Defending champions Liverpool returned to the highest of the desk with a 2-1 win at dwelling to West Ham, whereas Gareth Bale scored his first purpose since his return to Tottenham as they beat Brighton.
Southampton held off a late comeback to win 4-3 at Aston Villa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty gave Arsenal a 1-0 win at Manchester United and Fulham gained their first win of the season by beating West Brom.
There have been additionally wins for Newcastle in opposition to Everton, Manchester Metropolis at Sheffield United, Chelsea on the street over Burnley, Wolves at dwelling to Crystal Palace and Leicester at Leeds.
However who impressed me within the Premier League this week? Here is my workforce. Have a learn on why I chosen them beneath and select your greatest XI on the backside.
Goalkeeper – Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester)
It was a really spectacular victory on Monday by Leicester Metropolis within the form of situations which can be an entire nightmare for goalkeepers. Howling wind and moments of torrential rain at Elland Highway did not appear to trouble Kasper Schmeichel within the slightest. The Leicester keeper made two first-class saves from Patrick Bamford after which proceeded to marshal his defence by a troublesome second-half interval.
The Foxes now discover themselves second within the desk and a degree behind Liverpool in a title race that’s as open as I can keep in mind. Can I see Leicester profitable the Premier League title? No, I can not, however I stated that the final time they did it.
Do you know? Schmeichel has conceded simply 9 objectives in seven Premier League video games this season.
Defenders – Kyle Walker (Manchester Metropolis), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea), Gabriel (Arsenal)
Kyle Walker: The purpose by Kyle Walker that secured Manchester Metropolis’s victory at Sheffield United was a kind of daisy-cutters – whenever you see them journey sweetly alongside moist, dewy grass and hit the again of the online, they appear completely fabulous.
Since I gave Walker a rap on his knuckles a few weeks in the past for not taking extra of a management function, he appears to have carried out simply that. His reluctance to have fun his purpose in opposition to Sheffield United, the membership that gave him his probability in soccer, would have been appreciated by their followers simply as a lot as it could have been by Walker’s mum and pa. They nonetheless stay within the space. Sensible transfer.
Do you know? Walker scored his first Premier League away purpose on Saturday – his earlier seven had been all on dwelling soil.
Kurt Zouma: His third purpose of the season got here from one other towering header – Kurt Zouma is beginning to develop a style for scoring from set-plays. He is already scored in opposition to Brighton and Crystal Palace this season and his headed purpose in opposition to a poor-looking Burnley was a magnificence.
Common readers will know I’ve been moderately ambivalent about Zouma through the years. Once I noticed him make his debut for Chelsea, I stated he could possibly be one other Marcel Desailly. I am not certain about that however there isn’t any doubt that mortgage spells at Stoke and Everton have clearly benefited the defender. Will he win titles with Chelsea like Desailly? Effectively, I am unsure about that both.
Do you know? Zouma has scored three objectives in six Premier League video games in 2020-21 – his greatest tally in any season within the competitors.
Gabriel: Sunday’s win at Manchester United was the most effective Arsenal performances I’ve seen for a while. I criticised Mikel Arteta the final time he was in Manchester for taking part in a workforce with out a recognised centre-forward. Not so at Outdated Trafford. The Arsenal supervisor laid his stall out completely and restricted United to a handful of probabilities. Gabriel was on the coronary heart of an impressive defensive show by the Gunners.
In the meantime, United have a critical consistency downside. Mason Greenwood was substituted and walked off the pitch wanting as if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had dedicated against the law. Paul Pogba has a lot extra to offer however can not seem to discover it to offer. And Marcus Rashford, one in every of my favorite gamers, carried out as if he had been given the afternoon off. Sorry Marcus, there are not any days off whenever you play for Manchester United.
Do you know? Gabriel made extra tackles (5) than any Arsenal or Manchester United participant in Sunday’s sport at Outdated Trafford.
Midfielders – James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Thomas Partey (Arsenal), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)
James Ward-Prowse: What a rare sport at Villa Park. Seven objectives included three of one of the best you will ever see by Southampton and two by James Ward-Prowse.
This lad is in improbable kind, by the way in which. He was my man of the match in opposition to Everton and his two splendidly taken free-kicks in fast succession appeared to paralyse Aston Villa. By the point the house facet had realised what had occurred, the sport was past them. Simply as nicely for the Saints, as Villa got here again with a vengeance having been 4-0 down.
Villa confirmed some actual braveness and willpower within the second half. If referee Darren England had performed the quantity of added time supervisor Dean Smith felt entitled to, I reckon Villa might need obtained one thing out of this fixture.
Do you know? Ward-Prowse is the ninth participant in Premier League historical past to attain two direct free-kick objectives in a sport, and first since Christian Eriksen for Spurs in October 2015 (in opposition to Swansea).
Thomas Partey: That was some efficiency by Thomas Partey at Outdated Trafford. The Ghana worldwide seems match, robust and up for any battle – whereas his means to intercept and break up the opposition’s play on Sunday was excellent.
Partey together with Mohamed Elneny, dominated Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay. I’ve not seen an Arsenal midfield duo dominate the centre of the park at Outdated Trafford so successfully since Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit. That is very worrying if you’re a Spurs fan.
Do you know? Partey gained possession on extra events (11) than any Arsenal or Manchester United participant in Sunday’s match.
Jordan Henderson: I did not assume it was a Liverpool penalty on the time and I nonetheless do not. I’ve criticised Mohamed Salah up to now for happening within the field when not touched. I’ve little question contact was made by West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku however so far as contact sports activities go, that was no foul. Nonetheless it is the referee’s opinion that counts and Kevin Pal thought in any other case.
