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Smashed it! Eight Premier League players who shone bright this weekend

This weekend’s Premier League action proved once again that this is perhaps the most unpredictable campaign in recent memory, with no side now possessing an unbeaten record after just six fixtures.

Leeds secured an impressive 3-0 win at Aston Villa to end the host’s perfect start, whilst Southampton shocked league leaders Everton with victory at St Mary’s.

Elsewhere there were wins for Liverpool, Tottenham and Leicester, but newly-promoted Fulham and West Bromwich Albion remain in search of their first three points.

Following another fascinating round of fixtures we’ve picked out some of the Premier League’s stars who smashed it this weekend, here are eight players who shone brightly in gameweek six:

Patrick Bamford

Leeds continued their impressive return to the Premier League with an emphatic 3-0 win at Aston Villa, ending the host’s perfect record in the top-flight this season in fine fashion.

The star of the show was forward Bamford who silenced his continued doubters with a brilliant individual display, scoring a stunning hat-trick to make it six goals in just six league fixtures this season.

After turning home a rebound to open the scoring, the 27-year-old fired home a superb second, a dipping effort from the edge of the box that left Emiliano Martinez helpless in the Villa goal.

His third was the pick of the bunch, navigating between four opposition defenders before curling a delightful effort into the far corner to seal a first-ever Premier League hat-trick.

Gary Neville described the forward’s performance as ‘unbelievable’ and Bamford is now adding goals to the work-ethic that has made him a firm favourite of Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road, with Neville suggesting the star can now not be far from Gareth Southgate’s thoughts for an international call up.

Few would have anticipated that scenario just two months ago, Bamford responding to the club-record signing of Rodrigo by playing arguably the best football of his career to date.

Thiago Silva

Chelsea made it back-to-back clean sheets in all competitions following a goalless draw at Manchester United this weekend, their solidity in recent fixtures a welcome boost to Frank Lampard following the defensive mistakes which have littered his reign so far.

Thiago Silva was at the heart of a solid defensive display for the west London outfit at Old Trafford, marshalling the backline superbly and fitting in perfectly in the centre of a back three formation.

The Brazilian’s leadership was evident as he organised the Chelsea defence superbly, his influence only likely to increase as he continues to adapt to a new league and language in the coming months.

Silva’s summer signing was viewed as gamble given the defender’s advancing years, but he looks like a shrewd acquisition on this evidence and Lampard will hope this week’s defensive displays are the start of Chelsea finding the balance required for consistent results.

Diogo Jota

Jota made his first league start for Liverpool and was handed a position on the right-hand side of the attack, as Jurgen Klopp shifted Mohamed Salah into a central role in an attacking line-up against Sheffield United.

After initially struggling to get into the contest the Portugal international grew into the game, his direct style typically threatening throughout.

Liverpool’s recruitment team searched long for a player who can both complement and deputise for their fabled front three, a forward who needed the right blend of profile, age, talent and possess an ability to flourish in a demanding system at Anfield.

In Jota, it appears the Reds have found the perfect player, one who has slotted seamlessly into the champion’s squad and who has the potential for further improvement.

This weekend he showed his value with a fine headed winner against the Blades following an energetic display, his arrival adding another match-winner to Liverpool’s ranks as they go in search of a second successive title.

Michail Antonio

After spending much of his career in the Premier League without a clearly defined role, Michail Antonio has found his best position under David Moyes as an all-action powerhouse in the West Ham attack.

Antonio’s athletic blend of pace and power proved a real handful to the Manchester City defence as the Hammers held Pep Guardiola’s side to a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium, whilst he demonstrated his improved finishing ability once more with an instinctive acrobatic effort to open the scoring.

It was the 30-year-old’s 11th goal since the Premier League’s restart in June – with only Harry Kane having scored more in that time – and the star is pushing alongside a group of flourishing forwards to earn inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s thinking for England.

His age may count against him given Southgate’s preference for youth, but he would undoubtedly offer a unique option to the Three Lions’ current attacking contingent.

Antonio’s importance as an outlet to the West Ham side was demonstrated by their struggle to get out following his early second half substitution due to injury, Moyes facing an anxious wait over his star striker ahead of next weekend’s trip to champions Liverpool.

Wilfried Zaha

An underwhelming season last year perhaps cost Wilfried Zaha from getting the big move he has craved in recent years, but the forward looks back to his very best over the opening weeks of the season for Crystal Palace.

The Ivorian was the best player on the pitch as Palace manager Roy Hodgson secured a 2-1 victory at former side Fulham, providing an assist for Jairo Riedewald before turning home the Eagles’ second from close range.

Zaha has been utilised in a central role so far this season and it is one he has thrived in, scoring five goals in just six fixtures – already bettering his league tally from the whole of last season.

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There are few players as dangerous or as captivating to watch than the 27-year-old when he is in this sort of mood, Palace surely delighted to have retained the services of their talisman this summer despite his abilities perhaps belonging on a greater stage.

Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy was deemed only fit enough for the substitutes’ bench against Arsenal after missing Leicester’s previous two games with a calf injury, but needed less than half an hour to make his impact at the Emirates.

Leicester had dug deep defensively and whilst not quite the smash-and-grab some claimed, executed a game plan superbly before playing their trump card.

Vardy – wearing iconic ‘chat sh*t get banged shin pads’ – came off the bench to score the only goal of the game and secure the Foxes’ first win at Arsenal since 1973, heading home from close range to cap a performance of defensive organisation from Brendan Rodgers’ side.

It was incredibly Vardy’s 11th goal in 12 games against opponents he has regularly punished throughout his career, with only Wayne Rooney having ever scored more against the north London side in the Premier League era.

Last season’s Golden Boot winner has now scored six times in just five appearances this season, the evergreen forward likely to be right in the mix for back-to-back accolades.

Danny Ings

Danny Ings enjoyed a superb season at Southampton last time around and has begun the new campaign in similarly impressive form, the forward the ideal focal point for the Saints’ style of play.

Ings is undoubtedly a fine finisher as 26 goals in 43 appearances since signing permanently for Southampton will testify, but he offers much more to the side than just goals and was at his buzzing best against Everton this weekend.

Ings is more than happy to run channels and hassle opposition defenders as the first line of the Saints defence, whilst he demonstrated his creative qualities with two assists this weekend.

The England international played in James Ward-Prowse for his side’s opener against the previously unbeaten league leaders, before picking out strike partner Che Adams at the back post with a deep cross from the left.

Yes, Ings is a goalscorer and a good one at that, but there are certainly more strings to the bow of a player enjoying his football on the South Coast at present.

Tanguy Ndombele

Tanguy Ndombele has endured a difficult time since signing for Tottenham as their club-record signing, failing to replicate the form that once made him one of Europe’s most coveted midfielders.

The nadir of his time in the Premier League game during last season’s trip to Burnley, where he was hauled off after an uninspiring display and publicly criticised by Jose Mourinho following his performance.

Seven months on the France international returned to Turf Moor and gave a much improved showing, driving forwards as Spurs’ most advanced midfielder and taking responsibility in receiving the ball in tight areas.

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Ndombele demonstrated the energy that Mourinho has craved from the Frenchman and worked hard at both ends of the pitch, an encouraging display from a player clearly possessing talent which needs unlocking.

Spurs will hope this is the start of Ndombele’s rise to prominence in the side, the 23-year-old’s skillset offering Mourinho a unique option in his new-look side.

Read – Premier League Team of the Week for Gameweek 6

Read Also – Premier League Weekly Awards: Hat-trick Bamford, Evra vs Hasselbaink and mega Mendy

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