Star Turns: Six Premier League players who shone bright in gameweek 3

Another fascinating weekend of Premier League football saw Leicester continue their 100% start to the season with a shock thrashing of Manchester City at the Etihad, whilst champions Liverpool and city rivals Everton kept pace with the league leaders at the summit.

Elsewhere there was penalty drama across the division with Manchester United and Newcastle securing late results at Brighton and Tottenham respectively, whilst Chelsea somehow secured a point at newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion despite finding themselves three goals down at the interval.

Following the latest round of action we’ve picked out some of the weekend’s best performances, here are six Premier League players who shone bright in gameweek 3:

Callum Robinson

In a weekend of thrilling action the best viewing was arguably found at the Hawthorns, where West Brom raced into a shock three-goal half-time lead against Chelsea, only to capitulate in the second half to prolong their wait for a first victory since promotion.

Slaven Bilic’s side have struggled in their opening two fixtures of the season and suffered comprehensive defeats to both Leicester and Everton, but this weekend’s display was an encouraging sign for their hopes of survival despite their defensive flaws.

The club’s lack of a recognised goalscorer has been cited by the many predicting an instant return to the Championship for the Baggies, but summer signing Callum Robinson produced a fine audition for the role of centre-forward against Chelsea this weekend.

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The 25-year-old signed on a permanent basis this summer despite scoring just three goals during a loan spell over the second half of last season, a tally he has already matched in just four appearances in all competitions this term.

Robinson opened the scoring against Chelsea with a fine left-footed effort, before doubling West Brom’s advantage after capitalising on a mistake from Thiago Silva to race clear and finish calmly.

It was a fine display from the Irish international in a thankless role as a lone forward, though Robinson will need to maintain this clinical edge in a West Brom side for who chances may be at a premium against more defensively diligent opposition.

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Jamie Vardy

Another weekend, another masterclass in finishing from Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.

There are few players as ruthless when presented with opportunities within the widths of the goalposts, Vardy scoring a clinical hat-trick as the Foxes capitalised on some diabolical defending to thrash Manchester City at the Etihad.

Last season’s Golden Boot winner now leads the rankings once more alongside Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, after emphatically dispatching two penalties in addition to a superb back-heeled finish.

Vardy’s fine finishing ruthlessly exposed Pep Guardiola’s side who gave away three spot-kicks on a harrowing evening, the forward becoming the first player in history to score an away treble against a Guardiola-coached outfit.

Vardy’s goals came despite having the fewest touches of any outfield player, the 33-year-old’s game having evolved to display even greater efficiency as he moved level with Peter Crouch on 108 top-flight goals.

He has now entered the top 25 of all-time Premier League goalscorers despite not making his debut in the division until the age of 27, whilst only six players with over a century of goals can better his average of 0.5 goals-per-game.

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Illan Meslier

Leeds’ pulsating start to life back in the Premier League had brought two seven-goal thrillers in their opening two fixtures, the defensive fragility of Marcelo Bielsa’s side a major concern despite their entertaining style since promotion.

Those concerns were somewhat eased following a hard-fought victory at Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United, Leeds showing they have the capabilities to grind out results with a late 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane.

Key to their success was the performance of young goalkeeper Illan Meslier, who has come under increased scrutiny after shipping seven goals in clashes against Liverpool and Fulham respectively.

The 20-year-old arrived as an unknown quantity after signing on a season-long loan deal last summer, though he has not looked back since being handed his opportunity in place of the experienced Kiko Casilla over the second half of last season.

Against the Blades this weekend he provided a reminder of his talents, producing an excellent and commanding display to preserve Leeds’ first clean sheet of the season.

Meslier’s save to deny John Lundstram from close range left the midfielder in disbelief, whilst he also reacted superbly to stop George Baldock’s drive to keep the hosts at bay.

Leeds will likely need more performances of this ilk if they are to build further on a positive start to the campaign, though the youthful Meslier already looks like a potential bargain buy at just £5m.

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Jarrod Bowen

The toxic atmosphere surrounding West Ham at present has been temporarily lifted following a hugely impressive victory over Wolves this weekend, the Hammers registering their first win of the season with a resounding 4-0 win at the London Stadium.

David Moyes’ side produced a fine performance with Jarrod Bowen at the heart of their attacking play, the winger opening his account for the season with a well-taken double.

Bowen has been a rare bright spark in an otherwise erratic period of recruitment for West Ham, the winter window signing from Hull providing possessing the youthful exuberance – and talent – Moyes is seeking in his new-look side.

The 23-year-old had scored prolifically in the Championship before being handed his opportunity in the Premier League, and his brace will raise hopes he can now replicate those goalscoring exploits at the top level.

His first goal was Bowen at his brilliant best as he cut inside from the right before finishing with aplomb, his second coming from close range after finding himself in the right place at the right time to turn home a rebound from Pablo Fornals’ strike.

Bowen has now provided seven goal involvements in 13 starts since moving to West Ham – an impressive return for a player still finding his feet in the Premier League – and the Hammers’ fans will hope their recruitment staff can unearth similar talent as they look to reinvest the funds from the controversial sale of academy graduate Grady Diagnana.

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Danny Ings

Danny Ings has started the new season as he finished the last with three goals in three games for Southampton, his winner at Burnley a huge moment given the Saints’ struggles in their opening two fixtures.

It was yet another example of the forward’s importance to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side as Ings turned home the only goal of the game, the 27-year-old having now scored 46% of all his side’s goals since the start of last season, his tally of 25 incredibly 20 more than any of his Saints teammates.

Only Mohamed Salah can match Ings’ record of 13 goals since the turn of the New Year, the England international a talismanic figure for the South Coast outfit and irreplaceable as they bid to build on last season’s 11th-placed finish.

Tottenham have been linked with his signing of late but it is a move that makes little sense for either the player or Southampton, Ings’ performances after recovering from an injury nightmare proving he is too good to play a back-up role to Harry Kane in north London.

Ings combines a relentless work-rate with fine link-up play and clinical finishing, the perfect foil for the Southampton attack and a player clearly enjoying his status as the Saints’ main man.

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Sadio Mane

Brilliant last weekend in defeating Chelsea, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane was once again in fine form as the champions continued their 100% start to the season against Arsenal.

The Senegal international began the contest in a whirlwind of aggression that resembled Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil, scurrying around the pitch in frenetic fashion and was perhaps fortunate to avoid greater punishment after receiving a yellow card for a wayward arm in the direction of Kieran Tierney.

Liverpool will have been mightily relieved to see Mane remain on the pitch and he went on to play a typically influential role in their 3-1 victory, his speed and skill causing headaches for the Arsenal backline with Rob Holding notably struggling to deal with the 28-year-old.

Mane registered his third goal of the season after tapping in an equaliser from close range, and remained a constant nuisance to the Gunners throughout before his late – and unwelcome substitution – for debutant Diogo Jota.

Mane symbolises the aggressive pressing play that has defined Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp and mixes sublime skill with his insatiable work-rate, a fine cocktail for one of the Premier League’s finest footballers.

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