As another 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: Teemu Pukki
Teemu Pukki has as many Premier League hat-tricks as Cristiano Ronaldo, now there’s a stat for you! The Finn riffled home three excellent goals for Norwich as a clunky Newcastle side were put to the sword at Carrow Road. Pukki has now scored four times in his first two Premier League matches, the first player ever to do that as well! What a show-off!
Villain: Tom Heaton
Tom Heaton became the party pooper in chief for Aston Villa on Saturday and it only took him two minutes to do so. The England international goalkeeper hastily tripped Callum Wilson just two minutes into his home debut for Villa at the Holt End. This was Villa’s first Premier League home game in 1197 days. Shame the party only lasted 120 seconds then.
Hero: Dani Ceballos
Arsenal’s new boy had football fans and pundits drooling all over the land with his silky display against Burnley. It was a dream performance from the Spaniard as he toyed with the away side for 90 minutes, giving a footballing masterclass.
Two assists and 70 glorious passes later, Arsenal were top of the league and probably suffering from a bit of vertigo. The Gunners faithful will hope that Emery is already working on his pitch to try and persuade Ceballos to ditch Real Madrid next summer and make his stay in North London a tad more permanent.
From hero to Villain in just 72 hours; that’s football for you! A shoot out hero in the Super Cup Final on Wednesday, Adrian could so easily have cost his side some early points this season after a roller-coaster display against Southampton.
A couple of smart saves were almost undone by some very ropey kicking and distribution. He was finally punished when his lame clearance from a Virgil van Dijk back pass bounced straight off Danny Ings and into the back of the net.
Thankfully there was not enough time left on the clock for Southampton to get back into it, but the monumental cock-up would have done Liverpool fans’ collective blood pressure no good at all.
Hero: Kevin De Bruyne
Without Kevin De Bruyne for most of last season, Man City were still able to clock up 98 points and a domestic cup treble to boot. To do this without one of the league’s most dangerous and creative midfielders is frankly, bordering on taking the mick!
The Belgian though is well and truly back for City this season and was at his scintillating best for the champions on Saturday with two laser-guided assists for his teammates. Both balls in from the right where things of real beauty and with such a silky play-maker in their arsenal, it is hard to see them doing anything but winning the title again this term. Unless, of course, VAR continues to wreck their lives!
Villain: Gerard Deulofeu
The season’s first real contender for dive of season is up and running as Gerard Deulofeu went for a touch of the theatrics to try and earn his side a point at Goodison Park, tumbling after a tangle with Yerry Mina. Thankfully Lee Mason was having none of it though, and VAR deemed there to be nothing in it at all, although quite how the Spaniard avoided a yellow card for his play-acting is a mystery.
Sean Dyche, in his self-appointed role of the Premier League’s diving police, will have no doubt been furious at such scandalous antics.