Our weekly Premier League awards honour the best – and worst – of the football action from the weekend.
Moment of the Week
Is there anywhere else to start but at Old Trafford?
Liverpool’s destruction of Manchester United this weekend is a result that will live long in the memory of both fans, with the pressure piled on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following an embarrassment against the club’s fiercest rivals.
It was ruthless and punishing from Liverpool as their forward line cut through the Red Devils at will, scoring four before the brief respite of the half-time whistle for the home side.
𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧. 𝗔. 𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗠𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘. ✊🔴#MUNLIV pic.twitter.com/Lv0MtFIp9M
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 24, 2021
Naby Keita and Diogo Jota scored two early goals before the irrepressible Mohamed Salah became the first opposing player to score a Premier League hat-trick at Old Trafford, a devastating display of attacking football from the Premier League’s leading scorers.
United are now without a win in four league goals and it is difficult to see how the club come back from this, their home humiliation the most vivid indicator of the gap between Solskjaer’s side and the Premier League’s very best.
Player of the Week
For the second successive week, it is Mohamed Salah who claims our Player of the Week accolade, and it’s unlikely to be his last awarding of the honour given his phenomenal performances so far this season.
Last week we questioned whether the Egyptian was the finest footballer on the planet and with each passing performance it is becoming increasingly difficult to argue with that assessment.
It’s now ten goals in nine league appearances for Salah this season following a clinical hat-trick against Manchester United this weekend, each of his goals taken with the confidence of a footballer in formidable form.
Having laid on his fifth assist of the campaign for Naby Keita’s opener, the 29-year-old scored Liverpool’s third, fourth and fifth goals to move past Didier Drogba as the leading African scorer in Premier League history.
It finished as five but in truth, it could have been much, much worse for the Red Devils, who became the latest side to fall victim to Salah’s genius as he netted for a 10th consecutive game for Liverpool.
Honourable mentions must go to the likes of Mason Mount and Josh King, each unfortunate that their competition is Salah is such sparkling form.
Goal of the Week
Newcastle’s next manager has a sizeable to-do list to revive the fortunes of the Magpies this season, but whoever is selected in the role will be grateful to call upon the services of Callum Wilson.
The Magpies’ fans have taken Wilson to their hearts since his arrival from Bournemouth last summer, with the forward having been a talismanic presence during the club’s fight against relegation last season.
Wilson has begun the new season in a similar vein of form, scoring four goals in five appearances so far this season including a spectacular strike against Crystal Palace this weekend.
Newcastle remain mired in the bottom three and without a win, but Wilson’s audacious overhead kick ensured the manager-less Magpies returned from Selhurst Park with a valuable point.
🤯 Wow. @CallumWilson pic.twitter.com/17l2UUO3YX
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 23, 2021
Shock of the Week
Few saw Watford securing a win at Everton this weekend following last week’s thumping at the hands of Liverpool at Vicarage Road, with even fewer predicting an upset as the Toffees led heading into the closing stages at Goodison Park.
What followed was a remarkable conclusion to the game, as the Hornets scored four times inside the final 12 minutes to secure a stunning 5-2 win on Merseyside.
Juraj Kucka set the wheels in motion for a frantic finale after heading in an equaliser, before former Everton forward Josh King came back to haunt his former side in the closing stages.
A hat-trick on his return to Goodison Park! 🎩✨
Take a bow, Joshua King 👑 pic.twitter.com/u1RjKUAgvC
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) October 23, 2021
The Norwegian – who failed to start a single league fixture during a six-month spell at Everton last season – had already scored his side’s first with his first Watford goal, before completing an incredible hat-trick with two outstanding finishes to seal three points for the Hornets.
Emmanuel Dennis added a fifth in stoppage-time as the Claudio Ranieri era got up and running with the shock of the weekend.
Stat of the Week
Michail Antonio was the match-winner as West Ham beat Tottenham to leapfrog their London rivals in the Premier League, with David Moyes’ side moving into the Champions League places.
Antonio scored the only goal of the game after turning home Aaron Cresswell’s corner from close range, capitalising on some slack marking from Harry Kane to score the game’s decisive goal.
It continued the forward’s remarkable run of scoring each of his Premier League goals inside the box, with only Tim Cahill (56) and Javier Hernandez (53) having score more than Antonio’s (52) goals with 100% coming from inside the box.
52 – All 52 of Michail Antonio's Premier League goals have been scored from inside the penalty area. Only Tim Cahill (56) and Chicharito (53) have scored more goals in the competition with 100% of them coming from inside the box. Neo. pic.twitter.com/URmfz1scC1
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 24, 2021
Donkey(s) of the Week
Manchester United had no shortage of contenders for our Donkey of the Week award, with dire defensive performances from Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw under consideration.
Maguire’s disastrous recent form continued with the centre-back enduring a nightmare recent run of gifting the opposition goals, whilst Shaw has failed to build on a career-best season and strong Euro 2020 showing and was slow, sluggish and overran.
It’s difficult to look beyond the calamitous cameo of Paul Pogba, however, who came off the bench at half-time and only worsened an already shambolic situation.
🟥 Paul Pogba is the 3rd sub to be sent off in PL games between Man Utd and Liverpool, after Luke Chadwick in Dec 2000 and Steven Gerrard in Mar 2015 pic.twitter.com/COUpBl2GFL
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 24, 2021
The midfielder was caught in possession inside five minutes as Liverpool broke away for a fifth, before receiving his marching orders ten minutes later after a dangerous lunge on Naby Keita.
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