Jordan Henderson performed a captain’s half in pulling Liverpool by a troublesome fixture in opposition to the Hammers on Saturday. It was Henderson’s managed cross to Xherdan Shaqiri which resulted in Diogo Jota scoring Liverpool’s winner.
I’m wondering if Henderson might need a mild phrase with Salah to remind him that he has positioned himself among the many Liverpool greats – and to not spoil it with low cost nonsense like diving.
Do you know? Henderson accomplished 133 passes in opposition to West Ham, essentially the most in a Premier League sport since Virgil van Dijk in opposition to Sheffield United in January 2020 (134).
Hakim Ziyech: At Burnley, he scored his first Premier League purpose for Chelsea. On that efficiency, it will not be his final. Hakim Ziyech scored within the Champions League in midweek in opposition to Krasnodar and appears able to scoring tons extra.
The Morocco worldwide seems so balanced and cozy on the ball. The best way he took the ball from Reece James along with his left foot after which transferred it to his proper so as to slide the ball to Timo Werner to attain was fairly gorgeous. The ball by no means stopped travelling ahead and as a consequence it by no means gave Burnley’s defence any time to readjust. It seems as if the Atlas Lions have discovered one other star – with Chelsea now getting the profit.
Do you know? Ziyech is the primary participant to attain in each of his first two begins for Chelsea in all competitions since Diego Costa in August 2014.
Forwards – Daniel Podence (Wolves), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Callum Wilson (Newcastle)
Daniel Podence: Crystal Palace noticed the menace from Daniel Podence fairly early in Friday’s sport at Wolves however could not appear to do something about it. Palace keeper Vicente Guaita made two wonderful saves from Podence – however was crushed because the Portugal worldwide planted essentially the most superb shot previous him.
Nonetheless, the incident that despatched supervisor Roy Hodgson over the sting was seeing his captain Luka Milivojevic despatched off for what was, in his view, not more than a bookable offence.
I disagree. Milivojevic has made this form of problem earlier than and it was solely a matter of time earlier than a referee determined in opposition to giving the Serbia worldwide the good thing about doubt. Martin Atkinson was that referee.
Do you know? Every of Podence’s two Premier League objectives have come in opposition to Crystal Palace.
Jamie Vardy: Not since Leicester Metropolis gained the Premier League title have I seen them look in such devastating kind. On a foul evening in Yorkshire, they made Leeds United look lower than strange.
Brendan Rogers stated in his pre-match interview that his workforce would use the counter-attack to their benefit and that is exactly what they did.
This was additionally a memorable evening for Jamie Vardy. The previous England striker gave the impression to be concerned in all the things Leicester produced and finally obtained the purpose his efforts deserved. What a pity Vardy determined to step away from worldwide soccer. He nonetheless has a lot to supply.
Do you know? Jamie Vardy has been straight concerned in 13 objectives in his previous 12 Premier League video games (11 objectives, two assists).
Callum Wilson: I am unsure what is going on on at Everton for the time being. They began the season as if that they had a degree to show and so they most likely did. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has made it clear he can play on this league, and James Rodriguez’s means was by no means doubtful. Whereas their efficiency in opposition to Newcastle was marginally higher than their shocker at Southampton, they nonetheless look off the tempo.
In the meantime, Callum Wilson’s arrival at St James’ Park has been a gradual burner compared however has given Newcastle a innovative, particularly at dwelling. Wilson’s craftiness to attract a penalty from Everton’s Andre Gomes was astute and so was the conversion.
Do you know? Wilson has scored six objectives in his first seven Premier League appearances for Newcastle – solely Les Ferdinand has reached six objectives in fewer appearances within the Premier League for the Magpies (six apps).
The Crooks of the Matter
Final Friday introduced the unhappy information that England World Cup winner Nobby Stiles had died. One of many unlucky realities of the fashionable sport, and certainly the instances, is that heroes reminiscent of Stiles are too simply forgotten.
I’ve little question that Manchester United’s academy gamers will likely be conscious that in 1968, the membership gained the European Cup, now spuriously often called the Champions League, and had been the primary English workforce to take action. However I’m wondering what number of of their academy gamers knew that Stiles was central to that victory.
They are going to have heard of the immortalised Sir Bobby Charlton and little question been advised quite a few instances about George Finest, if solely in relation to the risks that befall a genius with a reckless way of life. However I will put a pound to a penny they did not know that had it not been for Stiles, Portugal’s Eusebio would have destroyed England’s probabilities of profitable the 1966 World Cup and United’s desires of lifting the European trophy. Stiles was a ferocious tackler in his day.
Might Stiles have performed within the fashionable sport? I do not know. What I do know is, once I labored with him briefly throughout his time as first-team coach at West Bromwich Albion, I used to be regularly amazed that nonetheless the ball got here to him, he all the time retained it. He had this extraordinary means to ensure the ball by no means went astray and the cross was all the time delivered to the place it was meant.
In case you did occur to offer the ball away needlessly, you’d quickly learn about it. The truth is, his sport wasn’t dissimilar to that of former United captain Roy Keane or Manchester Metropolis’s Fernandinho. He displayed the qualities of a tiger on the sphere and but was essentially the most mild-mannered and pleasant man off it.
If ‘taking one for the workforce’ is a prerequisite for choice lately, then Stiles makes it. What’s extra, if Paul Pogba had a modicum of what Stiles possessed as a participant, Liverpool and Manchester Metropolis would by no means have sniffed these titles. Now that’s one thing that Manchester United’s academy gamers ought to know, do not you assume?
Choose your workforce of the week
Choose your XI from our record and share with your folks.
Choose your XI from our record and share with your folks.