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: Jamie Vardy
The party is well and truly back on for Jamie Vardy and Leicester City. The 32-year-old was sensational as he tormented Bournemouth’s flimsy backline, bagging two and assisting another at the King Power.
Okay, so the Bournemouth defence is a touch on the naff side, but the England international evoked memories of those heady days of 2016 as he inspired the Foxes to maintain their unbeaten start and occupy an early top-four spot.
Villain: Kevin Danso
Having seen your side battle back to be on level terms with Manchester United at home, you need your defenders switched on and avoiding brain farts. Clearly Kevin Danso doesn’t adhere to such barmy notions as the on-loan centre-half fashioned a scruffy and very late scything down of Scott McTominay, when he was already on a yellow card. An obvious red if ever there was one, and it left Southampton with their backs very much to wall and desperately clinging on to a point.
Hero: Roberto Firmino
Divock Origi may be worried that his title of coolest hombre at Liverpool is under threat as Roberto Firmino continues to effortlessly dazzle the Premier League this season. The Brazilian was in sublime form yet again as Liverpool overcame a stern test at Burnley with a convincing 0-3 win.
Firmino expertly sliced open the Clarets’ back-peddling defence with a gorgeous through ball for Sadio Mane who duly sprinted clear and finished with aplomb. The forward managed to get in on the goal scoring act as well, with a bullet of a shot past Nick Pope as he recorded his 50th Premier League goal for Liverpool. His dance to celebrate was cool as well. He’s just a bit cool in general to be fair.
Villain: Kevin Friend
Villa fans are probably still fuming after they were robbed of a late equaliser at Selhurst Park by some pretty atrocious refereeing. It was a bit of a snooze-fest of a match for the most part, to be honest, but if you haven’t seen it already take a look at Kevin Friend’s bizarre call to rule out Henri Lansbury’s goal.
It is wrong on so many levels and he’d probably have a tough time explaining the decision. Jack Grealish was judged to have dived, even though he was blatantly nudged in the back on the edge of the box and as Lansbury slammed home a tidy finish, the referee had pulled the play back and hastily booked Grealish. Cue wide-spread confusion and simmering rage at one of the worst calls we’ve seen for some time.
Everton’s Brazilian striker was widely mocked on social media for his over celebration of a late Carabao Cup goal against Lincoln City during the week. However, there should be nothing but praise for the player this weekend after a smart display to help see off Wolves at Goodison Park.
The former Watford man was a constant thorn in the side of the Wolves back four. He scored two well-taken goals, including an imperious header past Rui Patrício in the second half. The Brazil international could have had more as well as he continued to drive forward at every opportunity.
Villain: Granit Xhaka
He just cannot help himself can he!? Brain fart of the week has to go to Granit Xhaka. The Switzerland international bore the wrath of pundits and fans across the land as he dived in foolishly on Son Heung-min to give away the most blatant penalty you’re likely to see. People keep expecting more from the 26-year-old, but he keeps on pressing the self-destruct button for Arsenal and looks anything but a solid and reliable operator in the Gunners’ midfield.