As the opening weekend of Premier League action passes us by, it’s time to take stock and decide which players were a help or a hindrance to their sides over the weekend.
Hero: Raheem Sterling
The 24-year-old’s current form should send a shiver down the spine of the Premier League’s chasing pack this season. The winger has blossomed into a world-class talent over the past couple of years and he wasted no time in opening his Premier League account as West Ham were put to the sword on Saturday.
Three very easy on the eye goals saw the former Liverpool man become just the eight player ever to score an opening day hat-trick in the Premier League. Although he was culpable of some unbelievably selfish play as his index finger was blatantly guilty of being offside in the build-up to what would have been Gabriel Jesus’s second goal.
Raheem Sterling is the first player to score a hat-trick on the opening weekend of the Premier League since Didier Drogba in 2010-11 (vs. West Brom).
He didn't even need that penalty. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/MkwY0kw1HD
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 10, 2019
Villain: Abdoulaye Doucoure
In all fairness to the Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucouré, at least he put a ball in the back of the net during a woeful set of first halves in the 3 o’clock kick-offs on Saturday. Sadly for Watford, it was the wrong end as his sliced clearance blundered past Ben Foster and into the back of his own net. Not quite the start to the season that the Frenchman would have had in mind!
Hero: Billy Sharp
Saturday’s wonderfully forgettable 1-1 draw between Bournemouth and Sheffield United at least saw a superb Roy of the Rovers moment for Mr. Sheffield – Billy Sharp. The veteran 33-year-old forward nicked a late equaliser to send the vociferous travelling Blades fans into raptures as they celebrated their first Premier League point in 12 long, painful years.
It just had to be the local lad. His celebration was pure class and you’d have to be a Sheffield Wednesday fan to not be at least a little bit pleased for him!
Billy Sharp, there.
Just living every lad's dream as a kid. pic.twitter.com/LTFMfuu1KX
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) August 10, 2019
Villain: Morgan Schneiderlin
Remember when Morgan Schneiderlin was one of the most sought after players in the Premier League? How the Frenchman’s stock has fallen since his big-money move to Old Trafford. He would have been hoping to hit the ground running this season after enduring just 911 minutes of below-par action last time term at Goodison Park.
The two careless yellow cards he picked up at Selhurst Park in another epic stalemate on Saturday afternoon was not what the former Manchester United man would have had in mind. At least it was something else to talk about from this match, apart from the close-ups of a decidedly miffed looking Wilf Zaha on the Crystal Palace bench of course.
Hero: Marcus Rashford
Two chances, two goals for Mr.Rashford on Sunday. Okay, one was from the spot and okay, okay, Chelsea were simply all over the place as Frank Lampard youthful side fell to pieces during the second half.
But credit, where it’s due Rashford, stood up well to the challenge this weekend and helped his side to a headline-grabbing victory, which was their best over Chelsea since 1994. United will need more of the same from their local lad if they are to recover from last season’s meltdown.
Villain: Moussa Sissoko
Scoring goals just ain’t Moussa Sissoko’s thing is it? The Frenchman gets into our epic weekly feature by virtue of his comical miss on Saturday. The midfielder is a bit of specialist in failing to convert clear cut chances. If you need cheering up on Monday, just take a look at his near post effort against Villa as he tried to rescue Spurs from their sticky start.
With the ball dropping to him in a great position to the right of the goal and with most of the net to aim at, the midfielder somehow fluffed his lines, Geoff Thomas style and drizzled a shot away from goal which trickled across the area and eventually out for a Villa throw-in. Wonderful stuff!
AND IT’S SISSOKO!!!!!! WHAT A HIT SON! WHAT A HIT! pic.twitter.com/AnvKz2vG2k
— KS (@KS4LFC) August 10, 2019
This weeks Premier League Heroes and Villains is brought to you in association with our friends at Carling, who’ve just launched a superb new inter lockable glass that allows you to carry four pints easily. Now if that’s not an innovation we can all get behind, we don’t know what is!
See Also: Premier League Team of the Week