The most unpredictable start to a Premier League season in recent memory saw a host of astonishing results and breathless encounters during the weekend’s action, with champions Liverpool hit for seven as they were thrashed 7-2 by Aston Villa.
Manchester United’s fortunes were not much better as they lost 6-1 to Tottenham on a harrowing afternoon at Old Trafford, whilst Leicester’s perfect record was ended in convincing fashion by a West Ham side who seem to be thriving in the absence of manager David Moyes.
Elsewhere Frank Lampard’s Chelsea revolution finally showed some promising signs and new-look Everton continue to go from strength to strength under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti.
Following the weekend’s action we’ve picked out some of the Premier League’s best performers, here are seven players who shone brightly this weekend:
Much of the excitement surrounding Chelsea’s summer spending spree has centred around the exciting captures of attacking stars such as Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, but the acquisition of Ben Chilwell certainly stands out as arguably the most sensible.
Left-back has long been a problem position for the west London outfit, but Chilwell looks a player capable of filling that role for years to come, enjoying a fine afternoon on his first Premier League start for the club.
Ben Chilwell’s Premier League debut by numbers:
◉ 1 goal
◉ 1 assist
◉ 1 clean sheet
Exactly what was needed. pic.twitter.com/bgL0ZLVdoL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 3, 2020
The England international overcame a shaky start – losing possession five times inside the opening 10 minutes – to enjoy an impressive performance this weekend, opening the scoring for his new side before providing a perfect assist for Kurt Zouma as Crystal Palace were beaten 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.
It was a much improved performance from Chelsea following an indifferent start to the campaign, Chilwell slotting in seamlessly in a new-look side with ambitions of winning major silverware this term.
The poster-boy of a revolution at Everton continues to grow in importance on Merseyside, James Rodriguez once again central to his new side’s success as they maintained their 100% start to the season.
Rodriguez was viewed as a significant coup for the Toffees this summer and has certainly lived up to that billing in the opening weeks of the campaign, adding creative quality to Carlo Ancelotti’s side who are playing with real confidence at present.
— Everton (@Everton) October 3, 2020
The Colombia international delivered a superb set-piece for compatriot Yerry Mina to head home Everton’s second in the 4-2 win over Brighton, before netting a double of his own to take the game beyond the reach of the visitors.
It has all come effortlessly for the fans’ favourite at Goodison Park and he has quickly stated his case as the Premier League’s best signing of the summer, the small matter of a Merseyside derby with champions Liverpool next up following the international break.
Remember when there were suggestions Harry Kane would suffer under the style of Jose Mourinho?
Kane has begun the new season back to his brilliant best and was once again exceptional during Tottenham’s astonishing 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford, the forward the architect behind an unforgettable victory for the north London side.
The England captain took his tally to eight goals for the season in all competitions after netting a clinical brace, but the multi-faceted talents of Kane’s game were evident once more following a classy and creative display.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 4, 2020
The 27-year-old dropped deep and in between defensive lines to showcase an impressive passing range, spraying the ball around the pitch with the quality of a league leading midfielder and providing yet another assist with a quickly-taken free-kick for forward partner Son.
It’s now a phenomenal eight goals and seven assists in just eight appearances for Spurs so far this season, Kane arguably the finest forward in the division when in this sort of mood.
Aston Villa have found themselves a new hero in the form of Ollie Watkins following the club-record signings first Premier League goals for the club, the forward netting a perfect hat-trick in the club’s incredible 7-2 destruction of champions Liverpool.
Watkins has enjoyed several seasons of progress in the lower leagues before being named as the Championship’s Player of the Season at Brentford last term, earning him a £28m move to Villa Park where he already looks tailor-made for the Premier League.
The 𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗙𝗘𝗖𝗧 hat-trick. 🎩
Ollie Watkins' first-ever Premier League goals! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/QBhhD6HxEz
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) October 5, 2020
The 24-year-old proved a nightmare for the visitor’s defence all evening with a display of the highest quality, his treble all coming in the first half as Villa dismantled the Reds to continue their perfect start to the campaign.
Time and time again Dean Smith’s side capitalised on Liverpool’s high defensive line and punished a disastrous display in ruthless fashion, Watkins at the forefront of an astonishing night and looking like a player capable of scoring with regularity at this level.
The one Liverpool player who can walk away from their humbling at Aston Villa with their head held high, Salah did all he could in what proved to be a sh*t-show for Jurgen Klopp’s champions at Villa Park.
Salah continued the fine form he has shown in the opening weeks of the new season with a well-taken brace to score Liverpool’s consolation goals, bringing up a century with his 100th and 101st goals since moving to English football.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 4, 2020
That figure has come in just 177 appearances for Chelsea and Liverpool and demonstrates the talent of an elite forward at the peak of his powers, whilst his goals against Aston Villa mean he has now scored against 25 of the 26 opponents he has faced in the Premier League for Liverpool.
Salah will once again be central to the Reds’ hopes of silverware this season and looks at his menacing best, though the club’s defensive frailties will need addressing if they are to retain the title following a calamitous display this weekend.
Newcastle’s flamboyant Frenchman produced a dazzling display as the Magpies returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Burnley at St James’ Park, the fleet-footed star box-office viewing when on song as he was this weekend.
Saint-Maximin opened the scoring with a brilliant opener as four Burnley defenders failed to stop the winger in his tracks, the 23-year-old dancing his way into the penalty area before firing home a crisp finish.
That's it. That's the Tweet. pic.twitter.com/kAxEWz7YlU
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 4, 2020
It was the star’s first goal of the season and capped a performance of signature fancy footwork and surging runs, the Burnley defence feeling a sense of panic whenever the Newcastle number 10 picked up possession.
Another brilliant run took him past Dwight McNeil and Charlie Taylor before crossing superbly for Callum Wilson to tap in from close range, Saint-Maximin sensational and a player capable of singlehandedly terrorising opposition backlines when in full flight.
The toxic atmosphere surrounding West Ham has been temporarily lifted following two hugely impressive victories for the Hammers, their 4-0 thumping of Wolves followed by a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Leicester this weekend.
Their success at the King Power Stadium was a fine collective effort with the likes of Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio starring in particular, but there was also an encouraging display from Pablo Fornals.
The midfielder has largely failed to live up to expectations since signing from Villarreal last summer but was amongst the stars of the show this weekend, combining an industrious work-rate with creative class in the final third.
Pablo Fornals made this look incredibly easy 😂
West Ham double their lead at Leicester with another brilliant goal!
Calm and clinical 👌 pic.twitter.com/1hD8aJ3x05
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 4, 2020
His touch before scoring West Ham’s second was flawless, before providing a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Jarrod Bowen to put the result beyond doubt.
West Ham have their problems both on and off the field, but this was a promising performance from the side and their silky Spanish playmaker.
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