange Postecoglou enjoyed a winning start on home soil as Tottenham defeated Manchester United, while Manchester City produced a strong performance to beat Newcastle at the Etihad.
Elsewhere, Liverpool earned their first win of the Premier League season, Brighton thrashed Wolves, and Aston Villa piled the pressure on Sean Dyche and Everton.
Here is The Football Faithful’s Premier League Team of the Week:
Goalkeeper: Guglielmo Vicario – Tottenham
Vicario made a string of saves and was calm and collected for much of Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Manchester United.
The Italian frustrated Marcus Rashford early on and showcased his reflexes to keep out Casemiro’s header, before an excellent stop once more from Raphael Varane’s stoppage-time effort.
An encouraging performance from the summer recruit, who faced criticism in pre-season. He can be pleased with his home debut for the north Londoners.
Right-back: Serge Aurier – Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest are up and running for the new season after beating Sheffield United 2-1 at the City Ground on Friday night.
Steve Cooper’s side scored late on to snatch all three points, with Chris Wood heading home Serge Aurier’s inviting cross for an 89th-minute winner.
The Ivorian right-back had already created the opening goal for Taiwo Awoniyi and the defender’s delivery was the difference as Forest edged a close contest to earn their first points of the Premier League season.
Serge Aurier’s game by numbers vs. Sheffield United:
80% pass accuracy
52 passes completed
5/6 aerial duels won
3/5 ground duels won
2 crosses completed
2 key passes
1 big chance created
Put it on a plate tonight. 🍽️ pic.twitter.com/4mbTKlyWXl
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 18, 2023
Centre-back: Ethan Pinnock – Brentford
Brentford beat Fulham to continue their impressive record in capital clashes, as a 3-0 win extended their unbeaten run in London derbies to 11 games.
Ethan Pinnock – a standout in the draw at Tottenham last week – dealt with all that came his way at Craven Cottage, with the Jamaica international making six clearances, winning eight duels and blocking two Fulham shots.
Centre-back: Josko Gvardiol – Manchester City
An impressive home debut from the Croatian centre-back, who looked instantly comfortable in the demands of Pep Guardiola’s system. Gvardiol powered into challenges and used his strength to shutdown the threat of Alexander Isak and Newcastle’s other forward options, including a vital block when a chance opened up for substitute Callum Wilson.
Already at home and with attributes that appear tailor-made for Manchester City, Gvardiol should get better and better as the season progresses.
Left-back: Pervis Estupinan – Brighton
Brighton have made a fine start to the new season with the Seagulls soaring to the top of the early Premier League table. Roberto De Zerbi’s side thrashed Wolves 4-1 to record a second consecutive win, with Pervis Estupinan an influential presence at both ends of the pitch.
The left-back claimed the assist for Kaoru Mitoma’s sensational opener, before the favour was returned as the Japanese international teed up Estupinan to fire home Brighton’s second. After an all-action performance on the opening weekend, the Ecuadorian was at it again for a Seagulls side aiming high.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) August 19, 2023
Midfield: Yves Bissouma – Tottenham
Yves Bissouma has been the biggest beneficiary of Tottenham’s change of coach to date, with the midfielder loving life under new manager Ange Postecoglou.
The Mali midfielder was outstanding as Spurs beat Manchester United 2-0 in north London, earning his second successive man-of-the-match award. Bissouma led the contest for duels (10) and fouls won (3), with the Red Devils midfield struggling to get near the 26-year-old.
Cool, confident and front and centre of Postecoglou’s plan, Bissouma is finally showing Spurs the player the club thought they had signed from Brighton a year ago. What a difference a new manager makes.
Midfield: James Ward-Prowse – West Ham
James Ward-Prowse enjoyed a dream debut for West Ham as the midfielder provided two moments of real quality to set his side on route to a 3-1 win over Chelsea.
The summer signing from Southampton set up the opener when a trademark set-piece delivery was headed home by Nayef Aguerd, before a brilliant first-time pass released Michail Antonio for the second goal and saw Ward-Prowse claim his second assist of the game.
Hi, I’m James Ward-Prowse.
How may I assist you? pic.twitter.com/AEj31fI4Rx
— West Ham United (@WestHam) August 20, 2023
In a vastly inflated transfer market, particularly for players in his position, West Ham’s £30m deal for the 28-year-old appears sensible business as the club look to replace Declan Rice.
Midfield: Phil Foden – Manchester City
Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Newcastle sent a statement with the champions dominant against a side Pep Guardiola had labelled as potential title challengers earlier in the week. At the centre of City’s success was Foden, who provided a reminder, not that it was needed, that he is a sublime talent.
Foden created SEVEN chances as the Citizens controlled proceedings at the Etihad, running the game with flawless close control and speed of thought in central areas. With Riyad Mahrez having moved on and Kevin De Bruyne sidelined, the onus has fallen on Foden to create and he did not disappoint this weekend.
No player in Europe’s top seven leagues has created more chances than Phil Foden (9) so far this season.
SEVEN against Newcastle United. ✨ pic.twitter.com/i24foD4ea0
— Squawka (@Squawka) August 19, 2023
Right-wing: Leon Bailey – Aston Villa
Outstanding and at the centre of Aston Villa’s best moves as Unai Emery’s side beat Everton 4-0 at Villa Park.
Bailey burst past Ashley Young to set up John McGinn’s opener and was full of feints and turns all afternoon, with the Jamaican again involved in the build up to the second as Ollie Watkins was brought down for a penalty kick.
6 – All six of Leon Bailey’s Premier League goals have come at Villa Park, the joint-most a player has scored in the competition with 100% coming at the same stadium, alongside Roman Bednár at the Hawthorns, John McGinlay at Burnden Park, and Paul Rogers at Bramall Lane. Villain. pic.twitter.com/y7ZuZJWq2A
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 20, 2023
Bailey got the goal his performance deserved with Villa’s third, firing through the legs of Jordan Pickford after Michael Keane’s mis-hit clearance. The 26-year-old has not always found consistency in a Villa shirt but this was an example of what he can provide when in the mood. Villa will hope the injury he picked up late on is nothing serious.
Left-wing: Karou Mitoma – Brighton
Karou Mitoma got Brighton’s win at Wolves underway with a moment of magic, as the winger left a trail of gold shirts in his wake on route to scoring a sublime individual goal. Mitoma has emerged as one of the most exciting talents in the league when at his best, with a fearless brand of dribbling and innate ability to unbalance opposition defenders.
Speculation continues to surround interest from wealthier sides and it’s unlikely to disappear as long as Mitoma continues to perform to such levels. On this form, the 26-year-old could thrive for any team in the Premier League.
Absolutely SENSATIONAL from Kaoru! 🤩💫 pic.twitter.com/OuYa3UeSpA
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) August 19, 2023
Forward: Bryan Mbeumo – Brentford
Brentford fans might have feared the worst when Ivan Toney’s suspension was confirmed, with the club’s leading scorer sidelined until January.
Bryan Mbeumo has stepped up in the absence of his talismanic team-mate however, producing a consistent run of goalscoring form for Thomas Frank’s side. The Cameroon international scored twice in the Bees’ 3-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage, extending his record to eight goals in seven appearances without Toney in the side.
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) August 19, 2023
Brentford badly needed Mbeumo to step up and he has delivered to date.